The new European data protection regulation– are you prepared?

Update: Webinar with Andreas Richter on GDPR 24 March. Click here for registration.

The European Union’s new data protection regulation takes effect in 2018 and will have a bigger impact on European organizations than many might yet be aware of. For those approaching the subject from the right angle, the new rules do not just bring obligations, but also a variety of opportunities.

Since May 2016, the European Union’s new data protection rules (General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR) is in force, establishing a harmonized data protection framework for personal data across the entire European Union and European Economic Area (EEA). The regulation is now being transposed in all EA/EEA member states and will take effect as national law in May 2018. With this comprehensive regulation, the all Europeans are provided with a variety of new rights when it comes to protection and handling of our personal data. For all organizations collecting, processing and storing information, the new law first of all carries a broad range of obligations and new requirements they have to understand and comply with. Failing to keep personal data appropriately secure can result in fines of up to 20 million Euro or 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is greater.

The new regulation aims to strengthen people’s rights in the digital age and to simplify rules for internationally acting businesses by unifying them. After all, the data protection regulation is replacing varied national laws with just one framework that is equally valid in the entire EU/EEA. The ultimate goal is to give everybody more control over our personal data.

How are organizations affected?

The impact of the new regulation on organizations will be manifold and no business will remain unaffected, especially in the light of the ongoing digitalization. Organizations have to understand which of the information they are keeping are impacted by the regulation and how it is handled today, where and why it is kept and how it is protected. It requires understanding and adaption of business rules, business processes, information systems and IT infrastructure. Sounds like a complex and pretty big task to get on top of, and, bad news first, it is for sure not something that is done overnight. But the good news is that now is a good time for getting prepared, and that both methods and tools exist for getting a good grip on the job. Organizations that already have control over the enterprise’s architecture get a head start when it comes to understanding how they should react to changing market dynamics. And businesses that already today are managed with a strong process orientation can gain an advantage when it comes to easier transformation. QualiWare and Qualisoft, having over 20 years of experience as experts in the fields of Business Process Management (BPM) and Enterprise Architecture (EA), already started supporting our first customers in this transition with a structured approach. Such a structured, holistic approach is the perfect starting point for slicing the elephant of what is the new data protection regulation.

What is “personal data” and who is affected?

Understanding what “personal data” is a good thing to start with, and already comes as a surprise to many organizations. The EU defines “personal data” as “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person” – both directly and indirectly. Following this wide definition, not only names, addresses, credit card numbers or log in names, but also mailing lists, minutes of meeting, cookies or even photos from the last company picnic fall under this category (everything that makes somebody “personally identifiable”). Some data needs more protection and special rules apply for such sensitive data.

It becomes clear that the new regulation will affect virtually any company that is operating in the EU/EEA, not at least the public sector and those handling sensitive personal data. Most organizations are dealing with more personal data than they know. What you don’t know, you can’t control. It’s about time to get an overview.

What to do now?

It will take some time and resources to get accustomed to the new rules and transform the way of working in order to be compliant, so it is smart to start planning already now. But where to start? An issue that many will face is that it is not yet entirely clear to anybody what the new regulation will actually mean and how it actually will impact businesses. The Norwegian Data Protection Authority (Datatilsynet) is currently working through the 156 pages strong EU law, trying to break it down to practical guidelines and actionable tasks for getting a grip on the situation – but will not be finished with doing so until late 2017, only a few months before the regulation already becomes law. Do not wait that long. Even though you might not yet fully understand what the law will mean for your business and where you will actually need to adapt your policies and processes, there is a lot that you can do already now in order to be prepared. Be proactive rather than reactive. Start with understanding your organization and establish a sound information basis. This means you will need to:

  1. Get an overview over relevant requirements and where they are affecting your systems and processes
  2. Get an overview over which information you have today that is affected by the new law. Find out which data you are handling, why you are handling it and how it is used
  3. Ensure that the organization is compliant with the current law – this is the best possible basis!
The QualiWare/Qualisoft roadmap for achieving compliance towards the new EU data protection regulation: Start with getting an overview, understand where the law affects your business and plan for transformation.

The new law will affect organizations on many interrelated levels, from their processes down to the technology they are using internally and for exchanging information with third parties. Get an overview over both the current and the new law and understand where on those levels you are complying today and where your gaps are. After that, map up the information that your organization is using, where you are using it (processes) and where you are storing it (systems and technology). With your first comprehensive overview of how you are using personal data today, it allows you to easily identify requirements for your information and the rationale for handling it. A repository-based tool like QualiWare Lifecycle Manager will make your life a lot easier in these regards, both in terms of uncovering relations and dependencies as well as in terms of collaboration and maintenance.

The information basis that you now established is what you need to start your enterprise transformation journey – identifying gaps and defining necessary actions to close them through adapting your way of working through methods of business process transformation. The job of mapping up requirements against your organization that you did earlier will also help you here.

A repository-based tool like QualiWare will make it easier to gain an overview over relations across different perspectives, for example, where requirements touch your business processes

Establishing these overviews and relations before the new law takes effect in May 2018 will make you well prepared. Make sure you are not just waiting to see what will happen and trying to react as good as you can, but be proactive and gain control over both what you have and what you need to do. It is also a prerequisite for creating proper plans and allocate resources.

