TOGAF 9.1 Series - The Future of TOGAF?

What does the future of TOGAF hold for you, me and organizations around us? Let’s look at what I hope the future of TOGAF will bring us.

Firstly, at the time I am writing this article it is the month of April 2016. Maybe by the time you read this article a new version of TOGAF might have been released. Also, the following comments in this article are my perspective around TOGAF, and you might not agree with my statements which are fine as long as it starts a discussion or sparks an idea in improving TOGAF.

Current State

TOGAF 9.1 was released in 2011, and it provided an excellent framework for the implementation of Enterprise Architecture. Still today it is a very popular framework to use and in many organizations, it is required to be TOGAF certified for a position. There are some aspects of the framework where people are not entirely happy with, and hope improvement is coming. Unfortunately, you cannot keep everyone happy, but at least TOGAF has been proven to be a successful framework.

In all TOGAF is helping an organization to set up an enterprise architecture that will contribute to providing value to stakeholders in the business utilizing IT. To understand the organization’s baseline IT landscape and transform the IT landscape architecture to a target architecture to assist in the organization’s strategy.

Let’s be honest that we all have heard of TOGAF initiatives (Enterprise Architecture) that have failed in organizations. All is not lost in that I hope these failures are taken into the revision on the next version of TOGAF to improve the guidance in the implementation of TOGAF in an organization. Let’s reduce the failures in the setup of Enterprise Architecture!

The current version of TOGAF contains out of date information that is not feasible or practical anymore in today’s IT landscape. I hope part of the next release is a clean-up effort.

Let’s be Agile

Agile is a term that is thrown around everywhere. Many organizations want to know how to implement TOGAF or align TOGAF to the practices of Agile. Even in today’s environment it is required that an organization become agile to provide services that customers want.

With the speed and innovation around IT services, it is critical that organizations enterprise architecture can be agile to manage and modify the IT landscape.

I hope a chapter is added to the next version of TOGAF on how to approach an Agile Enterprise Architecture. There is a brief description around this (Apply Iterations to the ADM) in the official TOGAF book, but I believe more elaboration should be done.

Look at other standards

The Open Group has been great at creating and standardizing frameworks, but if you look outside the Open Group ecosystem, there are other popular frameworks and standards. It would be very helpful in the guidance of TOGAF on how to adopt these other frameworks and how to align from a TOGAF perspective to these frameworks.

Example frameworks and standards to consider for close alignment: ITIL, Cobit, Multiple ISO standards.

How mature are we?

Enterprise Architecture maturity is something an organization must continuously monitor. With an enterprise architecture maturity assessment, you can identify what value enterprise architecture is bringing to an organization.

The current maturity model that is defined in the TOGAF guide is CMMI. I believe the maturity model should be reviewed and be improved to assist in quicker maturity assessments and long-term maturity assessments.

IT Paradigms

Paradigms in IT are always changing, and it feels to me that Enterprise Architecture always plays catch up to new paradigms that are introduced in an organization. I hope in the future update of TOGAF more guidance are given around the following:

  • Cloud computing
  • Security architecture
  • Internet of Things (IOT)

Cloud computing has matured and affected all organizations, and it is here to stay. Cloud computing requires an elaborate discussion and guidance from the TOGAF perspective. Security architecture is crucial towards cloud computing architecture. Again proper guidance is needed from TOGAF.

What is happening currently in the IT environment around security and government compliance policies affects all organizations on how to operate efficiently and still provide value to stakeholders. If organizations are not able to have a proper architecture in place for security and compliance to the various policies out there, it will make or break organizations services to stakeholders.

Internet of Things is a paradigm that is starting to take shape and organization are slowly starting to see the value of IOT adoption. Again IOT very much depends on Cloud Computing and Security architecture. Proper guidance should be provided by the TOGAF framework around these paradigms.

Open and quicker updates

The last thing I want to cover in this article is the frequency of new version of TOGAF and the openness of the work around future releases. I believe that the Open Group should drop the current versioning scheme and focus on yearly releases which would identify the version of TOGAF. For example TOGAF 2016, TOGAF 2017, TOGAF 2018, etc. I'm not proposing that every year there must be a new TOGAF release.

Quicker releases will allow the Open Group to focus on small improvements in the framework and be more up to date with the shift in IT paradigms. Another view around this is for them to be a bit agiler around new releases. Frequent releases also allow organizations to closer align to the guidance around new development in TOGAF, which is small and focused. If this can work for EcmaScript around the development of the JavaScript language, it should work for the development of an enterprise architecture framework.

I believe the Open Group should learn a bit more from the open source development community about managing projects, managing feedback, open communication, milestones, and issues. Make it more publicly accessible to everyone to make a comment and to start constructive discussions. Maybe start adopting GitHub with a repository to keep track of topics and improvements to TOGAF and other Open Group frameworks. It works for thousands of other significant projects and initiatives. Currently, many people are in the dark about the future of TOGAF.

Conclusion

TOGAF has a very solid foundation and can only improve going forward. Enterprise Architecture will always be needed in an organization to help the organization to achieve the defined strategy and operate an efficient IT landscape.

These statements and opinions are my perspectives around TOGAF. I have so much more I want to discuss and publish, but I will leave it as is for now. I hope it gives some ideas for future versions of TOGAF. If you have any comment, please let me know.

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