Highlights from The Open Group’s ‘Digital-First’ Virtual Event

In the ongoing transition to Digital-First, an increasing number of technology executives, managers, and practitioners are looking for new approaches that will help them to make sense of the evolving business landscape and deliver digital products and services.  

As an organization that is known for solving business issues through global industry collaboration, The Open Group hosted its third virtual event October 26-29, 2020, which provided over 3,300 registrants with the opportunity to discover the critical digital standards that enable a smooth transition to a Digital-First enterprise. 

It was fantastic to see attendees from 108 countries all come together virtually to attend sessions and workshops hosted by leading industry experts from DXC Technology, ExxonMobil, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Raytheon Technologies, and Yokogawa – plus many more!  

Day One 

Steve Nunn, President and CEO, The Open Group kicked things off by welcoming J. Bryan Lail, Business Architect Fellow at Raytheon Technologies, to the virtual stage for an update on some of the business architecture guides and best practices added to the TOGAF® Ecosystem.  

Following this, Steve Nunn hosted an insightful Q&A panel discussion with Etienne Zaninotto from Société Générale, Peter Britton from Fidelity Investments, and Frederic Le from DXC Technology focused on the newly launched Open Agile Architecture™ Standard. “We wanted to be very explicit around leadership principles to drive holistic value,” said Britton when explaining how Agile Architecture empowers an enterprise to succeed with Digital-Agile Transformation.  

Monday’s sessions continued with a presentation by Dr. Ben Heideveld, Solution Architect at Shell, who walked us through how the TOGAF® framework has been adapted by multiple Agile teams in large scale software development at Shell. “Intentional vs. emerging design means continuous involvement of architects,” advised Heideveld 

Kai Stettner from LeanIX then took to the virtual stage to delve into why 70% of all transformations fail. According to him, this is mostly rooted in missing preparation at the start, a lack of monitoring from ideation to implementation, or a late identification of constraints and risks. With this in mind, Stettner’s presentation offered useful insights into major transformations of IT landscapes (e.g. Cloud Transformations) and showed us how Architects can help to drive transformations in budget, time, and quality. 

Monday concluded with a presentation by Jan Stobbe, Enterprise Architect at Sykehuspartner, who walked us through the lean approach his company adopted to modernize their operating model, using the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture, and better support digital product delivery. This session was particularly useful for attendees who wanted to know how the IT4IT standard can be a used to structure the entire IT function into generic, yet manageable capabilities.  

Day Two 

Day two explored ‘Digital Transformation and Open Digital Standards’, with Steve Nunn and Lisa Carnahan, Associate Director for IT Standardization, Information Technology Laboratory, NIST, kicking things off with a discussion around Zero Trust Standards Initiatives of The Open Group and NIST.  

This was followed by a plenary session hosted by Peter Winn, Acting Chief Privacy Officer from the United States Department of Justice, who took an illuminating look at ‘Information Governance and Digital Transformation.’ Drawing upon his own experience working with the US government, Winn commented: “trust is something earned, not assumed.”  

Attendees also heard from Mark Simos, Lead Architect at Microsoft, and Altaz Valani, Director of Research at Security Compass, who addressed the necessity of incorporating a Zero Trust security framework into a Digital Transformation project from the beginning, and the role of Zero Trust Architectures (ZTAs) in enabling this – “Zero Trust is a forward looking, business-scaling paradigm”, said Valani 

Next up was a presentation from The Open Group CTO, David Lounsbury, who provided a brief overview of The Open Group vision for how standards enable the Digital-first enterprise, including the principles by which The Open Group is developing such standards, an update on progress of key work products, and a roadmap of future activities. 

To conclude the day, Martin Mocker, Professor at Reutlingen University and co-author of Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success, spoke his research around Digital Transformations of large digital companies. 

Other key highlights from Tuesday afternoon included: 

  • Compatibility of the Open Trusted Technology Provider™ Standard (O-TTPS) and Digital Transformation with Andras Szakal, Chair of The Open Group Trusted Technology Forum (OTTF) 
  • Designed For Digital: The Role of Architects with Martin Mocker, Professor of Information Systems, ESB Business School, Reutlingen University 

Day Three 

Wednesday’s User Group Meetings drew in many attendees from around the globe who heard from key stakeholders on developments with The Open Group Architecture Portfolio. Throughout all sessions, speakers focused on how the TOGAF® and ArchiMate® standards – which complement each other for an effective Enterprise Architecture (EA) Delivery – are evolving for the new Digital Age.  

Andrew Josey, VP of Standards and Certification at The Open Group, also provided an update on TOGAF and ArchiMate certification and training – with 69 organizations worldwide now delivering virtual training on TOGAF and ArchiMate in 15 different languages. In addition, experts from Fujitsu and Ernst & Young who weighed up the relevance of EA via an open debate, looking at how Enterprise Architects can facilitate Agile team success.  

Other key highlights from Wednesday afternoon included: 

  • Association of Enterprise Architects (AEA) – Overview with Chris Forde, CEO, Association of Enterprise Architects, and VP EA, The Open Group 
  • Agile Architecture Modeling Using the ArchiMate® Language with Dr. Marc Lankhorst, Managing Consultant & Chief Technology Evangelist, BIZZdesign 
  • “Confused about Digital Transformation? You are not alone,” says Sonia Gonzalez Paredes at The Open Group Digital Event.  

Day Four  

During the final day of the event, experts from the Open Process Automation™ Forum provided an overview of the work being carried out to develop an open, secure, and interoperable process control architecture. Attendees also had the opportunity to attend the Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS) Adoption Planning Workshop, which reviewed real-life scenarios and how to incorporate O-PAS™ into current and future builds. 

Thursday concluded with an O-PAS Q&A panel with various players in the OPAF ecosystem, including Don Bartusiak (ExxonMobil), Dave Emerson (Yokogawa), Mohan Kalyanaraman (ExxonMobil), Ron Breault (Wind River), Luis Duran (ABB), Julie Smith (Dupont), Jacco Opmeer (Shell), and Stephen Smith (Schlumberger).  

And that’s a wrap for The Open Group ‘Digital-First’ event! Many thanks to our wonderful sponsors – AEA, LeanIX, and Van Haren Publishing. Thank you also to all of our terrific speakers and attendees. 

Proceedings and recordings are available to all Members and attendees. 

Our next quarterly event will be virtual as well – January 25-28, 2021. Stay tuned for the agenda and please join us. We’re hoping our Members, customers, presenters, partners, and staff around the world stay safe and healthy!  


Loren K. Baynes, Director, Global Marketing Communications, joined The Open Group in 2013 and spearheads corporate marketing initiatives, primarily the website, blog, media relations, and social media. Loren has over 25 years experience in brand marketing and public relations and, prior to The Open Group, was with The Walt Disney Company for over 10 years. Loren holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas A&M University. She is based in the US.