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Business processes benefit from SOA at The Open Group's Cannes event

This week in Cannes, France, IT leaders gathered sea-side to discuss the current state—and future— of enterprise transformation. At The Open Group Conference, industry experts and entrepreneurs addressed the roles of enterprise architecture (EA) and IT in transforming the enterprise, with much of the conversation focusing on how to better achieve business objectives using EA and SOA.

Among scheduled keynoters was author Alexander Osterwalder, presenting on ”Business Models, IT, and Enterprise Information.”  In other recent presentations, Osterwalder, who co-wrote Business Model Generation (Wiley, 2010), has discussed the crucial role of enterprise architects in closing the divide between strategy and IT. The gap between the initial business model and the ultimate product should not deter technology strategists, he has indicated.

He told a Stanford University audience in February that while plans themselves can be worthless, planning itself is important. People usually think, he suggested, “the idea is the most important at the beginning, but it is the shape you give the idea, how you evolve the idea [that is most important].” Osterwalder was expected to expand on these notions and discuss his concept of the modeling ‘canvas’ at The Open Group’s Cannes event. His “Business Model Canvas” helps to define roles, activities, processes and resources among partners, with the goal of efficiently delivering useful products to customers.

A key focus of the conference was to offer real-world experience and advice about IT-operations collaboration for successful business transformation. Increasingly, organizations are bringing together IT with functional parts of the enterprise to ensure sustainable business change.

The agenda included talks on enterprise architecture, SOA, cloud computing and security. Harmen van den Berg, director at Netherlands-based BiZZdesign, discussed using business requirements management as a basis for quality enterprise architecture. Ed Harrington, principal consultant at Architecting the Enterprise, presented a tutorial on using The Open Group Architecture Forum (TOGAF) framework to architect SOA. And issues of cloud security—both now and in the future—were explored by The Open Group’s Vice President of security, Jim Hietala.

Other keynotes and mini-sessions ranged from updates on TOGAF, to predictions about the future of “big data” and discussions about process integration and the cloud. – Stephanie Mann and Jack Vaughan

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