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Andras Szakal

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VP & CTO, Federal Government, IBM

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Q: How long have you been involved with The Open Group?
Since 2002

Q. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

My title is VP & CTO. Currently I am one of the CTOs that focus on a combination of product and industry market strategy, in particular the government sector. I have been working in the industry since the mid-80s. I'm one of those rare cats that have had a chance to work on every platform including Apple IIe and original MAC, VAX, HP-7000, PC/Windows, AIX, UNIX and now the cloud and cognitive computing operating environments.

Q: Why did your organization become a member and what does your involvement look like?

IBM was a founding member of The Open Group and our primary reason for participation was the creation of a re-useable operating environment - UNIX®. Since then we have expanded our contributions to touch most of the forums and initiatives within The Open Group.

Q: How has membership in The Open Group benefited you, your organization and the industry at large?

IBM derives value from being a member in many different ways. From a core technology standards point of view, we have a significant investment in standards that run the gambit from security, monitoring and operating systems. However, the unique value proposition of The Open Group is from the perspective of the practitioner. The Open Group is unique in so much as there is a significant number of practitioners that contribute to Best Practice standards and practical certifications. Best example being TOGAF®.

Q: What contributions do you hope to bring to The Open Group?

I continue to be focused on helping improve the architecture profession, cybersecurity and securing the supply chain. I'm also focused on the overall strategy like Open Platform 3.0™ (from the perspective of being a member of The Open Group Governing Board.

Q: Why is it important for other organizations to join The Open Group?

Because it's a fantastic place to gain and share experience and define the future of computing.

Q: What are your hobbies?

Scuba Diving, MOBA Gaming, Tennis and Golf

Q: What book are you currently reading?

Just finished the “Agent of He”l (one as in the Norse God of the underworld) trilogy. I am about to read the next novel in the Vernor Vinge Deepness trilogy. Before that I completed my 3rd Jack Reacher novel. From a business point of view, I have recently read “Leadership and Self-Deception”.

Q. What social networks do you belong to?

I focus on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Q: Any last thoughts?

The next 10 years will be a fantastic time to be a technologist.

Andras R. Szakal, VP & CTO, Federal Government, IBM

Mr. Szakal is Vice President and Chief Technology Officer IBM U.S. Federal.  He is responsible for IBM’s industry solution technology strategy in support of the U.S. Federal customer. Mr. Szakal was appointed IBM Distinguished Engineer and Director of IBM's Federal Software Architecture team in 2005.  Before joining IBM in 1998, he was a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff within Bell Atlantic’s (Verizon) Federal Division and Broadband Systems.  Mr. Szakal is an Open Group Distinguished Certified IT Architect, IBM Certified SOA Solution Designer and a Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP). Mr. Szakal leads a department of technologists responsible for developing e-Government software architectures using IBM technology and solutions. His team is responsible for designing and deploying solutions to enable smarter government by applying innovative approaches to secure service based computing and mission critical systems. He holds undergraduate degrees in Biology and Computer Science and a Masters Degree in Computer Science from James Madison University. Mr. Szakal has been a driving force behind IBM's adoption of government IT standards as a member of the IBM Software Group Government Standards Strategy Team and the team focused on secure product development and cybersecurity. Mr. Szakal represents the IBM Software Group on the Board of Directors of The Open Group and currently holds the Vice Chair of the IT Architect Profession Certification Standard (ITAC). More recently he was appointed chair of the Open Group Trusted Technology Forum and leads the development of the Open Trusted Technology Provider Framework and is the primary author of ISO/IEC-40423 (O-TTPS).