TOGAF´s latest release in 2018, version 9.2 had only minor adaptions since version 9 was released in 2011. On the one hand, this seems OK, as it is a minor release and the TOGAF Standard focuses on concepts that do not change rapidly. On the other hand, TOGAF does not seem to keep up with the digital transformation and a lot of TOGAF content seems outdated nowadays. Many people, therefore, look out for version 10 of TOGAF or at least a version 9.3 that provides better answers than the minor adaptions done in version 9.2.
In contrary to these expectations, The Open Group seems to have a different TOGAF roadmap in mind. While there is no official plan or announcement on a new release, there are signs that the importance of the “brand” TOGAF will be lower in the future, while other content by The Open Group will be more important.
Is TOGAF still relevant?
A first move towards the trend of lowering the importance of the TOGAF standard was the release of version 9.2. While version 9.1 had more than 692 pages, version 9.2 consists of only 532 pages. This was achieved by reducing duplications of abstracts and information, which was quite often the case in version 9.1, but also by moving some content out of the Standard and into The Open Group library as supplementing papers’ so-called “series guides”. While the Standard is expected to include content that is very stable and stays up to date over time, the series guide covers topics that are evolving more rapidly and that require more regular content updates. In the context of today’s digital transformation, this covers many interesting concepts, such as value streams, business models, business capabilities, architecture project management, service-oriented architectures, the technical reference model, business scenarios, and the integrated information infrastructure reference model.
Another aspect that shows that the relevance of TOGAF is being reduced by The Open Group is that the number of different certifications is strongly increasing. There are two types of new certifications:
1) Several certifications cover other concepts owned by The Open Group or represent a deep dive into topics that are not covered by TOGAF. Those certifications include ArchiMate, IT4IT, Open Fair, Integrating Risk and Security, Certified Data Scientist, Certified Technical Specialist, Certified Trusted Technology Practitioner, and several tool-based certifications.
2) The second type of certification targets the same content that is also covered – or should be covered – by TOGAF. Those certifications include the Business Architecture certification and the Digital Practitioner certification.
The future of TOGAF
From my point of view, both second-type certifications cover topics that should be covered by a well-updated TOGAF Standard. Taking such content out of the TOGAF shows to me that The Open Group’s strategy is at least to achieve a certification diversification with less focus on only TOGAF. In the extreme case, it could also imply that the term “TOGAF” as certification will slowly vanish, while the content is moved towards more and new certifications that sound modern and more adequate today, while the TOGAF Standard will not receive notable updates any longer.