Two years ago, a group of companies from seemingly disparate industries met in San Francisco to discuss the possibility of creating an open standard for process automation. With 30 different companies in attendance at that first meeting, the group quickly recognized the commonalities among them and the need for more flexible manufacturing solutions. Soon after, they launched the Open Process Automation™ Forum (OPAF) under the auspices of The Open Group® to begin work toward developing a standard that would address the common pain points manufacturers in process automation face today.
A number of new Business Architecture methods are being built into the TOGAF® framework to better allow companies to address value stream and business capability mapping. At The Open Group London event in April, J. Bryan Lail, Business Architect Fellow with Raytheon, discussed how Raytheon is using Business Architecture as part of its overall Enterprise Architecture to create a new Sales and Operations Planning method for all the company’s various products and divisions.
Process automation systems have long been defined by proprietary technical systems. As digitalization continues to create new norms for all industries, manufacturers are beginning to look beyond today’s systems for common technologies that can help them balance requirements for up-time with the ability to take advantage of digital data—and they’re looking to open standards to help them.
In the fast paced technology driven businesses, quick turnaround solutions like microservices often take the precedence over “planned” integration. This strategy, although in short term, provides for better business value, in the long run, creates unmanageable technical debt. As uncontrolled business debt erodes business’s ability to grow further, uncontrolled technical debt erodes IT department’s ability to fund future innovations. Although in many cases it’s an easiest approach to take, piecemeal achievements are short lived. Soon, IT teams find themselves lost in a sea of fragmented software gizmos.