Enabling positive change

If you now think that the only answer to the question “Why do I need to do this?” is “Because I have to”, you can be assured that compliance is not the only thing you can gain from this exercise. It is not just a legal obligation; it is also an opportunity. If you approach the topic from the right angle, several benefits can be achieved:

  • Internationally operating companies can achieve substantial financial savings through unifying their policies and way of working
  • Demonstrating compliance with the new law will build trust of the customer and also promote innovative use of data
  • Process-based transformation and management leads to better business performance through a more coherent way of working, consistency in changes and increased consensus amongst employees
  • Better alignment of business and technology through a holistic architectural approach, resulting in saved IT cost and a more efficient processes
  • A generally improved approach to information security and compliance with international standards such as ISO 27001

Several of our clients have already started dealing with the new regulation and are gaining necessary overview through their management systems. After all, the most important advice for action is to not spend your time waiting. Be proactive, start looking into the new rules and understand where your organization is today. Are you prepared?

Further reading:


QualiWare + EA Professional Development Days 2017

presents the 2017 QualiWare + EA Professional Development Days 2017

Ottawa, February 6-10, 2017

Presentations – 2017 QualiWare+EA Professional Development Days Presentations (Ottawa, Canada)

CloseReach and QualiWare invite you to join us for the 3rd annual QualiWare + EA Professional Development Days. An event to promote networking, learning and collaboration for Architects and QualiWare enthusiasts, novices and experts alike.

Meet other QualiWare users, Business and Enterprise Architects, Project Managers, Analysts, BPM Specialists and Quality Managers. Share architecture and QualiWare experiences. Learn from customer case studies. Take part in interactive ideas exchanges. Influence product development.

Building on the success of 2016, we will be expanding your opportunities for learning and knowledge sharing. Join us for this excellent professional development opportunity:

Speakers Day (Monday) – the best place to hear about the latest developments in enterprise architecture and business transformation in Canada and globally. Speakers Day early bird pricing is in effect: $250 per person, 5-pack: $1,125.00, 10-pack: $2,125.00. HST extra. Includes a great day of speakers as well as breakfast and lunch.

Featured Speakers:

  • Kuno Brodersen – EA and Digital Transformation Strategies
    • A leader in the business modeling and enterprise architecture field for more than 30 years.
    • CEO and Co- Founder of QualiWare ApS. QualiWare provides comprehensive modeling tools and consulting services that focus on enhancing business efficiency, effectiveness, productivity, competitive positioning, and organizational profitability. QualiWare’s products and services help the customer succeed with Quality Management, Process Management and Optimization initiatives, Business Excellence programs, Enterprise Architecture initiatives, and/or IT solution development needs.
  • Roger Burlton – A Journey from Business Architecture to a Digital Process? A Case Study in Government Transformation
    • Respected pioneer in the introduction of innovative approaches for Business Architecture and Process Management
    • A leader in the field of Business Process Management, having authored one of the most
      read and followed books on the topic early in BPM’s growth.
    • Chair of the Advisory Board
  • Stephen Challinor – Enterprise Architecture as a Business Enabler
    • Director Enterprise Architecture, Department of National Defence
    • Co-Chair Government of Canada EA Working Group
    • 27-year career as a public servant with a broad background in complex project and procurement management, weapon systems and equipment management, business and financial management, IM/IT systems and Alternate Service Delivery (ASD) initiatives.
  • Skip Lumley – Developing and Implementing a Pan-Canadian Standard for Public Sector Business Architecture
    • Co-founded and managed the consulting firm Chartwell IRM Inc. from 1984 until its acquisition in 2010 by KPMG Canada.
    • Leader in the development and support of government reference models: the Municipal Reference Model (MRM), the Public Service Reference Model (Province of Ontario) and the Governments of Canada Strategic Reference Model (GSRM).
    • Currently serving as an independent advisor to public and civic sector organizations on the use of reference models for program review, policy development, strategic planning and change management.
  • Stephen White – Digitalizing Your Business Processes
    • Business Process Management Institute (BPMI) Board of Directors
    • Former Chair of BPMI Notation Working Group and author/editor of Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) 1.0 & 2.0 Technical Specification
    • Chair of OMG Revision Task Force and Co-Chair of OMG FTF for BPMN 2.0
    • Contributor to OMG CMMN 1.0 specification
    • Co-Authored Book “BPMN modeling and reference guide”

Tool-Day (Tuesday) – How-To Seminars/Workshops: Business Modelling (BPMN, Capability Modelling, Requirements & Traceability); Collaboration using QualiWare Web Publishing; Change & Problem Management using QualiWare Governance Workflow Engine; Modelling Revision Management, Back-up and Recovery Strategies.

Tuesday seminars/workshops are offered at the nominal (full day) cost of $20.00 + HST per person with 100% of proceeds being donated to the Royal Ottawa PTSD Clinic.

Business Architecture Training (Tuesday-Friday) – “Made in Canada” Business Architecture training & certification with Roger Burlton.

QualiWare Training (Wednesday-Friday) – take full advantage of QualiWare’s EA software

  • QualiWare Data Visualization
  • QualiWare Command Language (QCL) Basic.

For more information or advance seating reservations for Speakers Day and all of the week’s events, contact Susan Wolfenden;, 613-825-1769. Space is limited – call now!

Please feel free to share this invitation with colleagues.
Help us make this event the place to be in Canada for all things architecture related!

ArchiMate 3.0 Webinar

Click here to watch the recording.

Are you using Archimate 3.0 Specification as your modelling standard? Do your current tools enable you to work with this and other standards as easily as you would like?

