A number of frameworks for designing and implementing IT enterprise architecture have come up in the recent past. Yet the most widely adopted framework, especially by the large organizations with on-demand scaling needs, is TOGAF. The TOGAF framework has been hailed for helping stakeholders understand complex processes within their IT environments. The main aim of adopting IT standards is to align the objectives of the organization with its IT infrastructure. The professionals charged with developing and implementing the organization’s IT architecture are enterprise architects. These individuals are depended upon to design an effective IT strategy that will drive the organization to achieve its business goals.
According to Open Group, 80% of the world’s leading enterprises have opted to adopt TOGAF as their IT architecture framework. Going by these statistics, enterprise architectures should consider undertaking the TOGAF Certification to demonstrate their knowledge. Most importantly, organizations value TOGAF as it is recognized across the globe. Thus, implementing its standards means that the organization is aligning itself with the world’s standards. TOGAF has appealed to the likes of SAP, HP, AWS, and Oracle making it the framework to look out for.
What is TOGAF?
TOGAF is an acronym for the Open Group Architecture Framework. It is a framework implemented for designing and implementing IT architecture and development processes. TOGAF has particularly appealed to very large organizations with very large IT ecosystems. The TOGAF framework, as the name indicates, was published by the Open Group, an international organization with a membership spanning over 600 companies across various fields that regularly contribute to its updates making it better and more valuable to organizations over time.
TOGAF is most preferred because its focus, amidst its development and architecture activities, is to achieve business goals and objectives. TOGAF standards are applied across four domains of IT architecture. These are:
- Business architecture. Defines the business strategy, governance, organization, and key business processes.
- Application architecture. This domain provides the guideline for applications that will support the organization to attain its business goals. It outlines how the applications will interact with as well as their relationship with key business processes.
- Data/information architecture. Defines the organization’s logical and physical data management tools and technologies.
- Technical architecture. Defines the hardware and software required to support the deployment of the desired architecture. This may include the IT infrastructure, networks and communication, computing capabilities, standards, and more.
Overall, TOGAF standards provide the guidelines for designing, planning, implementing, and governing systems within an enterprise’s IT architecture.
An overview of the TOGAF Certification
TOGAF certification is a valuable credential procured by the Open Group. While there are no prerequisites for taking TOGAF certification, a background in IT will help you understand the content and pass your examination with the first attempt. Also, experience in business and IT roles will help you lay a solid foundation for subsequent TOGAF certification.
To earn the credential, one must pass two exams;
- TOGAF Level 1 certification covering the foundations of TOGAF
- TOGAF Level 2 certification covers in-depth TOGAF concepts, technologies, tools, and provides a blueprint of implementing TOGAF architecture practice and managing the transformation brought about by the implementation.
The Open Group allows students to take the examinations either separately or combined to earn the TOGAF credential.
There are also specialized TOGAF certifications that can undertake to demonstrate advanced knowledge. They are:
- Business Architecture Certification that demonstrates practical knowledge and understanding of system architecture based on TOGAF principles and concepts.
- Security Certification that demonstrates practical knowledge of TOGAF system security and risk management principles and standards.
TOGAF Certification Market Value
TOGAF certification is invaluable for both the professional and the organization that employs him/her. TOGAF helps organizations to make sense of their complex IT environment and find ways of enhancing its efficiencies.
- The general value of TOGAF Certification
TOGAF certification does not cost much compared to the value that it delivers to both individuals and the organizations that they are aspiring to work for. The TOGAF certification exams cost $360 for level 1 and $360 level 2 examinations or a discounted $550 for combined level 1 and level 2 exams. Even with an additional cost of training for the exam, TOGAF certification benefits far outweigh the investment.
- TOGAF Certification Value for Professionals
TOGAF certification can be undertaken by any professional including those in IT like system architects who use it to design systems, as well as project managers, business analysts, and others who seek to understand the operations of their IT environments.
While it is more practical to implement TOGAF standards in large organizations than in smaller ones, in-depth knowledge and understanding of the operations of large IT infrastructures and the ability to redesign them for the benefit of the organization is a unique advantage offered by TOGAF certification for those who aspire to work with multinationals and other large organizations to enable the technological flow of their IT systems.
Enterprise architects with TOGAF certification command higher remuneration. Recruiters value the TOGAF credentials that put them in a position to use TOGAF standards to design and implement the long-term IT strategy of the organization in line with business objectives. Based on figures by Payscale, a TOGAF certified enterprise architect commands between $95,000 and $193,000 in the United States.
Again, because there is an increased awareness of enterprise architecture across the globe, the rising demand for TOGAF skills is in itself a blessing in disguise for professionals across a broad range of job roles. The Foote Report ranked TOGAF skills position 289 of the highest paying certified IT skills.
- TOGAF Certification Value for Organizations
At the very basic, a secured streamlined IT system helps an organization deliver its products and services in line with the expectations of both its internal and external customers. This has long-term benefits to the business in terms of earning customer trust and building a strong brand.
TOGAF allows organizations to track and manage their IT budgets hence channeling their spending on initiatives with a good return on investment. This is in essence eliminating the cost of inefficient systems, lack of collaboration between teams, and a host of other costs associated with loss of customer trust in the organization’s ability to deliver services/products to their expectations.
Enterprise architecture frameworks are intended to help organizations to develop effective IT strategies that will help them anticipate and tackle future organizational issues. Organizations’ IT infrastructure can be complex. Enterprise architecture frameworks like TOGAF help organizations to design and organize their IT environments into an abstracted overview of systems and operations that others can follow through. Streamlined systems that align with business objectives are the first step to building stable organizations.