On June 14th, 2016, as part of IRM Enterprise Architecture Europe Conference held in London, The Open Group revealed its new modeling standard, known as ArchiMate 3.0. The speaker, Marc Lankhorst, the managing consultant for BiZZdesign, was joined by The Open Group’s VP of Standards and Certification Andrew Josey, as they revealed the new modeling standard amidst a warm day in the United Kingdom’s capital city.

Charging headfirst into the point, Lankhorst made very clear that the primary focus of this reveal is the two new features introduced in ArchiMate 3.0 over its previous iteration: the new strategy layer, and a new layer representing the physical world itself. Lankhorst opened with adding the obligatory list of all the overall functions of ArchiMate, which provides a universal language with concepts to describe enterprise architects. He also describes that ArchiMate 3.0 will also have visualizations for stakeholders and that this is a standard operated by The Open Group itself. Lastly, an important and welcome addition to ArchiMate 3.0 is better compatibility with TOGAF, the framework standard also developed by The Open Group, in which, as of the time of this writing, is currently in its ninth iteration.

Lankhorst proclaims “Development of the newest version started about two years ago”.  He goes on to indicate that over the last few years since version two came out, there was an increasing demand for relating enterprise architecture with business strategy.  So architecture should be connected better to the strategic world. Lankhorst states that the new strategy elements are “aimed for capabilities like planning and modeling strategic areas of the organization.”

Specifically, the addition of three crucial elements, the first being capabilities, which Lankhorst defines as “an ability that an active structure element, such as an organization, individual or system, possesses”. The second element is resource, an asset owned by a person or a group, and finally, the third is course of action, the actions taken by the individual or organization to achieve in the usage of its resources. All of these items are currently developing with the overall framework of TOGAF in mind.

The second biggest change coming through in the new ArchiMate 3.0 is the brand new physical layer. This layer is a bit of a misnomer; the physical section is more like a sublayer within the pre-existing technology layer, the new addition thus, that the technology layer now has elements concerning items in the physical world, representing the Internet of Things. A feature missing from ArchiMate’s previous version as Lankhorst recalls “In ArchiMate 2 it was possible to model the internet, but we didn’t have any concepts for the things.”

Of course, this problem has found its remedy in ArchiMate 3.0. As par for the course, the new physical section has four key elements. A couple of them include equipment, which is “one or more physical machines, tools, or instruments that can create, store, move or transform materials” and facilities, which houses said equipment. The other two include material, which represents tangible items that are in production, and distribution network, which notates “A physical network used to transport materials and energy”. With all of these, another smaller addition is the renaming of communication paths to paths, no doubt accommodating the new elements added to the technology layer.

To quickly wrap up the reveal, Lankhorst briefly went over how relationships changed in the new ArchiMate 3.0. The new additions of junctions, or statements and groups was a welcome addition to the cluster of ArchiMate’s previous version. Other various and arguably smaller changes littered the latter end of the reveal, ultimately finishing with an overall sneak peek of how ArchiMate 3.0 will fit into the TOGAF framework.

By Max Malik

Maxwell Malik is a freelance writer and screen writer for the motion picture industry. When not traveling the world, he makes his home in Burbank California.

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