If not, you may be interested to find an easy-to-use, repository-based tool to fully support your requirements. You can manage all your architecture needs, and:

  • Reduce errors in managing the complexity of ArchiMate 3.0
  • Reduce amount of documentation required through re-using your objects and models
  • Save time and reduce duplication of work
  • Add properties to your ArchiMate symbols
  • Speed up work by using non graphical relations

QualiWare Enterprise Architecture Suite fully supports the new Archimate 3.0 Specification. This includes:

  • Support for all constructs, relationships, and controls for ArchiMate 3.0
  • Ability to link your Archimate models to models for other standards
  • Support for all new 3.0 viewpoints
  • Drag and drop any of the 56 symbols into your diagrams

Join our Archimate 3.0 webinar

Monday the 26th September at 4pm CET (3pm UK)

Through this webinar you’ll get a brief Introduction to QualiWare and ArchiMate. We will look at what’s new in ArchiMate3.0. How to draw ArchiMate3.0 diagrams in QualiWare and how you can link ArchiMate with other diagrams and standards.

Join us and learn about the new features in Archimate3.0 and QualiWare

Reference Architectures for Industry 4.0

We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before.

Klaus Schwab
Founder and Executive Chairman
World Economic Forum


On our study trip to Automation Valley, we learned about Industry 4.0 and the digitalization of German manufacturing. On the way back to Denmark, one of the other participants said, “yep, the Germans set the standard”. This is indeed the case, even in a very literal sense: They’re making Industry 4.0 a German DIN Standard, and are aiming for international standardization.

Introducing RAMI 4.0

The German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association, and its partners, have developed the Reference Architecture Model for Industry 4.0 (RAMI 4.0). Today supported by the Plattform Industrie 4.0 network, RAMI 4.0 is held as a key standard for Industry 4.0.

RAMI 4.0_neue Farben_849x566RAMI 4.0 consists of

a three-dimensional coordinate system that describes all crucial aspects of Industrie 4.0. In this way, complex interrelations can be broken down into smaller and simpler clusters.

The coordinate system is further described as follows:

The “Hierarchy Levels” axis:

Indicated on the right horizontal axis are hierarchy levels from IEC 62264, the international standards series for enterprise IT and control systems. These hierarchy levels represent the different functionalities within factories or facilities. In order to represent the Industrie 4.0 environment, these functionalities have been expanded to include workpieces, labelled “Product”, and the connection to the Internet of Things and Services, labelled “Connected World”.

The “Life Cycle & Value Stream” axis:

The left horizontal axis represents the life cycle of facilities and products, based on IEC 62890 for life-cycle management. Furthermore, a distinction is made between “types” and “instances”. A “type” becomes an “instance” when design and prototyping have been completed and the actual product is being manufactured.

The “Layers” axis:

The six layers on the vertical axis serve to describe the decomposition of a machine into its properties structured layer by layer, i.e. the virtual mapping of a machine. Such representations originate from information and communication technology, where properties of complex systems are commonly broken down into layers.

Together, the axes form a model that can be used as follows:

Within these three axes, all crucial aspects of Industrie 4.0 can be mapped, allowing objects such as machines to be classified according to the model. Highly flexible Industrie 4.0 concepts can thus be described and implemented using RAMI 4.0. The reference architectural model allows for step-by-step migration from the present into the world of Industrie 4.0.

In essense,

…RAMI 4.0 provides a common understanding for standards and use cases….RAMI 4.0 can be regarded as a kind of 3D map of Industrie 4.0 solutions: it provides an orientation for plotting the requirements of sectors together with national and international standards in order to define and further develop Industrie 4.0. Overlapping standards and gaps can thus be identified and resolved.

RAMI 4.0 is referencing three standards:

  • IEC 62890 – Life-cycle management for systems and products used in industrial-process measurement, control and automation. Note: Under development since 2013 and not available to the public until its release, scheduled for September 2016.
  • IEC 62264 – Enterprise-control system integration.
  • IEC 61512 – Batch control.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) white paper on Factory of the Future explains further that when establishing interoperability in manufacturing environments, different dimensions of integration have to be considered:

  • Vertical integration, i.e. along the automation pyramid as defined by IEC 62264/IEC 61512. This includes factory-internal integration from sensors and actuators within machines up to ERP systems.
  • Horizontal integration, i.e. along the value chain and throughout production networks. This includes the integration of production networks on the business level as achieved by EDI-based supply chain integration, but might include more in the future, when close-to-real-time and product- or process-specific information is exchanged to increase the level of detail and quality in distributed manufacturing optimization.
  • Integration towards engineering and product/production life cycle applications (e.g. IEC 62890) in order to enable low-effort knowledge sharing and synchronization between product and service development and manufacturing environments.

Standardizing RAMI 4.0

RAMI4.0 has now been put forward for standardization in Germany as DIN SPEC 91345 – Referenzarchitekturmodell Industrie 4.0.  It often takes years for a DIN SPEC to become an official DIN Standard, but now the process has begun, and since Industry 4.0 seems to be a high priority area for DIN, they may decide to fast-track this standard.

So far, the standard is available in German language only, but should be available in English too soon. For now, the most comprehensive publications in English about RAMI 4.0 seem to be the 2016 status report and the 2015 status report.

IEC has put Industry 4.0, including RAMI, high on their agenda. In their call for their general assembly later this year, IEC outlines its future plans and strategic goals for Industry 4.0 reference models and architectures:

Developing a description of the reference models in dedicated standards. As with core models, reference models are also used in a wide variety of model solutions.

Defining reference models separately as independent standards for the purposes of simplification and avoidance of unintentional deviations, and for better understanding.

Implementing a nearly finished specification (DIN SPEC 91345 – publication planned Q2 2016) as Public Available Specification – PAS within IEC, starting with the new work item procedure in the relevant Technical Committee of the IEC.

