Understanding… THE OPEN GROUP ARCHITECTURE FRAMEWORK

What is TOGAF?

TOGAF is The Open Group Architecture Framework. It is a popular framework for developing and managing enterprise architecture.

 

What is Enterprise Architecture?

Enterprise Architecture is a method of envisioning (a) an organization as it exists in its present state, (b) that same organization as it would be in a future (better) state, and (c) a road map to enable the organization to progress from current (as-is) state to future (to-be) state. Enterprise Architecture’s greatest value lies in its ability to help the organization align its business framework with the data/information needed to conduct business, and the technology needed to process the data/information. This results in lowered systems costs, reduced redundancy, and enhanced systems efficiency and effectiveness.

 

Why Do I need a framework for enterprise architecture?

Using an architecture framework will speed up and simplify architecture development, ensure more complete coverage of the designed solution, and make certain that the architecture selected allows for future growth in response to the needs of the business.

Architecture design is a technically complex process, and the design of heterogeneous, multi-vendor architectures is particularly complex. TOGAF plays an important role in helping to “de-mystify” the architecture development process, enabling to build genuinely open systems-based solutions for business requirements.

 

Why do I need enterprise architecture?

The primary reason for developing enterprise architecture is to support the business by providing the fundamental technology and process structure for an IT strategy. This in turn makes IT a responsive asset for a successful modern business strategy.

Effective management and exploitation of information through IT is the key to business success, and the indispensable means to achieving competitive advantage. Enterprise architecture addresses this need, by providing a strategic context for the evolution of the IT system in response to the constantly changing needs of the business environment.

Furthermore, good enterprise architecture enables you to achieve the right balance between IT efficiency and business innovation. It allows individual business units to innovate safely in their pursuit of competitive advantage. At the same time, it assures the needs of the organization for an integrated IT strategy, permitting the closest possible synergy across the extended enterprise. The technical advantages that result from a good enterprise architecture bring important business benefits, which are clearly visible in the bottom line:

A more efficient IT operation:

  • Lower software development, support, and maintenance costs
  • Increased portability of applications
  • Improved inter-operability and easier system and network management
  • Improved ability to address critical enterprise-wide issues like security
  • Easier upgrade and exchange of system components

Better return on existing investment, reduced risk for future investment:

  • Reduced complexity in IT infrastructure
  • Maximum return on investment in existing IT infrastructure
  • The flexibility to make, buy, or out-source IT solutions
  • Reduced risk overall in new investment, and the costs of IT ownership

Faster, simpler, and cheaper procurement:

  • Buying decisions are simpler, because the information governing procurement is readily available in a coherent plan.
  • The procurement process is faster – maximizing procurement speed and flexibility without sacrificing architectural coherence.

Why is this important?

Customers who do not invest in enterprise architecture typically find themselves pushed inexorably to single-supplier solutions in order to ensure an integrated solution. At that point, no matter how ostensibly “open” any single supplier’s products may be in terms of adherence to standards, the customer will be unable to realize the potential benefits of truly heterogeneous, multi-vendor open systems.

 

What specifically would prompt me to develop architecture?

Typically, architecture is developed because key people have concerns that need to be addressed by the IT systems within the organization. Such people are commonly referred to as the “stakeholders” in the system. The role of the architect is to address these concerns, by identifying and refining the requirements that the stakeholders have, developing views of the architecture that show how the concerns and the requirements are going to be addressed, and by showing the trade-offs that are going to be made in reconciling the potentially conflicting concerns of different stakeholders.

Without the architecture, it is highly unlikely that all the concerns and requirements will be considered and met.

 

What kind of architecture does TOGAF deal with?

There are four types of architecture that are commonly accepted as subsets of overall enterprise architecture, all of which TOGAF is designed to support:

A Business (or Business Process) Architecture – this defines the business strategy, governance, organization, and key business processes.
A Data Architecture – this describes the structure of an organization’s logical and physical data assets and data management resources.
An Applications Architecture – this kind of architecture provides a blueprint for the individual application systems to be deployed, their interactions, and their relationships to the core business processes of the organization.
A Technology Architecture – this describes the logical software and hardware capabilities that are required to support the deployment of business, data, and application services. This includes IT infrastructure, middleware, networks, communications, processing, standards, etc.

 

Who would benefit from using TOGAF?

Any organization undertaking, or planning to undertake, the design and implementation of enterprise architecture for the support of mission-critical business applications, using open systems building blocks.

Customers who design and implement enterprise architectures using TOGAF are ensured of a design and a procurement specification that will greatly facilitate open systems implementation, and will enable the benefits of open systems to accrue to their organizations with reduced risk.

 

What is The Open Group?

The Open Group is the organization that designed and manages TOGAF, periodically reviews and revises TOGAF, accredits TOGAF training sources, and certifies TOGAF enterprise architects.

 

Do I need to pay for a license to use TOGAF?

No. There is no cost associated with using TOGAF.

 

Do I need to join The Open Group to use TOGAF?

No. Joining The Open Group is totally voluntary and in no way affects your ability to use TOGAF in your organization.

