TOGAF, the ‘Open Group Architecture Framework’, sets the global standard in enterprise architecture development. Using a clear, flexible methodology and a variety of tools, TOGAF enables clarity in large-scale organizations looking to make major changes to their operational structures. This, in turn, allows them to set coherent development targets, factor in all the elements they have to work with and ultimately achieve success with minimal expenditure or risk.
In essence, TOGAF and the Architectural Development Method (ADM) are all about aligning an enterprise’s IT capabilities with its development goals. Certified ‘enterprise architects’ provide a professional perspective which helps to tie all aspects of the development cycle together, making them a huge potential asset.
Of course, enterprise architecture is still a relatively new discipline. Having only been around for 30 years or so, many old-school businesses are still dubious about exactly how it can benefit them. What are you supposed to make of terms like ‘architecture vision’ or ‘architecture continuum’, and how are they relevant when getting down to brass tacks?
The naked truth is that making any kind of major change to a large organization can quickly become a logistical nightmare. There are so many different factors to juggle that creating a comprehensive plan, never mind actually sticking to it, can turn into a drawn-out slog. Decisions don’t get made, targets are not met and managers struggle to tackle issues in a way that contributes to wider business goals.
TOGAF-certified professionals are trained to trim the fat by establishing a clear set of ROIs and helping to decide how the different elements of a business can contribute towards them. This cuts out unnecessary expenditure, boosts efficiency and even creates development frameworks which can be refined and reused again in the future.
Sadly, there is a great deal of corporate jargon surrounding TOGAF, what it does and how it works. With that in mind, here are the seven most important benefits that TOGAF can offer a business looking to take the next major step in its development!
How can TOGAF benefit my business?
The TOGAF process starts by helping organizations to develop a clear picture of the architecture which they already have. Next, it helps them to create accurate and refined development goals. In other words, TOGAF helps you understand what you have to work with and where you want to be.
TOGAF also provides a clear methodology, the ‘Architecture Development Method (ADM)’, to help organizations plan the optimum route from Point A to Point B. This process takes the various needs of different departments into account and can be used to highlight potential problems in advance. The methodology is also designed to incorporate all of the unique elements of an enterprise, including separate architectures like ITIL and COBIT 5.
This might sound impressive, but for organizations unfamiliar with this particular brand of enterprise architecture development, the benefits of TOGAF may still seem unclear. Some businesses may even assume that this kind of clarity is easy to achieve without having to pay for employee training.
1. TOGAF makes enterprise architecture development more efficient
A company’s ‘architecture’ is essentially a blueprint of how it works. It takes multiple elements into account, such as IT infrastructure, stakeholders and how different departments are organized.
Unfortunately, an architecture cannot remain static. These days, organizations need to constantly evolve in order to stay competitive. Changes in technology or competitor activities can necessitate major updates not only to the way a company works but also how it is structured.
Developing a new company architecture requires time, perspective and expertise. It is not enough to simply make things up as you go along; not when an entire company’s future success is on the line!
Enterprise architects certified in TOGAF are specialists in enterprise architecture development. They create clear strategies to help companies make changes as quickly and efficiently as possible. This reduces wastage, minimizes risks and, most importantly of all, leads to major savings.
2. TOGAF can futureproof companies against further changes
The beauty of TOGAF-driven architectures is that they can be continually refined and reused. Once TOGAF-certified professionals have built a working blueprint around a company, they can keep referring back to it when planning additional changes down the line. Better still, TOGAF-style blueprints can be easily adjusted to accommodate changes, such as improved IT capabilities or new departmental structures.
Part of the reason that TOGAF is perfect for this is the fact that after 25 years of development, its core framework has barely changed. That is not to say that TOGAF is outdated. In fact, each update introduces new and improved tools and methodologies. By keeping the framework consistent, however, certified professionals can continue to use TOGAF even if they are not fully up to date, adding to their knowledge whenever they have time.
In short, TOGAF certifications can offer major advantages to businesses in both the short and long-term.
3. TOGAF provides common terminology
One of the reasons that TOGAF is used and applied so widely is that it provides a clear terminology for all users. Certified professionals know how to speak the ‘language’ of TOGAF, which in turn enables clear communication. This can be hugely beneficial within a company, but it can also ease collaboration between enterprises or even across disparate industries.
Naturally, this offers several advantages, one of the most important being that it helps professionals to focus and work together on company-wide issues. This could be the need for a new architectural framework or something more simple like security. In other words, not only does TOGAF help to clarify potential issues, it can also help certified professionals to plan and execute solutions as quickly as possible.
4. The costs of becoming TOGAF-certified are low
The first question an enterprise might ask about TOGAF is “how much does it cost?”
Before we answer, you should keep in mind the long-term financial benefits of a TOGAF certification. The boosted efficiency offered by TOGAF can help companies to make major savings in both time and money. TOGAF certifications also do not expire; instead, certified professionals can simply add to their knowledge as TOGAF itself is updated.
Best of all, the initial cost for these benefits need not break the bank. An individual can become fully TOGAF-certified for less than $1,000. Good e-Learning can even create bespoke courses designed to help companies upskill dozens, hundreds or even thousands of employees, allowing them to enjoy the benefits more quickly without having to overspend.
5. TOGAF is flexible enough to suit different businesses
TOGAF provides all the tools and guidance required for businesses to create architectures which suit them. Rather than forcing a jarring change, TOGAF provides a degree of fluidity that allows developments to proceed organically and painlessly. It is not a cheat sheet, nor is it a specific method that is set in stone.
Is your business spread across multiple locations? Do you have goals and services which set you apart from the competition? Whatever your answers might be, a TOGAF-certified professional can build a framework which is both effective and unique to you.
TOGAF is so flexible that it can even incorporate additional frameworks. For example, if your company already uses COBIT 5 or ITIL, it can continue to do so without disruption.
6. Employees can learn TOGAF at their own pace
Gone are the days when the only way to upskill employees was to send them off for classroom learning with teachers who charged by the hour. Instead, most major businesses now utilize ‘e-learning’.
Not only is this usually cheaper, but it can also provide resources which employees can access any time, anywhere and from any device. This allows them to structure their learning around their schedules, helping companies to enjoy the benefits of upskilling with minimal disruptions.
Good e-Learning’s TOGAF courses are all certified by The Open Group (the organization behind TOGAF). They also provide a variety of online content to help employees along, with users enjoying access to:
- Customised videos and graphics
- Quizzes and practice exams
- 24/7 support
- Months of access to help busy learners
- Free assessments
7. TOGAF is always evolving
As we mentioned earlier, organizations need to constantly evolve in order to stay competitive. The same goes for The Open Group, which is why TOGAF is constantly being refined and improved.
Each version of TOGAF introduces new tools and methodologies to help refine the overall process. Good e-Learning’s TOGAF courses are all fully up to date with TOGAF 9.2, offering content designed to provide a solid working knowledge of TOGAF as quickly and practically as possible.
Crucially, however, over nearly 25 years of development, the core framework and terminology of TOGAF has remained largely unchanged. Certified professionals who are familiar with older versions of TOGAF can thus continue to use it and even work effectively with colleagues whose knowledge is more up to date.
In other words, a company can quite happily get away with only having to learn TOGAF once. Its employees may even choose to get themselves up to speed on their own time, given how valuable TOGAF certification can also be for professionals.
Good e-Learning provide the chance to become fully TOGAF Certified online. Our eLearning courses allow you to study in your own time and comforts. We now also offer The TOGAF Essentials 2018 course allowing you to become 9.2 Certified with a 3 hour short course, click here for further information on our TOGAF offering.