Certification for IT Architects
The Open Group launches program to define skill sets
August 15, 2005 —
A new certification program for IT architects was launched last month by software vendor consortium The Open Group that defines skills and qualities for accreditation of individuals and organizations.
“Whether you’re hiring or contracting with a consultant, you can say, ‘I want someone with vendor-neutral certification,’” explained Allen Brown, CEO of The Open Group.
The member organizations of The Open Group believe business is moving toward something Brown described as “boundless information flow,” which transcends traditional stovepipes of data and applications.
“You can’t just look at a finance system or a distribution system in isolation of everything else,” he said. “You need an urban planner view to see how things integrate within the organization and with partner organizations. To have this boundless information flow, you have to have great architecture, or else you have a hodge-podge.”
To gain certification, IT architects must demonstrate a level of understanding of core foundation skills, such as the ability to communicate effectively, to lead individuals and teams, to use business requirements to develop an IT architecture, to use modeling techniques, and to define a solution to functional and nonfunctional requirements, according to The Open Group’s documentation of the program.
Architects also must demonstrate they have experience in producing IT architectures, experience with a number of types of systems and application architectures and hardware and software platforms. Some of the roles that fall under the heading of IT architect might be business analyst, methodologist, project adviser, solutions designer or technical adviser, according to the documentation. In the future, specific certification programs for enterprise architecture, or business, information or application architectures, could be developed.
There are two routes to certification, Brown said: direct certification, in which an architect applies to The Open Group, and indirectly through third-party programs accredited by The Open Group. “Organizations with a large body of in-house architects might want their program certified and then they can do their own certification of their individual architects,” Brown explained. This option, he noted, gives organizations the ability to test for more than The Open Group does, so long as those processes meet the group’s criteria, he said.
The IT architect certification program is the second one The Open Group administers; it also runs a program for practitioners of the group’s architecture framework, TOGAF.