Dmitry Nikolaev -

The Open Group updates IT4IT, adds digital architect option

The Open Group zoned in on digital transformation initiatives with its new architecture certification option and IT4IT's 3.0 reference architecture update.

Digital is the operative word in new and updated certifications The Open Group plans to roll out in the coming months for IT professionals working in enterprise architecture.

The vendor-neutral global consortium plans to add a professional certification for digital architects and release an updated version of its IT4IT standard for managing the business of IT, with a special focus on digital products.

The Open Group offers two types of certifications. Knowledge-based certifications, such as IT4IT and the popular TOGAF, shortened from The Open Group Architecture Framework, require an exam to demonstrate mastery of the material. The Open Professions program for architects, data scientists, technical specialists, and trusted technology practitioners awards certificates based on an experience-based profile assessment by industry experts.

Steve NunnSteve Nunn

The new digital architect discipline will be an addition to the Open Certified Architect (Open CA) program, according to Steve Nunn, president and CEO of The Open Group. He said the consortium would start taking applications for the digital architect certification on March 1.

"The whole open professions program was born out of a desire for architects to feel like they had a career path," Nunn said. "I think people have been looking for this one in particular for a while. As the digital transformation topic became forefront in people's minds, the question I've heard at a lot of EA events has been: 'What does this mean for architects? How does our role change?'"

Nunn said that since digital architecture skills are in demand, he expects to see considerable interest in the new certification program -- "in the thousands rather than the ten thousands." He said reports from Foote Partners LLC have shown evidence that TOGAF and Open CA certifications can result in a boost in salary.

The Open Group professional certifications.
The Open Group professional certifications.

New IT4IT digital backbone

Version 3 of the IT4IT reference architecture will incorporate a "digital backbone" as a core concept and update the 2.1 standard, Nunn said. An IT4IT 3.0 snapshot is currently available to show the general direction of the forthcoming standard and give members the chance to provide input in areas that might need further work.

The whole open professions program was born out of a desire for architects to feel like they had a career path.
Steve NunnPresident and CEO, The Open Group

"So far, the IT4IT standard has basically been a reference architecture for the different phases of running an IT shop, taking a value stream and value chain approach over the lifecycle of what's required in IT," Nunn said. "What the new version will do is say, 'Let's not necessarily look at the provision of IT services inside an organization just as a service. Let's look at it as a digital product. What are the IT components that need to be in place in order for an organization to deliver digital products?'"

Nunn said the original target date for the IT4IT 3.0 update was last year, but the working group delayed the release to incorporate lessons learned from the acceleration of digital transformation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional Open Group work this year includes the Open Footprint Forum's initial standards to report emissions data and the Open Subsurface Data Universe Forum's open source data platform for the energy industry.

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