The relevant IEC committee would probably be TC65 who also owns the three IEC standards included in DIN SPEC 91345, but there are likely many other TCs in IEC who eventually become involved with Industry 4.0. The same will many other standardization organizations and initiatives. The Technical Management Board (TMB) of the International Standard Organization (ISO) has set up a Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) on Industry 4.0/Smart Manufacturing. This SAG should cooperate closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and is supposed to report back by September 2016. Most of this work takes place behind closed doors, and the SAGs homepage is not very informative.

Analyzing RAMI 4.0’s roots

Categories of technical assets.

The “Life Cycle & Value Stream” axis is based on an unpublished standard, and therefore difficult to assess. The 2016 status report shed some light on this, and states that:

It was one of the main design decisions of the RAMI4.0 architecture to model type descriptions as individual assets (with own life cycles) which are independent from specific products. To highlight this fact, the assets are divided along the x-axis into “types” (type descriptions) and “instances” (specific products).

And also, that,

This is just a very rough classification but it helps to separate the development and life-cycle management of product types (product families) from the production and lifecycle management of the individual products.

The distinction between type and instance is classic in software engineering and information modeling. RAMI 4.0 maps the asset categories to the life-cycle dimension and the value stream.

Architecturally, this is an interesting approach. But someone really needs to work on the visualization and explanation of the dimension. The status report hints that the IEC 62890 standard will explain it all.

The “Hierarchy Levels” (with IEC62264) dimension is based on the classic ISA-95 which dates back to the 1990s (but is still maintained).

Purdue Reference Model (Wikipedia)

ISA notes that the purpose of ISA-95 is:

To create a standard that will define the interface between control functions and other enterprise functions based upon the Purdue Reference Model for CIM (hierarchical form) as published by ISA. The interface initially considered is the interface between levels 3 and 4 of that model. Additional interfaces will be considered, as appropriate. The goal is to reduce the risk, cost, and errors associated with implementing these interfaces. The standard must define information exchange that is robust, safe, and cost effective. The exchange mechanism must preserve the integrity of each system’s information and span of control.

The Purdue Reference Model for CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing) from 1989, published as ISA-95, became the de facto organizing logic for manufacturing information systems and defined that the 0-4 levels have core information systems: ERP at level 4, MES at level 3, and SCADA at level 2.

i40enhancementThe hierarchy in RAMI 4.0 is divided into two parts: products (and users) and equipment (field devices, control devices, stations, work units, enterprises and connected world).

The status report seems to acknowledge that RAMI 4.0 may not have hit the nail:

All in all, the ordering schema along the y-axis is just a presentation help for fostering an intuitive understanding of the architecture. In case the terms or aggregation steps do not fit into the respective domains, they can easily be readjusted.

The “Layers” axis

serve to describe the decomposition of a machine into its properties structured layer by layer, i.e. the virtual mapping of a machine. Such representations originate from information and communication technology, where properties of complex systems are commonly broken down into layers.

Layering is a classic theme in enterprise architecture. Although there are some critics, most current enterprise architecture frameworks use architectural layers (e.g., strategy, business, information, applications, infrastructure, and security in EA3).

“The nice thing about standards …”

“…is that you have so many to choose from,” Tanembaum‘s old “joke” about standardization, applies here: RAMI 4.0 is not the only standard for digital industry reference architecture.

The major other standard is the Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA) from the Industrial Internet Consortium, which is

IICthe open membership, international not-for-profit consortium that is setting the architectural framework and direction for the Industrial Internet. Founded by AT&T, Cisco, GE, IBM and Intel in March 2014, the consortium’s mission is to coordinate vast ecosystem initiatives to connect and integrate objects with people, processes and data using common architectures, interoperability and open standards.

IIC is established by the Object Management Group (OMG). Many architects use OMGs modeling standards, including the Unified Modeling Language (UML), Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) and Model Driven Architecture (MDA).

IIRA is presented as follows:

This Reference Architecture is a statement of what the most important Industrial Internet architecture components are, how they fit together and how they influence each other. It reflects consensus on major architecture questions among participants from energy, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation and public sectors.

I will look closer at IIRA in a future blog post.

IIC and Plattform Industrie 4.0 in March 2016 announced that they will work together to align RAMI 4.0 and IIRA – Cooperation Among Two Key Leaders in the Industrial Internet – see press release and blog. They released some initial mappings:



Industrial cultures and their “movements”

RAMI 4.0 and IIRA are the two major deliverables from the two “movements”, Industrie 4.0 and the Industrial Internet. Representatives from these “movements” were brought together in a panel here the other day at the Hannover Messe, and a report, BAM! POW! Industrie 4.0 Meets the Industrial Internet!, notes that

In the end, the panel did not agree on whether there would be ultimately one platform or many. But they did agree that they share a common view on the need to gain an understanding of how things should function and making sure that they interact.

Kris Bledowski from the US-based Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation compared the movements about a year ago:

Comparison of Industrie 4.0 and the Industrial Internet Consortium. Source: MAPI Foundation

Bledowski sums it up:

  • Industrie 4.0 strives to optimize production while the IIC’s research targets returns to any asset
  • Industrie 4.0 works on standardization whereas the IIC works on enabling platforms that might set future standards
  • Industrie 4.0 is reactive to a fast pace of high-tech innovation; the IIC proactively pushes the frontier of any internet-enabled application

Generalizing the Reference Architectures

The Purdue Reference Model is a key element in PERA, the Purdue Enterprise Reference Architecture, the early 1990s reference model for enterprise architecture. PERA is an example of what was then called Reference Architectures of type II. Other such architectures were GRAI-GIM and CIMOSA.

