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The Open Group Conference London
Highlights of Day 3


The Open Group Conference, London 2011 continued on Wednesday, May 11 at the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster. The Conference was organized to discuss themes along three primary tracks:

  • Evolving EA to architect the business
  • The critical role of a digital identity ecosystem to improve cybersecurity
  • The business and financial impact of Cloud Computing

Parallel Tracks

Day 3 of the Conference focused on Cloud Computing and Enterprise Architecture. Certain themes echoed
across all tracks; for example, the need to fully understand business requirements before deploying new
technologies, the importance of being able to measure ROI, and the need for governance and effective security measures.

TRACK: EA and Business/IT Alignment

Agile Architecture – Blazing a Trail through the Busines/IT Alignment Jungle
Peter Haviland, Chief Architect, Ernst & Young, US

Mike Lambert, Fellow of The Open Group, chaired the session and introduced the topic of agile architecture by outlining the importance of business and IT alignment. He said it should be a peer-level relationship, and he emphasized the important part IT can play in driving business, and how it can be a strategic enabler and driver. To illustrate this point, he explained how web hits can provide valuable insights into the popularity of a company’s products or services, which the business can then use to inform strategy.

Peter Haviland then commenced his speech by outlining his role as Chief Architect, Ernst & Young, US. He stated how IT and business alignment is becoming increasingly important; IT and business needs to work more closely together, and a lack of communication between the two entities is 80% of the problem when it comes to lack of alignment. He also stated how IT needs to be more customer-centric, and how this is particularly vital for retail banking corporations.

He emphasized the need for the architecture team to demonstrate results. A key piece of advice he gave his audience was to engage in scenario planning. For example, what if the company/client wants to double its size in two years, or open an office in a new territory? Is the Enterprise Architect prepared for that scenario? Mr. Haviland said that if the Enterprise Architect creates four of five scenarios, this will give him or her a lot of currency in their conversations.

Mr. Haviland asked the audience if anyone used TOGAF® to demonstrate business IT alignment and a few people raised their hands. He stated that TOGAF® 9 is designed to demonstrate business alignment.

Enterprise Business Capability Map
Santosh Mohanty, VP and Head of Components Engineering Group, Tata Consultancy Services, India

Mr. Lambert introduced Santosh Mohanty and explained to the audience the sheer size and scale of Tata Consultancy Services, highlighting its reputation and position in India. Mr. Mohanty confirmed the organization employs 200,000 people, and how understanding the many different stakeholders’ mindsets is a vital part of his job.

The main focus of his presentation was around how enterprises should “self-optimize,” and how this means being anticipative to the market need and managing the interplay of efficiency and adaptability to achieve business agility. He stressed the need for Enterprise Architects to be able to predict scenarios. For example, can they predict performance of different processes in different geographies? Mr. Lambert stated the ability to be able to predict accurately is extremely valuable.

TRACK: Cloud Computing Architecture

IBM’s Cloud Computing Reference Architecture Applied
Julie Schunemen Global Lead Architect for Cloud Computing, IBM, US
Heather Kreger, Lead Architect, SOA, Policy and Smarter Planet Standards, IBM Software Group, US

Julie Schunemen and Heather Kreger, both from IBM, stepped up to the floor to present IBM’s Cloud Computing Reference Architecture Applied, the company’s latest contribution to The Open Group. Ms. Kreger, Lead Architect, SOA Policy and Smarter Planet Standards, began by talking about the three different types of Cloud; public, hybrid, and private. She also talked about the similarities and differences between SOA, RA, and Cloud.

Ms. Schunemen, Global Lead Architect for Cloud Computing, IBM, US, then talked about what happens when “the rubber meets the road” and the challenges and considerations that need to be taken into account for Cloud deployment. Ms. Schunemen stated that security, resilience, and performance are integral parts of the reference architecture. She said security is less of a concern for someone deploying private Cloud, but she’s yet to meet anyone who is deploying a truly private Cloud.

Ms. Schunemen stressed the importance of governance, stating that if governance is important for EA then it is logarithmically more important for Cloud Computing, as this involves pulling in information from places over which you have no control. She said if governance was important before, then it’s even more important now. She said that security and resilience were absolutely critical for hybrid, private, and public Clouds.

Ms. Schunemen stated that virtualization is necessary for Cloud and that it would be a tough job deploying Cloud without it. She suggested not just virtualizing the server stack, but to also consider how IT interfaces with storage. Other considerations included the need for sophisticated facilities and a robust network, especially if you are a public Cloud provider.

When summarizing her points, Ms. Schunemen stated that to deploy a Cloud you don’t need to do everything, and it’s vital that you understand the problem you’re trying to solve before making a decision on what technology to use.

TRACK: Deploying Cloud Solutions

Practical Experiences Architecting and Delivering Cloud to the Pharmaceutical Industry
Rajiv Phougat, IBM Certified Sr. IT Architect, IBM, US

Rajiv Phougat focused on how Cloud Computing can become a game changer for industries like life sciences. He outlined how deployments are not without their obstacles, most notably the fact that the pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated, so you can’t just do what you want to do. He said that life sciences firms traditionally favor custom process and software, and are just beginning this journey. He said that IBM sees Cloud evolving to support a wide variety of business processes that are crucial to the life sciences industry.

