What Is TOGAF? Everything You Need to Know

Gartner predicts that by 2022, 80% of successful companies heavily rely on enterprise architecture systems to coordinate between business and technology platforms.

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Enterprise architecture is seen by many as the key to merge business goals and technology. There are several different frameworks that are used to simplify these complex frameworks.

One of them is TOGAF.

What is TOGAF? Keep reading to find out.

Learning About Enterprise Architecture

Before we dive into TOGAF, you should develop a basic understanding of enterprise architecture. Enterprise architecture seeks to align business goals, strategies and processes with technology.

Given that definition, that seems like a simple thing to do. It’s not.

Businesses that have thousands of employees spread across the world have challenges merging technology and business goals. Imagine creating a unified set of technology systems and processes.

You might work in an environment where you have 50-100 employees, but they work in silos. They might be siloed according to the product line or department.

Enterprise architecture uses business strategy and creates technology processes from the business strategy. This is a shift for many businesses because they let the technologies drive the business. Enterprise architecture lets the mission, purpose, and goals driving the business.

What Is TOGAF?

TOGAF stands for The Open Group Architectural Framework. It’s a set of standards developed by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1995.

TOGAF uses core concepts to align business strategies, data, and infrastructure. Business architecture is an overview of the organization’s governance policies, strategies, objectives, and business processes.

The Architecture Technology Architecture analyzes the infrastructure that’s required to achieve business objectives. You take a look at the hardware and software capabilities, networks, infrastructure, and standards.

Application Architecture is where you weigh the applications used throughout the enterprise against the objectives of the business. You ensure that the applications used are scalable and reliable.

Data Architecture is where you ensure that there are data collection models and policies in place. You also ensure that your data collection methods are in compliance with various government rules and regulations.

TOGAF gives all organizations a common set of principles, tools, vocabulary, and standards. It can be a perfect fit with other project management frameworks, such as Agile.

TOGAF doesn’t use the same set of standards from 1995. These standards aren’t static. They’re always evolving as businesses and technology evolve.

There is a committee of professionals from academic, business, and government sectors that review and update the standards.

Right now, the latest standard that’s in use is TOGAF 9.2. This standard includes more examples as to how the framework gets applied to different types of sectors. There are also updated security standards and architectures.

How TOGAF Helps Businesses

How can TOGAF help your business? The framework has helped thousands of businesses over the last 25 years, and there’s a reason why it’s still a valuable asset.

TOGAF is highly scalable. You can continue to apply the same framework and set of processes as your business grows.

Since you’re integrating one system and set of processes across your organization, you’re minimizing repeatable tasks and minimizing mistakes made at the individual level.

That reduces IT costs, maximizes productivity, and you have a much more efficient operation.

How can you implement TOGAF in your organization? First, you need to get certified in TOGAF. You’ll learn how to take a business vision, develop the framework, and implement it.

A complimentary language that’s used with TOGAF is ArchiMate. ArchiMate is a visual language that helps you map out your infrastructure and organizational plan.

Getting TOGAF Certified

Now that you know the benefits of TOGAF certification, you might be wondering how you can get yourself certified. The path to certification involves an in-depth course and an intense two-part exam. The exams use the TOGAF 9.2 Standard.

You just can’t take any course, though. The course has to be accredited by The Open Group. These courses can be in-person, virtual, or self-study.

There are two levels of certification. TOGAF 9 Foundation is an introductory certification to the TOGAF 9 Framework. You’ll learn the core concepts, basic terminology, and key principles of the framework.

TOGAF 9 Certified has everything in the TOGAF 9 Foundation course, plus practical ways to implement the framework to businesses. This is the best option if you are already working as an enterprise architect and seek ways to apply the framework to your own business.

Part I of the exam covers the TOGAF 9 Foundation course. You have 60 minutes to complete 40 questions. You need to get 55% of the answers correct to pass.

Part II gives you eight scenarios where you apply the concepts you learned in the certification course. You have 90 minutes to answer these questions.

The answers are scored and you can get a maximum of 40 points on this part of the exam. At the very least, you need to earn 24 points to pass.

What’s next after certification? You can follow that up with a certification in ArchiMate. These two certifications show employers that you’re serious about your career path in enterprise architecture.

TOGAF Is the Secret Sauce for a Thriving Business

Technology should make business and life much easier. That’s more difficult than most people realize because of the way businesses are traditionally organized – by product line or by department.

In an age where collaboration and a systemic approach to business are more important than ever, companies turned to enterprise architecture to bridge business objectives with technology. One of the main standards is TOGAF.

What is TOGAF and how does it help your business? It’s a widely used standard that’s scalable and recognized as one of the top frameworks.

Are you ready to further your tech career? Check out the Online Education section of this site to see what your options are.