Over the years, many other “industrial” reference architectures have been established. Many of these are sector-specific. For example, in the oil industry, POSC Caesar Association (PCA) and MIMOSA have established PCA-MIMOSA Reference Architecture Framework for Integrated Engineering and Operations in 2013. It describes

a reference architecture for defining, designing and classifying IT applications, systems and infrastructure in the upstream oil and gas industry, downstream petrochemical industry, and for engineering, procurement and construction projects.

GERAM framework components

In 1994 then came the Generalised Enterprise Reference Architecture and Methodology (GERAM), which also comprises a framework and methodology. GERAM became part of ISO 15704 “Requirements for Generalised Enterprise Reference Architectures and Methodologies” in 2000.

Fast forward, and many frameworks and methodologies later, GERAMs authors did a recent review of the last 20 years with reference architectures, and observed,

We believe that the future of EA is in its ability to develop an interdisciplinary language and theory enabling a concerted and synergistic application of contributions of underlying disciplines (results from management science, systems, industrial, manufacturing and software engineering, IS, Artificial Intelligence, and so on).

GERAM is a valuable baseline meta-framework  – to discuss the above, to create new theories, schools of thoughts, integration of engineering practices and tools, explanations of how technologies can be part of EA, methodologies for EA implementation, and Partial and Particular models for re-use.

As discussed in a previous blog post, and explored in a Special Issue on Future Perspectives On Next Generation Enterprise Information Systems of the Computers in Industry journal, we need to renew our reference architectures and architectural practices:

No doubt that the next generation of enterprise information systems will continue emphasising the need for scalable, reliable, extensible, flexible, highly available and maintainable systems architectures providing ubiquitous, plug-and-play, secure, interoperable and networked solutions to realise smarter and collaborative systems, platforms and ICT infrastructures for all entities operating in a common business ecosystem.

The reference architectures we define and use must reflect our architectural visions. RAMI 4.0 and IIRA are two different visions. Which one will be best? As we architects always say, “it depends”.

Laying the Foundation for Digital Business Transformation

The market is moving quickly, and we are constantly being tasked with improving on performance to drive better results and justify our positions.  To do this we need to bring in digital technologies to facilitate every aspect of the business, and gather data for analysing performance and finding areas to improve.  This goes for everything in your business eco-system: supply chain, customer journeys, back-office support functions, processes, IT estate, and all cross-functional activities.  Your competitors are working on this, to varying degrees of success, and you also need to.

With so many projects to work on, and potential investments to make, how do we make sure our digital transformation is successful?  And provides the quick results that shareholders and stakeholders demand?

Here’s three steps you can do to lay the foundations for successful digital transformation.

Understand your current landscape and digital technologies

Before bringing in new digital tech, you need to know what you have already, where the gaps are, and what options are available.  Each functions’ digital requirements will be evolving constantly, and some can be met with the existing set up.  Accurately document your enterprise architecture starting with the IT and process landscape and ensure there is alignment with organisational goals.  This will provide visibility on the areas for improvement and the impact of bringing in new digital technologies, and allow you to plan for training programs and transformation activities.

Identify key areas for digital transformation

Digital solutions should support the exchange of information between all people and “things” in the business eco-system.  All productive processes should therefore be digitally supported, be an organisational part of the enterprise regardless of geographic location, and the ability to exchange information in execution of a process should be available at all times and in all places.  Customer journey maps, capability models, and gap analyses developed as part of your enterprise architecture will enable you to identify key areas for digital transformation.

For example, the new “Digital Hospital” in Denmark has used its enterprise architecture to understand how all people and “things” should link up.  The digital hospital has visualised the elements required to support core services such as treatment of patients, and non-clinical logistics,and mapped the knowledge that needs to be transferred at each step.  The correct digital technologies to support the knowledge transfer can then be identified and introduced.  In this case, it includes the introduction of robots in storage areas to ensure that delivery of correct materials is never more than 20 metres from physicians, and mobile registration for log books.

Create a Collaboration Platform

Digital transformation requires buy-in and cooperation from people spread across all areas of the business.  The main reason for failure in transformation projects is lack of commitment from stakeholders. Everyone needs to understand the impact of digital transformation, and how to ensure it aligns with overall goal of the organisation, reasons for change, and what they need to do to contribute.  A simple web-platform that provides this information in an easy to consume format, with alerts for outstanding tasks can ensure that people stay on top of transformation tasks and remain committed to the end result: a modern digitally enabled enterprise.

These steps will allow you to optimise the use of current resources, mitigate risks in digitalisation, and ensure cross-functional teams collaborate on your digital transformation.

Architecting the Digital Hospital

More than 10 billion Euros will be spent on 16 new hospital construction projects in Denmark. One of the larger projects, dubbed a “super-hospital,” is in Odense, where the budget is 1.3 billion Euros. The New Odense University Hospital (Nyt OUH) will be approximately 250.000 m2 and is scheduled to be ready in 2022. It will become the largest hospital in Denmark that is built from scratch.

1.3 €billion

Floor area
250.000 m2

New OUH is a green-field mega-project which will replace the existing university hospital (OUH). So on one hand, it is a rare opportunity to architect a digital enterprise “ground-up”, regardless of the existing built-environment, but on the other hand, it is also a significant transition challenge for the existing enterprise.