Before progressing further into his presentation, Mr. Phougat clarified the Cloud Computing definition he would be using: “Cloud Computing is about embracing standard process in exchange for improved collaboration and effectiveness.” He also explained how Cloud Computing is defined by five essential characteristics:

  • On-demand self service
  • Broad network access
  • Resource pooling and location-independence
  • Rapid elasticity
  • Measured service

Mr. Phougat discussed the different spectrum of deployment options for Cloud Computing; private, public, and hybrid Clouds, and touched upon the pros and cons of each. When it came to barriers to adoption, Mr. Phougat noted that accessibility and reliability were key concerns, and cited the recent Amazon EC2 outage as an example of what could go wrong.

He then went into greater detail on how life sciences can take advantage of Cloud. Typically, life sciences need large resources, but that demand is not static, so it makes sense to use Cloud so resources can be scaled up and down.

Mr. Phougat concluded that Cloud promises a significant shift away from today’s business model, and brings a wealth of associated benefits. He stressed the need for harmonization across organizations, so companies can leverage the value of Cloud, and make their businesses faster and better. “Far from reducing competitiveness, industry harmonization allows firms to focus on those activities with maximum impact in the marketplace,” he said.

Governing the Cloud – Fast-track to a Mature Cloud Strategy
Jerome Bugnet, Director of Technology, SOA Software, US

Jerome Bugnet opened his presentation by likening Cloud development to human development. He said that today, most companies are at the baby stage with Cloud, just taking baby steps. He said it’s important when the Cloud matures a little that it does not go through an awkward “teenage” phase. If you take due care with the Cloud process, he said, it will graduate with honors! The question is, how do you choose the right path?

Mr. Bugnet defined governance as “accountability for consistent, cohesive policies, processes, and decision rights.” He stated that if you don’t have proper governance you will struggle with deployment. He outlined what happens if there is no governance: the organization will end up with “just a bunch of Cloud services”, the system will be hard to maintain and debug, and there will also be a reduction in the level of service. Governance also helps to keep systems secure and avoid downtime.

What do you need for Cloud governance? First of all, you need to define what benefits you are looking for, and you need to be sure of what you need. If you want to save costs, how much do you want to save? Mr. Bugnet then explained other requirements such as a unified view and an executive sponsor. Mr. Bugnet concluded that if you embrace governance, Cloud deployment will mature successfully.

TRACK: Gaining Business Value from Cloud Computing

Cloud Vendor Selection: Picking the Right Combination of Better, Faster and Cheaper
Penelope Gordon, Co-founder, 1Plug Corporation, US
Mark Skilton, Global Director, Applications Outsourcing, Capgemini

This was an interactive session where Penelope Gordon and Mark Skilton took the audience through the Cloud vendor selection process. Ms. Gordon stated that they have distilled the key considerations in the selection process down to “better, faster, and cheaper”. These three considerations were featured on a PowerPoint slide in primary colors, and Ms. Gordon said they were in primary colors for a reason: If you try to mix the different primary colors it gets muddy! This set the scene well for the in-depth presentation into Cloud buying scenarios.

The presentation referred to the Cloud Buyers Requirements Questionnaire published by The Open Group in July 2010. Ms. Gordon and Mr. Skilton explained how to distill those requirements into a single better, faster, and/or cheaper needs statement. Ms. Gordon stated that a needs statement prioritizes and summarizes requirements.

The two presenters then talked the audience through the process of translating the needs statement into Cloud vendor selection criteria which is used to negotiate a contract. Ms. Gordon underscored the fact that you can’t negotiate a contract if you don’t fully understand what your requirements are. Mr. Skilton said that it is also vital to look at KPIs and ensure the value of Cloud can be measured.

Panel Session: Using the Cloud
Moderator, Ed Harrington, Architecting-the-Enterprise

Dennis Taylor, Information Security Architect at NASA
Mark Skilton, Global Director, Applications Outsourcing, Capgemini
Bala Prasad Peddigari, Consultant, Tata Consultancy Services Limited, India
Tara Paider, Nationwide Insurance
Andreas Frangou, Group Application Architect, Group CIO Office, Shell International Company Limited

The moderator, Ed Harrington, began the session by referring to The Open Group Cloud Computing Survey results, which were released this week. Dr. Chris Harding, Forum Director for The Open Group Cloud Computing Work Group, then went into further detail about the survey. He noted that organizations are certainly very aware of Cloud, but are largely unprepared. He highlighted how substantial take-up is only just starting. He also stated that the top concerns for organizations are security and governance. More information on the findings, and Dr. Harding’s analysis, can be found here.

Mr. Harrington then opened up the debate to the panel and audience. Mr. Taylor remarked that he was expecting security to be the greatest concern and how identity and access management is a key focus for him in his role at NASA. He also stated that there are now two FED-approved suppliers, which will make the migration to Cloud easier.

Other panelists discussed the fact that security and integration are key concerns, and certain sectors, such as insurance, are likely to be even more risk-adverse. The panel discussed the compliance results and Mr. Skilton was eager to find out more about what industries the respondents represented. Mr. Skilton also suggested that the next survey looks at the issue of ecosystem management.

An audience member asked if T&Cs prevent people from moving to the Cloud. The feedback was that this was unlikely. It was also highlighted that reputational cost to an organization of downtime or a security breach would be greater than any fine.

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