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Founder and CEO, Biner Consulting
This Open Group member spotlight focuses on Lars Lundgren, Founder and CEO of Biner Consulting.
Q: How long have you been involved with The Open Group?
I became an “official” member of The Open Group when my company, Biner Consulting, joined in April of 2009. Since we joined, Biner has been actively involved in both the Architecture and Archimate Forums. I’ve also been attending the various Open Group conferences in Europe and recently spoke at the Rome event.
Q: Why did you become a member and what does your involvement look like?
The one word answer to this question is TOGAF. Since we’ve been working in the field of enterprise architecture (EA) for a long time, we developed a proprietary EA model for Biner Consulting that has had great success in the Nordic region. But a few years back, we came across TOGAF and discovered its similarity to our own model but also immediately realized the many benefits of using an internationally recognized standard that is based on industry best practices. After taking a closer look at TOGAF, it became clear that is says exactly what we’ve been trying to say in our own words for quite a while. So it was a main driver in having us to join The Open Group.
In terms of involvement, I’ve looked at other areas with great interest, especially Security and SOA.
Q: How has membership in The Open Group benefited you, your organization and the industry at large?
As a well-known, global standard for EA, we have found that TOGAF increases the value and credibility of our services to clients. We have found that it’s much easier to sell EA related services since we can relate them to a branded and trusted “product.” This is especially true when we work with large multi-national corporations that require industry-tested and validated standards.
The other aspect of how membership in The Open Group has benefited us and the industry – at least in the Nordics – is through certification. Since we added the TOGAF 9 foundation and certification courses to our course curriculum, more than 250 architects have attended our courses from across Sweden, Norway and Denmark with a 94 percent success rate for those that take the certification course. We are incredibly proud to be equipping so many talented enterprise architects across the Nordics with TOGAF knowledge and certifications to advance their careers and the EA profession as a whole.
With regard to conferences, I have participated in two recent Open Group events – the London 2009 and Rome 2010 shows - and have found the presentations and networking to be very interesting and useful. I find that I’m able to gather so many new business ideas and benefits to bring back to Sweden, which is why we have partnered with The Open Group to host the first Open Group conference in Sweden! We’re really looking forward discussing how EA can be used for business model innovation and business transformation with a special focus on business architecture over IT-focused EA. So hopefully you can join us November 30th – December 1st in Stockholm!
Q: What contributions to The Open Group are you most proud of?
Given our short period of involvement – just a little over a year - we are proud to have trained over 250 architects in TOGAF and over 80 individuals have gone through certification. Educating and empowering individuals to make a difference in the world of EA is definitely one thing we’re most proud of.
Q: Why is it important for other organizations to join The Open Group?
I think that it depends on the organization as there are two kinds of members – consulting firms and large corporations. For consulting firms, especially the small ones, networking and cooperation with partners and even competitors is essential to successful business growth. Since small consulting firms need to offer comparable services to their larger, more recognizable competitors, they need to use international standards such as TOGAF to demonstrate their value and further differentiate their services.
For large corporations, membership is important for similar reasons. They’re looking for opportunities to network, partner and exchange ideas. Essentially they cannot afford to use a lesser known or un-trusted EA framework and they definitely shouldn’t reinvent the wheel.
Regardless of organization size or type, the ability to contribute and use international, best-practice-based standards is what makes the Open Group so attractive.
Q: What are your hobbies?
Well, I have three children which keep me pretty busy, but I also enjoy sailing and playing a round of golf. I’ve also taken up mountain biking, which is quite exciting.
Q: What book are you currently reading?
Nothing at the moment since I usually save my reading for when I’m on vacation. During holiday I do enjoy reading novels that are unrelated to IT and EA. However, I do read many magazines and newspapers on a daily, especially ones focused on the IT industry and EA.
Q: Any last thoughts?
Since I come from the business side of things, I wanted to state my ambition to bring EA closer to the business. I think it’s very important to make it understandable to the business side and if we can’t do that, it will never truly take off.
About Lars Lundgren
Lars Lundgren is the founder and CEO of Biner. Biner is a consultancy firm and a training and certification provider in the field of enterprise architecture and change management. He is a senior consultant and has key account responsibility for Biner’s clients in the field of enterprise architecture. Lars provides training and management workshop with a focus on increasing the awareness of the business benefits of Enterprise Architecture. Lars has a business background as a management consultant and helps clients in implementing enterprise architecture as a way of developing his business.