The overall vision for New OUH is:

A university hospital is a highly technological and knowledge intensive enterprise that depends on knowledge being shared and used optimally in the primary production – treatment of patients and research. Knowledge in the hospital must flow freely inside the networks and between the relevant operators and must be available at any time and in such a fashion that it can be utilized immediately.

New OUHs governing bodies have established an overall vision for the digital hospital:

The Digital Hospital is a composite term consisting of the word Hospital. This represents the core service – diagnosing and treatment of patients and thus the circuit of knowledge while the Digital is a supporting and developmental term to the core service. The Digital element in New OUH must be omnipresent and must ensure that New OUH can realize its vision and make full and optimal use of the knowledge circuit. In other words, the Digital hospital is a precondition for the knowledge circuit in New OUH.

Jonas Hedegaard Knudsen, CIO

Digital solutions at New OUH will be for all, to all, between all, everywhere – always.

For all

Digital solutions must support all users of the hospital and its functions. Concurrently, the digital solutions will help convert data into information to the benefit of the sharing of knowledge, treatment, care and research. The digital solutions must support exchange of information/communication as well between the different users, and deliver to such an extent that they support proper communication between the parties and in a fashion making it relevant for the information seeker. When the term “all” is used it refers to patients, next of kin, hospital employees, GPs, municipality and scientific researchers at the university.

To all

Digital solutions for all are regarded as any productive process at New OUH is digitally supported. Data, information and knowledge flow freely and automatically to all people as well as systems, thus supporting the hospital processes in the best possible way and at any time providing the employees with the necessary knowledge needed to perform their tasks. “To all” constitutes a movement from one operator to (“all”) another operator. This movement rep-resents knowledge shared transparently and automatically. Data, information and knowledge thus flow to and between all productive operators and processes at the hospital.

Between all

Digital solutions between all tie individuals, work processes and solutions together in a holistically orientated network2. In other words, we are talking about coherent sharing of information and knowledge between all operators in a network. “Between all” is thus regarding the coherence and integration of concepts. The digital elements is seen as coherence and integration on three levels: between individuals, between equipment, and between equipment and individuals. The digital hospital must contribute to information and knowledge being made available in such a way that it can be integrated and utilized between all operators and network in and around the hospital’s technical and productive processes.


Digital solutions “over all” mean that the solutions must be available and integrated for all, in and around the hospital, patients as well as external partners. This availability “everywhere” facilitates communication, sharing and creation of knowledge. Therefore “Everywhere” must not be viewed as a (narrow hospital based) concept but as including all partners (patients, scientific researchers, municipalities etc.) “Everywhere” covers, in other words, the geographical and organizational areas that participate in or around a specific productive process offered by the hospital to a patient or a group of patients. “Everywhere” thus facilitates both and organizational perspective, a process related perspective, and a geographical perspective. This means that digital solutions “everywhere” must be an organizational part of the entire hospi-tal, support all productive processes in such a way that these can be utilized in the best possible way regardless of geographical location.


Digital solutions must always be present and support the user at any given time to be able to procure the requested information – regardless of place and time. This means that the digital solutions support availability of information for the user at the time the information is requested. This means that during an operation the surgeon can pull vital information that the researcher has unlimited access to quality data in his field. That data is available regardless if the user is present at the hospital, the university or outside.

New OUH has chosen QualiWare’s digital business design platform for the ongoing architecture and design work on the digital enterprise. QualiWare is already used at the existing OUH for asset management in several clinical areas.

The New OUH enterprise architecture team will over the next 6 years need to flesh out actionable digital business design, and realize the digital hospital vision. QualiWare Center of Excellence will support the EA team in these efforts.

In future blogs, we will offer more updates and elaborations on the digital hospital.

How IT Can Enable Oil & Energy Firms to Survive the Oil Price Slump

Many firms in the oil sector are struggling due to the steep drop in oil prices.  Across the sector there has been a reduction in investment, and in many cases downsizing.  Planning for the future in these times can be tough, and changes need to be made in order to survive.  However, some firms are not only working on surviving but also putting themselves in a strong position to capitalise on opportunities when oil prices eventually rise and stabilise.  Furthermore, these firms are also making big changes towards digitalisation, and modernising the way they do business in spite of the slump.

Oil & Energy firms, both upstream and downstream, are typically highly complex.  Equipment, assets, process, systems, applications, broad webs of suppliers and customers, and a large and varied workforce are integral to keeping everything running at a profit.  Regulatory requirements are not getting looser but tighter, this all adds the huge running costs which do not get lower as the oil price does.

However, there are opportunities to be exploited.  The big question is how?

Align Business & IT

Oil & Energy enterprises will typically have thousands of applications, and the associated infrastructure to run and host these systems.  Therefore you should start by creating a common enterprise model accurately showing how IT systems support business processes and identify the need for process information and data.  From there, you can define the key applications for development and maintenance, and importantly, identify redundant and overlapping applications to be phased out.  This allows the enterprise to focus investments in the right areas.  Through this process, we’ve seen oil & energy enterprises save millions of dollars annually in support & maintenance costs.  Furthermore, it will allow you to focus important resources on developing a modern, digital enterprise architecture.

Adapt to New Digital Technologies

The downturn has brought forth many new technologies designed to improve efficiency and reduce costs. And they have already started making an impact.  Your firm will be looking into or already implementing new automation technologies, exploiting big data, or bringing in customer focused technologies such as multichannel marketing platforms.  Capital projects will still be a large feature, and ensuring all these projects run on-time and on-budget is not simple.

