Great discussion with Steve Nunn, CEO of The Open Group, a global vendor-neutral consortium bringing together C-level executives, architects, engineers, and developers from Fortune 500 to SMBs to discuss the future of different technologies and the need for standards to ensure integration and adoption.
During recent interviews on IoT, big data, and performance optimization and monitoring, one of the concerns of the executives with whom I spoke is the speed with which platforms, architectures, and tools are changing. This results in great difficulty keeping up with the phenomenal pace of change. The lack of standards is resulting in a disparate collection of solutions that must be cobbled together rather than a cohesive set of solutions that can be easily integrated.
The Open Group is organized around forums whereby participants from many different industries, or using a particular technology, get together to develop standards, share best practices, case studies, and listen to thought leaders relevant to their area of interest.
A recent event, “Making Standards Work,” explored the topic through individual sessions, keynotes, and case studies. In the session on cognitive computing, IBM Watson shared their reference architecture for creating new cognitive systems.
Other key takeaways included:
Open Process AutomationTM Forum Launched
The forum was initially formed for oil and gas companies that need to replace their IT platforms in the next 10 to 15 years. However, several other industries including food and beverage, mining, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, and utilities have joined because the topics are relevant to their business as well. The forum will provide a collaborative environment where members will work to create standards for a technology framework from which Agile, secure, and manageable automation solutions can be specified, built, purchased, and operated. The forum follows a recent collaboration with ExxonMobil which found that replacing aging control system infrastructure and more rapid technology insertion were very common business concerns among organizations.
IT4ITTM Reference Architecture Standard (V2.1) Launched
The new IT4ITTM Reference Architecture standard V2.1, which uses a value chain approach to creating a model of the functions IT performs to help organizations identify the activities that contribute to the business.
Relaunch of the O-TTPS Certification Program
This is a certification program for conforming to the O-TTPS standard which mitigates the risk of malware and counterfeit components. With the increase in cybersecurity threats, given that all business enterprises and critical infrastructures depend on information and communications technology, the importance of the program is significant.
The Need for Standards in Cognitive Computing
Ali Arsanjani, CTO for Analytics and Emerging Technologies at IBM highlighted the impact of Cognitive Computing on Software Engineering, Enterprise Architecture, Service-Oriented Architecture, and Cloud. Jitendra Mann, Reference Architect at Tata Consultancy Services highlighted the role of the Enterprise Architect in the Cognitive Computing era. Swaminathan Chandrasekaran, Chief Technologist at IBM Watson showed the Reference Architecture for Cognitive Systems.
Understanding the Customer Experience (CX)
David Cannon, Vice President and Group Director at Forrester and David Wheable, Vice President and Principal Consultant at Forrester discussed what customer expectations look like today and what companies need to be aware of so they can survive in an ever-changing digital landscape. Companies like Amazon and Zappos have raised the bar on customer expectations. Going forward, successful companies will positively differentiate their brands based on CX.
Open Platform 3.0
This forum was formed to discuss standards for social, mobile, cloud, big data, and IoT. This forum is working to develop a standard for digital platforms so everyone can access the same technologies by tracking event and cognitive computing, artificial intelligence (AI), edge computing, and enhanced intelligence. Some companies are sharing how they are using various technologies to accomplish specific use cases. The growth of cloud, big data, and IoT affects other forums like enterprise architecture, and impacts everything we do since it is all converging.
The Open Group is beginning to see the adoption of standards by Fortune 500, government, and academia. Members are leading and driving the standards and all the standards are available on The Open Group’s website.
With regards to the government stepping in, Steve does not see this taking place unless the nature of security and threats to personally identifiable information (PII) become untenable. What the government will do is encourage companies to work together to solve these issues to protect citizens’ welfare by creating the right playing field and putting willing parties together.
Lastly, for developers, Steve encouraged them to visit The Open Group site and develop code in a cooperative way. While paper standards are still used, he’s seeing more and more standards around the codebase that center around executable standards. As we’ve heard from all experienced IT professionals, don’t reinvent the wheel, use preexisting code and practices that have already been vetted for veracity, stability, and security.