The Open Group Amsterdam panel delves into how to best gain business value from Open Platform 3.0

The next BriefingsDirect panel discussion defines new business values from the massive Open Platform 3.0 shift that combines the impacts and benefits of big datacloudInternet of thingsmobile and social.

 

Our discussion comes to you from The Open Group Conference held on May 13, 2014 in Amsterdam, where the focus was on enabling boundaryless information flow.

 

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Read a full transcript or download a copy. Sponsor: The Open Group.

 

To learn more about making Open Platform 3.0 a business benefit in an architected fashion, please join moderator Stuart Boardman, a Senior Business Consultant at KPN and Open Platform 3.0 Forum co-chairman; Dr. Chris Harding, Director for Interoperability at The Open Group, and Open Platform 3.0 Forum Director; Lydia Duijvestijn, Executive Architect at IBM Global Business Services in The Netherlands; Andy Jones, Technical Director for EMEA at SOA Software; TJ Virdi, Computing Architect in the Systems Architecture Group at Boeing and also a co-chair of the Open Platform 3.0 Forum; Louis Dietvorst, Enterprise Architect at Enexis in The Netherlands; Sjoerd Hulzinga, Charter Lead at KPN Consulting, and Frans van der Reep, Professor at the Inholland University of Applied Sciences.

 

Here are some excerpts:

 

Boardman: Welcome to the session about obtaining value from Open Platform 3.0, and how we're actually going to get value out of the things that we want to implement from big data, social, and the Internet-of-Things, etc., in collaboration with each other. 

 

Boardman

We're going to start off with Chris Harding, who is going to give us a brief explanation of what the platform is, what we mean by it, what we've produced so far, and where we're trying to go with it. 

 

He'll be followed by Lydia Duijvestijn, who will give us a presentation about the importance of non-functional requirements (NFRs). If we talk about getting business value, those are absolutely central. Then, we're going to go over to a panel discussion with additional guests. 

 

Without further ado, here's Chris Harding, who will give you an introduction to Open Platform 3.0. 

 

Purpose of architecture

 

Harding: Hello, everybody. It's a great pleasure to be here in Amsterdam. I was out in the city by the canals this morning. The sunshine was out, and it was like moving through a set of picture postcards. 

 

Harding

It's a great city. As you walk through, you see the canals, the great buildings, the houses to the sides, and you see the cargo hoists up in the eaves of those buildings. That reminds you that the purpose of the arrangement was not to give pleasure to tourists, but because Amsterdam is a great trading city, that is a very efficient way of getting goods distributed throughout the city. 

 

That's perhaps a reminder to us that the primary purpose of architecture is not to look beautiful, but to deliver business value, though surprisingly, the two often seem to go together quite well. 

 

Probably when those canals were first thought of, it was not obvious that this was the right thing to do for Amsterdam. Certainly it would not be obvious that this was the right layout for that canal network, and that is the exciting stage that we're at with Open Platform 3.0 right now.

 

We have developed a statement, a number of use cases. We started off with the idea that we were going to define a platform to enable enterprises to get value from new technologies such as cloud computing, social computing, mobile computing, big data, the Internet-of-Things, and perhaps others.

 

We developed a set of business use cases to show how people are using and wanting to use those technologies. We developed an Open Group business scenario to capture the business requirements. That then leads to the next step. All these things sound wonderful, all these new technologies sound wonderful, but what is Open Platform 3.0? 

 

Jones

Though we don't have the complete description of it yet, it is beginning to take shape. That's what I am hoping to share with you in this presentation, our current thoughts on  it. 

 

Looking historically, the first platform, you could say, was operating systems -- the Unix operating system. The reason why The Open Group, X/Open in those days, got involved was because we had companies complaining, "We are locked into a proprietary operating system or proprietary operating systems. We want applications portability." The value delivered through a common application environment, which was what The Open Group specified for Unix, was to prevent vendor lock-in. 

 

The second platform is the World Wide Web. That delivers a common services environment, for services either through accessing web pages for your browser or for web services where programs similarly can retrieve or input information from or to the web service. 

 

The benefit that that has delivered is universal deployment and access. Pretty much anyone or any company anywhere can create a services-based solution and deploy it on the web, and everyone anywhere can access that solution. That was the second platform. 

 

Common environment

 

The way Open Platform 3.0 is developing is as a common architecture environment, a common environment in which enterprises can do architecture, not as a replacement for TOGAF. TOGAF is about how you do architecture and will continue to be used with Open Platform 3.0. 