In order to bring in these new technologies successfully, different stakeholders and cross-functional teams will need to see how the solution fits with the current organisation, the changes that need to be made, understand the impact of change to mitigate risks.  Take your enterprise model and publish this to the web so everyone can see it.  Ensure those involved in change can access all the information they need to facilitate the transformation, and provide a platform for all parties to collaborate.

Set up for Rapid Reaction to Market Change

If the oil market picks up in the next 12-18 months, you need to be in a position to react rapidly to changes.  A well-defined company architecture, aligned to corporate goals will allow the organisation to react quickly when the time comes. This should include each employee having access to all the information they need to do their job, get trained, and understand how they fit into the wider context.

With the slump in oil prices continuing and no concrete timeline for when it will improve, can you afford to sit tight and hope for the best?  Or is it time to visualise the changes you need to make, and work together to transform your business?

Take a look at how Statoil save millions of dollars in annual IT maintenance, support and development costs through aligning IT and business.  Also at GKN/Volvo Aero, the savings were in excess of $1.5million a year.

Enterprise Architecture Trends 2015

I’m looking forward to speaking about trends in enterprise architecture at the EA2015 conference on 4 November in Copenhagen. Having spoken at this annual conference over the past several years, it is my annual “state-of-the-union” address to the Danish EA community.

This year, I will talk about several trends and issues. The outline of the lecture looks like this:

  1. The current state of #EntArch
  2. So, is there a problem?
  3. “The only thing that’s changed, is everything”
  4. EA scholary analysis
  5. EA scope creep
  6. Gartnertology
  7. We’re not in Kansas anymore
  8. Enterprise Investment
  9. Enterprise Design
  10. Suggestions

You can get my slides here, but most of them are not very informative on their own.

Although I use different evidence, many of my points are also expressed in my crossroads blog post and article. But I will also bring up several other points. I’ve even invented a new word: Gartnertology. This I use to describe how Gartner is becoming something akin to a religious cult.

I will of course here refer to Kuno Brodersen’s recent blog post about Gartner’s tool assessment practice, but will focus more on Gartner’s recent messages about digital business, and discuss these. And then rather quickly move on to something more interesting, including enterprise investment and enterprise design.

All in all, a lot of content for a 45 minutes lecture. So participants will be told to fasten their seat-belts.

Enterprise Architecture at the Crossroads

Enterprise Architecture is facing several challenges as a discipline and a practice. In this blog post, John Gøtze outlines four central challenges, and discusses what should be done. He suggests that enterprise architecture management must focus on enterprise collaboration.

The Challenges

The discipline Enterprise Architecture (EA) is at a crossroads, facing four challenges:

  • The first challenge is to overcome the narrowness of scope of present practice in EA, and re-gain the coverage of the entire business on all levels of management, and a holistic and systemic coverage of the enterprise as an economic entity in its social and ecological environment.
  • The second challenge is how to face the problems caused by complexity that limit the controllability and manageability of the enterprise as a system.
  • The third challenge is connected with the complexity problem, and describes fundamental issues of sustainability and viability.
  • Following from the third, the fourth challenge is to identify modes of survival for systems, and dynamic system architectures that evolve and are resilient to changes of the environment in which they live.

A recent (in-press) peer-reviewed article, Enterprise Engineering and Management at the Crossroads – the result of a collaborative effort between eleven authors from four continents – discusses these four challenges and the state of the art of the discipline of Enterprise Architecture, with emphasis on the challenges and future development opportunities of the underlying information system, and its IT implementation, the Enterprise Information System (EIS).


The article provides pointers to possible radical changes to models, methodologies, theories and tools in EIS design and implementation, with the potential to solve these grand challenges:


Towards Solutions

The article argues that EA needs to embrace full or broad views of the enterprise as per the original vision of the discipline’s mission that originated in manufacturing (e.g. computer integrated manufacturing systems), and the parallel developments in information systems and software development. This division between information systems, system science, and manufacturing & industrial engineering needs to be resolved as it is still felt today and hampers the discipline of EA as a whole. Any credible development of the discipline must equally cover and explain deliberate change and evolutionary change in a system of socio-technical systems, the production & service to the customer, and the management & control of the enterprise, the technical resources (logistics, manufacturing machinery, communication systems, computer systems), human resources, financial resources, and assets of all other kind (knowledge & information assets, buildings and grounds, and various intangibles).

As EA is moving up the hierarchy from technical to management levels, the language and skill set of its practitioners has to change to better reflect the specific needs and language of the management community. This needs to be reflective in terms of not only language, but also culture. The focus must be on views of the organisation that management science is interested in (People, Capability, Place, Role, Relationships and Trust, Risk, Finance, Brand Strategy, Knowledge Management) rather than detailed, possibly local technical views of the organisation.

A central concern in EA is the development of the information system that implements a coherent, aware behaviour of the enterprise on any scale. It is acceptable (even desirable) that the implementation of these properties should not have a single locus, so that the system should display these properties without a single subsystem or system component being responsible for them. If awareness and coherency are emergent properties of the enterprise, it is likely that the enterprise (and its information system) would be more resilient in terms of being able to maintain these systemic properties.

A New Paradigm for EA

The article suggests a new paradigm for EA:

It is clear that the future is not in EA reinventing the complete gamut of management models, but it is in providing a unifying platform through which the multiple models used in the various life cycle phases and in the various stages of the enterprise’s life history can be combined. The combination needs a new paradigm though, as current EA methodologies struggle with the reality of complex relationships among models present at different abstraction levels. In essence, guided evolution of the enterprise requires that enterprise modelling not be seen as a top-down or bottom up process, but as a powerful problem finding and problem solving tool that supports transformational activities both on the strategic and operational levels.

