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COO, Real IRM / Chair, The Open Group Architecture Forum
This Open Group member spotlight focuses on Paul van der Merwe, COO of Real IRM and chair of the Architecture Forum, who has been involved with The Open Group since 2007.
Q: How long have you been involved with The Open Group?
Q: Why did you become a member and what does your involvement look like?
From a franchise perspective, Real IRM is representing The Open Group in South Africa, and therefore we apply a lot of Open Group-produced material in our consulting and training. We are running a project in the South African region to produce eight whitepapers on topics related to TOGAF. We are encouraging members from the entire region to participate.
While Real IRM has a strong focus on South Africa, in my new role as chair of the Architecture Forum I’m trying to encourage more participation amongst all Open Group members. I encourage not only Platinum members but also the newer members and the membership in general to participate in the different activities. Collaboration is one of the key focuses that I want to promote. The Open Group is a member-based organization, and if members don’t contribute and participate then The Open Group can’t move forward.
Q: How has membership in The Open Group benefited you, your organization and the industry at large?
One of the key benefits of TOGAF is that it’s a standard that’s applicable across industries and geographies. We have found with members and TOGAF adopters in general that it is starting to become the common language and reference point across the architecture community.
Sharing some of our experiences within the global community is one way to make South African EA practices sustainable. The two key attributes that we like to see in EA practices are sustainability and business appropriateness. Most of the members in South Africa have that focus, and because we have evolved those best practices within a variety of South African member companies, we could contribute material around the TOGAF 9 capability framework.
Q: What contributions to The Open Group are you most proud of?
Q: Why is it important for other organizations to join The Open Group?
Q: What are your hobbies?
Q: What book are you currently reading?
Q: Any last thoughts?
About Paul van der Merwe
COO at Real IRM and chair of The Open Group’s Architecture Forum, Paul is one of South Africa's most dynamic and insightful enterprise architecture practitioners. A conceptual thinker, he has driven a number of advances in the fields in which he has specialized, among them software development, business intelligence, and now enterprise architecture. Under Paul's direction, Real IRM has taken enterprise architecture consulting and training into global markets, and as a consequence South Africa is a world leader in this domain.
A certified TOGAF practitioner, he presented the first TOGAF certification course in South Africa. He frequently presents on enterprise architecture, the Zachman Framework and governance, and has trained in these disciplines on three continents. Paul is also a respected academic who presents a post-graduate course in the Department of Informatics at the University of Pretoria. He is a member of the Association of Open Group Enterprise Architects, Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), Computer Society of South Africa and the Information System Audit and Control Association (ISACA).