What is TOGAF?

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TOGAF is an enterprise architecture framework that helps define business goals and align them with architecture objectives around enterprise software development.

The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is an enterprise architecture methodology that offers a high-level framework for enterprise software development. TOGAF helps organize the development process through a systematic approach aimed at reducing errors, maintaining timelines, staying on budget and aligning IT with business units to produce quality results.

The Open Group developed TOGAF in 1995, and in 2016, 80 per cent of Global 50 companies and 60 per cent of Fortune 500 companies used the framework.TOGAF is free for organizations to use internally, but not for commercial purposes. However, businesses can have tools, software or training programs certified by The Open Group. There are currently eight certified TOGAF tools and 71 accredited courses offered from 70 organizations.

TOGAF overview

Like other IT management frameworks, TOGAF helps businesses align IT goals with overall business goals while helping to organize cross-departmental IT efforts. TOGAF helps businesses define and organize requirements before a project starts, keeping the process moving quickly with few errors.

TOGAF’s business benefits

TOGAF helps organizations implement software technology in a structured and organized way, with a focus on governance and meeting business objectives. Software development relies on collaboration between multiple departments and business units both inside and outside of IT, and TOGAF helps address any issues around getting key stakeholders on the same page.

TOGAF is intended to help create a systematic approach to streamline the development process so that it can be replicated, with as few errors or problems as possible as each phase of development changes hands. By creating a common language that bridges gaps between IT and the business side, it helps bring clarity to everyone involved. It’s an extensive document — but you don’t have to adopt every part of TOGAF. Businesses are better off evaluating their needs to determine which parts of the framework to focus on.

TOGAF pillars

There are four architectural domains in TOGAF 9.1 that offer specializations for businesses.

  • Business architecture: includes information on business strategy, governance, organization and how to adapt any existing processes within the organization.
  • Applications architecture: a blueprint for structuring and deploying application systems and in accordance with business goals, other organizational frameworks and all core business processes.
  • Data architecture: defining the organization’s data storage, management and maintenance, including logical and physical data models.
  • Technical architecture: also called technology architecture; it describes all necessary hardware, software and IT infrastructure involved in developing and deploying business applications.

What’s new in TOGAF 9.1?

The most recent version of TOGAF was updated to include:

  • Content metamodel: This lifecycle process guides the creation and management of enterprise architecture within the guidelines of the ADM. It helps businesses implement proprietary architecture into another architecture tool, using output checklists, a streamlined approach and a richer, more detailed standard for describing architectures.
  • Partitioning: TOGAF 9 introduces suggestions and guidance for partitioning specific architectures within the enterprise.
  • Architecture Repository: This acts as a document that contains all details pertaining to the enterprise architecture and any relevant projects, and it includes ideas, designs, frameworks, policies, process, and so on.
  • Enterprise Continuum: This document addresses the more abstract concepts in the framework by establishing how everything defined in the architecture repository fits into the process and how each asset relates to one another and to the TOGAF framework. It’s also how businesses can help IT and other business units relate to one another with a common language, to improve communication and reduce confusion.
  • ADM Guidelines and Techniques: This expands on the information in the ADM, including how to apply it within your organization, when it should be used, how it relates to TOGAF and security considerations.

 

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