The Open Group’s certification program reached an important milestone recently when the credential for its TOGAF 8 standard, the organization’s IT architecture framework, surpassed 1,000 certified individuals. This especially significant because the certification is only about a year old, said Allen Brown, CEO of The Open Group.
“TOGAF 8 was launched as a standard in February of last year. We opened it up to certification around the middle of last year,” he said. “The certification is now picking up. That’s not a surprise to us now, because we see companies that do offshoring and outsourcing and have the need for integrated information everywhere. The ‘city-planner’ view is critical for IT architects.”
Brown was quick to distinguish between The Open Group’s TOGAF 8 credential and its IT architect certification, which is more an assessment of proven professional accomplishments. “TOGAF is an architecture framework and an architecture development method,” he explained. “Certification says that you’re knowledgeable of TOGAF. That’s different from our other certification that was launched recently. With the other certification program, it was for something we call ITAC, which is IT architecture certification. ITAC looks at the skills and capabilities of IT architects. It’s a review of your resume. You have to fill out something like a 50-page resume, submit it and then go before a board of your peers.”
The popularity of TOGAF 8 certification has more or less corresponded to the standard itself, Brown said. Companies such as Infosys, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, HP and DHL have downloaded it so far. “It’s a fantastic list of companies that are taking architecture seriously,” he said. “There’s now been more than 11,000 downloads—bear in mind, this is like more than 800 pages. I did a quick count, and if you take the top 50 of the Fortune 500, two-thirds of them have downloaded TOGAF multiple times. And when I did the Forbes global top 50, more than 80 percent of them downloaded.”
Brown encouraged people who had a good combination of experience, knowledge and interpersonal capabilities to think about IT architecture as a career and consider certification as a means to show they have what it takes to succeed in that role. “People should get into this profession if they’ve got the people skills as well as the technical skills. At the same time, the employers have got to have some sort accreditation to know who they’re employing, or they’re going to kiss a lot of frogs before they find a prince or two.”
For more information, see http://www.opengroup.org.