 

Open Platform 3.0 is more about what kind of architecture you will create, and by the definition of a common environment for doing this, the big business benefit that will be delivered will be integrated solutions. 

 

Yes, you can develop a solution, anyone can develop a solution, based on services accessible over the World Wide Web, but will those solutions work together out of the box? Not usually. Very rarely. 

There is an increasing need, which we have come upon in looking at The Open Platform 3.0 technologies. People want to use these technologies together. There are solutions developed for those technologies independently of each other that need to be integrated. That is why Open Platform 3.0 has to deliver a way of integrating solutions that have been developed independently. That's what I am going talk about. 

 

The Open Group has recently published its first thoughts on Open Platform 3.0, that's the White Paper. I will be saying what’s in that White Paper, what the platform will do -- and because this is just the first rough picture of what Open Platform 3.0 could be like -- how we're going to complete the definition. Then, I will wrap up with a few conclusions. 

 

So what is in the current White Paper? Well, what we see as being eventually in the Open Platform 3.0 standards are a number of things. You could say that a lot of these are common architecture artifacts that can be used in solution development, and that's why I'm talking about a common architecture environment.

 

Statement of need objectives and principles is not that of course; it's why we're doing it. 

 

Dietvorst

Definition of key terms: clearly you have to share an understanding of the key terms if you're going to develop common solutions or integrable solutions. 

 

Stakeholders and their concerns: an important feature of an architecture development. An understanding of the stakeholders and their concerns is something that we need in the standard. 

 

A capabilities map that shows what the products and services do that are in the platform. 

 

And basic models that show how those platform components work with each other and with other products and services. 

 

Explanation: this is an important point and one that we haven’t gotten to yet, but we need to explain how those models can be combined to realize solutions. 

 

Standards and guidelines

 

Finally, it's not enough to just have those models; there needs to be the standards and guidelines that govern how the products and services interoperate. These are not standards that The Open Group is likely to produce. They will almost certainly be produced by other bodies, but we need to identify the appropriate ones and, probably in some cases, coordinate with the appropriate bodies to see that they are developed.

 

van der Reep

What we have in the White Paper is an initial statement of needs, objectives, and principles; definitions of some key terms; our first-pass list of stakeholders and their concerns; and maybe half a dozen basic models. These are in an analysis of the use cases, the business use cases, for Open Platform 3.0 that were developed earlier. 

 

These are just starting points, and it's incomplete. Each of those sections is incomplete in itself, and of course we don't have the complete set of sections. It's all subject to change. 

 

This is one of the basic models that we identified in the snapshot. It's the Mobile Connected Device Model and it comes up quite often. And you can see, that stack on the left is a mobile device, it has a user, and it has a platform, which would probably be Android or iOS, quite likely. And it has infrastructure that supports the platform. It’s connected to the World Wide Web, because that’s part of the definition of mobile computing. 

 

On the right, you see, and this is a frequently encountered pattern, that you don't just use your mobile phone for running an app. Maybe you connect it to a printer. Maybe you connect it to your headphones. Maybe you connect it to somebody's payment terminal. You might connect it to various things. You might do it through a USB. You might do it through Bluetooth. You might do it by near field communication (NFC)

 

But you're connecting to some device, and that device is being operated possibly by yourself, if it was headphones; and possibly by another organization if, for example, it was a payment terminal and the user of the mobile device has a business relationship with the operator of the connected device.

 

That’s the basic model. It's one of the basic models that came up in the analysis of use cases, which is captured in the White Paper. As you can see, it's fundamental to mobile computing and also somewhat connected to the Internet-of-Things.

 

That's the kind of thing that's in the current White Paper, a specific example of all those models in the current White Paper. Let’s move on to what the platform is actually going to do? 

 

There are three slides in this section. This slide is probably familiar to people who have watched presentations on Open Platform 3.0 previously. It captures our understanding of the need to obtain information from these new technologies, the social media, the mobile devices, sensors, and so on, the need to process that information, maybe on the cloud, and to manage it, stewardship, query and search, all those things. 

 

Ultimately, and this is where you get the business value, it delivers it in a form where there is analysis and reasoning, which enables enterprises to take business decisions based on that information.

 

So that’s our original picture of what Open Platform 3.0 will do. 

 

 

 

You can read the rest of this blog post HERE

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About the Author
Dana Gardner is president and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, an enterprise IT analysis, market research, and consulting firm. Ga...
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