 

I already use another EA framework. Why should I switch to TOGAF?

TOGAF has several advantages over other architecture frameworks. For example, the TOGAF Architecture Development Method provides a robust, step-by-step approach to developing enterprise architecture to align an organization’s business, data/information, and technology. Other components of TOGAF (e.g., the repositories, metamodels, etc.) can enhance the organization’s Knowledge Management, Project/Program/Portfolio Management, and other processes. TOGAF also aligns and integrates with organizational management, assessment, and improvement models such as the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, and organizational change models like Kotter’s eight-step process. That said, TOGAF can be used in concert with other architecture frameworks, so there is no need for an across-the-board changeover to TOGAF.

 

What are the benefits of using TOGAF?

The primary benefit of using TOGAF is that it enables an organization to build an architecture that aligns and integrates business concerns (people, processes, technologies, and infrastructures), information systems architectures (data and applications), and information technology architecture in an elegant, robust manner. TOGAF provides a step-by-step approach to doing this. Also, TOGAF can be tailored to address the unique needs of specific organizations. Finally, TOGAF can be used in conjunction with other architecture frameworks, standards, and management approaches.

 

What are the drawbacks of using TOGAF?

TOGAF can be difficult to learn and apply in a vacuum. TOGAF should be learned in a training course conducted by an organization that has been accredited by The Open Group.

 

Can I use TOGAF with my current EA framework without going through a wholesale changeover to TOGAF?

Yes. TOGAF can be used in conjunction with other architecture frameworks.

 

TOGAF looks very complex. Do I have to use all features?

No. The complexity of TOGAF allows it to be implemented and used within large, complex organizations. Smaller, less complex enterprises use only those parts of TOGAF that create or add immediate value to the organization.

 

Can I tailor TOGAF to meet the needs of my unique [small] organization?

Yes. TOGAF can be used in its entirety, or various components may be used alone, depending on the unique needs of the specific organization.

 

How can I learn about TOGAF?

The best way to learn TOGAF is by taking a TOGAF training course conducted by a training organization that has been accredited by The Open Group.

 

What will I learn?

Depending on the training you attend (level 1, Level 2, or Consolidated Level 1 and Level 2), you will learn either the foundational concepts of TOGAF (Level 1), detailed material regarding the concepts of TOGAF (Level 2), or both (Consolidated Level 1 and Level 2).

 

What do “Level 1” and “Level 2” mean?

Level 1 and Level 2 refer to the two certification levels of TOGAF.. Level 1 is also known as the “Foundation” Level; Level 2 is also known as the “Certified” Level. When used in connection with a TOGAF training course, Level 1 and Level 2 refer to the focus of the training.

 

Who conducts the training?

TOGAF training courses are conducted world-wide by a number of training organizations. Search on internet for traning providers in your area.

 

How much does TOGAF training cost?

The basic cost for the four-days or five days training program at Level 1 and Level 2 varies from country to country.

 

Will I receive a certification?

Upon request, everyone attending the training can be issued a Course Completion Certificate. You will not receive a TOGAF certification by simply attending a TOGAF training course. To achieve certification, you must purchase an examination voucher, schedule the examination at a local examination center, and pass the examination. You must do this for each Level for which you seek certification.

 

What are the available certifications?

TOGAF 9 Foundation (Level 1) – to provide validation that the candidate has gained knowledge of the terminology and basic concepts of TOGAF 9 and Understands the core principles of Enterprise Architecture and TOGAF. TOGAF 9 Certified (Level 2) – to provide validation that in addition to knowledge and comprehension, the candidate is able to analyze and apply knowledge of TOGAF.

 

What is the retake policy if I fail an examination?

Candidates who fail an examination are not allowed to re-set ANY TOGAF examination again for a period of one (1) month. A result received before one month will be VOID.

 

What are the four types of TOGAF examinations?

TOGAF 9 Part 1 – Pass mark 55% (22 or more points out of a maximum of 40)
This exam comprises 40 questions in simple multiple choice format, covering the Level 1 learning outcomes. Each correct answer scores a single point.

TOGAF 9 Part 2 – Pass mark 60% (24 or more points out of a maximum of 40)

This exam comprises 8 complex scenario questions, with gradient scoring. This exam is open book and covers the complete Level 2 learning outcomes. The correct answer scores 5 points, the second best answer 3 points, the third best answer 1 point. The distracter scores zero points.

TOGAF 9 Combined Part 1 and 2 – This is a combined TOGAF 9 Part 1 and Part 2 examination for candidates who want to achieve Level 2 certification directly in a single examination. It consists of two sections, with pass marks as per the TOGAF 9 Part 1 and 2 examinations described above. Each section must be passed in order to obtain an overall pass mark. If you fail a section then no certification is awarded, however you only need retake the Examination(s) corresponding to the failed section(s).

TOGAF 8 – 9 Advanced Bridge – Two sections, each with a pass mark 60%, and each has to be passed in order to obtain an overall pass. The first section is 20 simple multiple choice questions covering the Level 1 learning outcomes. To obtain a pass for this section requires 12 or more points out of a maximum of 20.

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