The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is an enterprise architecture framework helps define business goals and align them with architecture objectives around enterprise software development.
This is an architecture methodology that offers a high-level framework for enterprise software development. TOGAF helps organise 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 percent of Global 50 companies and 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies used the framework. TOGAF is free for organisations to use internally, but not for commercial purposes. However, businesses can have tools, software or training programs certified by The Open Group.
TOGAF helps businesses align IT goals with overall business goals, while helping to organise cross-departmental IT efforts. TOGAF helps businesses define and organise requirements before a project starts, keeping the process moving quickly with few errors.
The Open Group states that TOGAF is intended to:
TOGAF helps organisations implement software technology in a structured and organised 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 working to the same goals.
TOGAF leads organisations to 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.
There are four architectural domains in TOGAF 9.1 that offer specialisations for businesses.
The TOGAF certification from The Open Group consists of two levels: Level 1 TOGAF Certification, which covers the foundations of the TOGAF 9.1; and Level 2 TOGAF Certification, which covers your working knowledge of TOGAF and all relevant technology, tools and concepts. Certification is offered through The Open Group at both individual and organisational levels and it does not need to be renewed. However, if a new version of TOGAF comes out, you may need to get certified in the latest version of the framework in the future.
The TOGAF certification is especially useful for enterprise architects, since it’s a common methodology and framework used in the field. It’s also a vendor-neutral certification that has global recognition. Earning your TOGAF certification will demonstrate your ability to use the TOGAF framework to implement technology and manage enterprise architecture. It will validate your abilities to work with TOGAF as it applies to data, technology, enterprise applications and business goals.