The Open Group announced the launch of the TOGAF® Standard, 10 Edition at the end of April 2022. Many organizations are eager to learn more about “TOGAF® 10” since it is the first major upgrade to TOGAF® since 2009. A lot has happened in the past dozen years from societal, business, and technical perspectives, so much so that Enterprise Architecture (EA) is receiving more and more attention and opportunities to make a difference. Of course, there is great anticipation that TOGAF®, the world’s leading EA framework, will be more valuable than ever (or finally valuable for those skeptical about its relevance to today’s transformation challenges).
The Open Group, in its launch announcement regarding “TOGAF 10”, pointed out a few points:
- Its refreshed modular structure which will make it easier to apply the TOGAF framework to different kinds of organizations and styles of architecture.
- With greatly expanded guidance and “how-to” material, it enables organizations to operate in an efficient and effective way across a broad range of use-cases, including Agile enterprises and Digital Transformation.
- Because the next decade of technology and business pressures organizations need to be more agile, resilient, and adaptable than ever, and that will make a clear approach to architecture more important than ever.
As EA Principals has explained over its 15+ years of training and consulting in the EA area, each organization’s EA approach needs to be explicitly described in a organization-specific way. The resulting Customized EA Framework that would result is essentially a critical Architecture Pattern on how to address EA-related method, modeling, and governance in a particular organizational context and in a practical way, rather than just conceptually. A layman should be able to read an organization’s EA Framework and take away its main pillars and the way it integrates with other key disciplines and methods in the organization and. In addition, the Framework resulting Architecture Pattern should lay out how to practically apply it across the range of transformational life cycles supported by its business process and technology ecosystem.
It takes a lot of expertise and collaboration to succeed at developing such an Architecture Pattern, including all its relevant reference material (models, standards, etc.) and implementation choices for any identified gap or opportunity related to new investments/changes. That said, it is extremely difficult to succeed because of a lack of commitment from top leadership to engage experts, when necessary, to help an organization accelerate such an approach. For example, one can setup an EA Team – that is easy enough. However, to ensure its accelerated journey to valued business outcomes, it is often necessary to also invest in some outside expert help to help define and support the movement towards, hopefully, a flywheel effect. This is where enough momentum has been gained that a more sustainable journey is facilitated.
One reason for the engagement of outside experts to help is that they can help identify incremental steps to help an EA program get started quickly while also maturing its approach for greater engagement within a year’s timeframe. The engagement would consider what training may be needed to fill skill gaps and what, practically speaking, what business initiatives may offer the greatest opportunity for non-threatening yet value added inputs from the EA team.
To facilitate the above customizations of EA approaches, there is a major demand for EA frameworks that focus on different verticals or segments of enterprises, such as healthcare, transportation, pharmaceuticals, government, military, IT, etc. Even The Open Group recognizes this, with its Healthcare Forum spearheading the creation of a Hospital Reference Architecture. It has also contributed a Commercial Aviation Reference Model, and an Exploration & Mining Business Reference Model. EA Principals is in fact joining the Healthcare Forum to help accelerate its completion as well as to begin offering a course on “Applying the Agile Hospital Architecture Reference Model” by early 2023 (unless the demand for this promotes faster delivery).
As The Open Group moves forward with its TOGAF 10 program, it is important to realize that The Open Group has many other useful standards, such as were just mentioned, that are not in TOGAF 10. Another few are ArchiMate, IT4IT, and the Open Agile Architecture Framework (OAAF). EA Principals is a thought leader and top integrator of such standards for use in helping to design customized EA frameworks based mostly on TOGAF.
Authored by Dr. Steve Else, Chief Architect & Principal Instructor