In my article from 2013, The Changing Role of the Enterprise Architect, I argue that in facing ‘wicked problems’, enterprise architects must focus more on problem-finding than problem-solving; true craftsmen look at situations in a problem-finding manner, rather than blindly applying the same method and tool every time to what may be a new and interesting challenge.

Enterprise architecture practice must be collaborative, and enterprise architects should be cooperative in character, able to engage in many kinds of communication and collaboration. I argue that enterprise architects must have both:

  1. dialectic skills and competencies in resolving conflicts, creating consensus, synthesis and common understanding, detecting what might establish that common ground, and the skill of seeking the intent rather than just reading the face value of the words, and
  2. dialogic skills including listening well, behaving tactfully, finding points of agreement, managing disagreement, and avoiding frustration in a difficult discussion.

Jason Uppal picks up on this in his lecture at a recent EA conference.

The dialectic/dialogic distinction is of course a classic discourse in educational research (see for example Rupert WegerifRichard Paul, and Andrew Ravenscroft) and generally throughout the critical social sciences (“Bakhtinian dialogic and Vygotsky’s dialectic”) ever since Hegel.

In Together: The Rituals, Pleasures, and Politics of Cooperation sociologist Richard Sennett states that the distinction between dialogic and dialectic is fundamental to understanding human communication. Sennett says that dialectic deals with the explicit meaning of statements, and tends to lead to closure and resolution. Whereas dialogic processes, especially those involved with regular spoken conversation, involve a type of listening that attends to the implicit intentions behind the speaker’s actual words. Unlike a dialectic process, dialogics often do not lead to closure and remain unresolved. Compared to dialectics, a dialogic exchange can be less competitive, and more suitable for facilitating cooperation. Sennett explains further in a lecture at Harvard: The Architecture of Cooperation.

The Importance of Enterprise Collaboration

Cooperation and collaboration are closely related concepts, and often thought of as synonymous. In fact, they are quite different.

Oscar Berg‘s Collaboration Pyramid may explain the difference:

Collaboration Pyramid

Berg distinguishes between the three layers in this way:

  • The community is the enterprise seen as a group of individuals that share the same purpose, vision and values. It is about shared attitudes and behaviors within the enterprise, or the culture if you like. It is also about the individual’s ability to be seen, participate and be recognized, all of which are fundamental for developing a sense of belonging, identity, and self-confidence.
  • Cooperation is about people enabling each other to do something, for example by providing a person with information or other resources that make the person more able to perform a task. Cooperation can be seen as the opposite of selfishness and competition. People help each other out for some mutual benefit.
  • Collaboration is about a team of people that work closely together to achieve a certain goal. It can be a permanent team, like a production unit at an assembly line, or temporary team, like a project team. The team would most likely have a formally appointed leader, someone who is responsible for the planning, coordination, follow-up, and communication within the team as well as the world outside the team.

Enterprise collaboration is a term that covers all these three all-important concepts of the “social” enterprise. The term is often mistakenly used to cover social networking tools and intranet, but should be seen as a wider concept and a more comprehensive platform for the enterprise, wherefrom strategic alignment and viable process and information flows are tangible outcomes.

In our Collaboration whitepaper, we explain further how QualiWare is enabling our customers to work with collaboration in their enterprise architecture work.

Enterprise Architecture Management IS Collaboration – Gartner Doesn’t Get It


More and more QualiWare users consider a consensus-driven management philosophy and enterprise collaboration to be a key driver for business agility and innovation. This has always been essential for QualiWare when we design our products and services.

For several years, we have been surprised and disappointed that Gartner sticks to a rather traditional view on EA Tools, when they evaluate a vendor. For us, collaboration is such a central prerequisite for an enabling and outcome-driven enterprise design platform. For Gartner, collaboration is hardly mentioned in the criteria for evaluation and is completely lacking in several important areas.

QualiWare delivers a platform for Enterprise Architecture Management and several other management systems. For us, and for all of our customers, the collaboration features are core functions in the implemented information system. Further details on this can be found in our whitepaper Collaboration: The Key to Successful Enterprise Architecture.

Gartner’s evaluation criteria are not available in the public domain, so we cannot go into details in this blog. But suffice to say that Gartner ranks stuff like “print hardcopy” higher than the total sum of collaboration features in an EA tool.

It is particularly striking that the evaluation criteria neglect collaboration when Gartner in much of their research over the past five years have – like other analysts – argued that collaboration is key to the success of enterprise architecture. Perhaps the “magic” in the Magic Quadrant is a five-year delay? It certainly seems so.

Over the past year, QualiWare has doubled the number of users on our collaboration platform, which now has hundreds of thousands of users across enterprises around the globe. See our whitepaper for more evidence and customer examples.

The shift in EA towards collaboration is a response to several challenges. EA is at a crossroads, and should be regarded as a powerful problem finding and problem solving tool that supports transformational activities both on the strategic and operational levels. Read John Gøtze’s blog post about this.

QualiWare strongly recommends Gartner to include collaboration relevant criteria in future EA tool evaluations. We also encourage Gartner to make their evaluation criteria public and accessible to all, and engage in a public dialogue about these. QualiWare is very keen on engaging in such open dialogues, and open all our social platforms for that purpose: Make comments to this blog, or on our Linkedin page, to our Twitter handle, or on Facebook.

As a vendor, QualiWare has an obligatory relation with analyst firms. Gartner include QualiWare in their Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Architecture Tools. QualiWare is also included in the Forrester Wave for Enterprise Architecture Management Suites.