Many IT professionals, including myself, found the latest release of the TOGAF 9.2 Standard a bit disappointing. While between the years 2011 (when TOGAF 9.1 was released) and 2018 (when the current version 9.2 was released), agile frameworks were established throughout companies and became a must for modern software development, the TOGAF Standard made very little to adapt to this big change. Yet, it is important to understand that the TOGAF Standard is by far not all that The Open Group publishes. There is also a tremendous amount of articles, researches, and other sorts of content that do address these more modern topics and that may become part of TOGAF 9.3 or TOGAF 10 when it is released. Although a release date of a new TOGAF version is not yet known, here are my top three topics that should be improved in a new version.
1. Business Architecture becomes more relevant, as the digital transformation requires an even tighter alignment of business and IT
This includes the rising importance of concepts such as business capabilities and user journeys, but also the need for new tools that help stakeholders to easily assess, manage, and analyze the business architecture. Moreover, modern business architecture tools are simpler and have a higher degree of automation, because they also have to meet the requirements from business users that demand more and more self-services from IT.
Although the Open Group has also acknowledged this fact, there is still little theory about business capabilities in the TOGAF Standard and organizations need to rely on business capability best practices from other sources. Also, the pages of the ADM on business architecture still seem to have nothing to do with a modern business. However, The Open Group has newly established a whole new training for the area of business architecture in 2019. Hence, if you are a business planner, taking the business architecture exam instead of the TOGAF exam could be a viable option. If TOGAF 9.3 or TOGAF 10 included a larger focus on the topics of this business architecture training, it would surely add more value to many business-related roles in an enterprise.
2. Agile methods are addressed in TOGAF 9.3 or TOGAF 10, so that the unclarity about the relationship between Enterprise Architecture and Agile is resolved
I recently attended a webinar about applying Objective Key Results (OKRs) as agile method for managing enterprise architecture. When I asked however, how exactly that could work as enterprise architecture is often seen as the opposite of agile, the question seemed hard to answer. I indeed frequently see writers and speakers trying to address agile methods in the context of Enterprise Architecture, but many provide little value because they just stay on a very high level and fail to address how agile and enterprise architecture can fundamentally go along with each other. Yet, there are many interesting ideas that are worth looking at and even The Open Group has its thoughts on that topic, as shown in one of their blog posts on “EA and Agile – Not Mutually Exclusive After All!” What I would really like to become part of the new TOGAF 9.3 or TOGAF 10 is a fundamental approach to combine these two worlds.
3. TOGAF 9.3 or TOGAF 10 finally acknowledges that data and applications are both important enough to have separated ADM phases and also gives security architecture the importance that it deserves
Something that I find really hard to grasp is that TOGAF still has not adapted the phases of its Architecture Development Method (ADM). It might have been just the right thing to have phases for a business architecture, information systems architecture, and technology architecture in the 90s. However, today´s architecture layers best practices do more look like the BAIT+S model, which includes business architecture, application architecture, information / data architecture, technology architecture, and a security architecture on top. The BAIT+S model therefore addresses two extremely important and growing topics, which are the depth and complexity of data landscapes, which are not just part of the application landscape anymore and the absolute must to consider cyber security much more explicit than it has been done in the past. If you want to learn more about how to improve the ADM, take a look at this article.
The Open Group is one of the few institutions that are able to set industry standards in today´s enterprise architecture world. If they fail to fundamentally renew their most important piece of work, the TOGAF Standard, I am afraid that they will more and more loose importance and attention. The TOGAF 9.3 or TOGAF 10 might be just the right time to realize the need for a bigger change and implementing the ideas above.