The Open Group preps IT architect certification initiative

* The Open Group IT architect certification expected mid-year

The Open Group is establishing a certification program for IT architects, which the group says will provide a standard for the skill set and expertise required of those professionals. The program, which was driven by HP and IBM and slated for launched mid-year, will assess an individual's leadership qualities rather than focus on compliance with various development methods, explains The Open Group.

"There is a large number of people with IT architect on their business card and there are consultants that provide IT architect services. There are the beginnings of a profession, the rules for which are now unclear. Our members want us to sort out the unregulated mess," says James de Raeve, vice president of certification at The Open Group. The certification would also help organizations to determine what to look for in IT architects.

IT architects, which could also include network architects, develop and establish IT environments. To attain The Open Group's IT architect certification, candidates must have at least three years' relevant experience and be able to demonstrate and provide documentation of three architecture development projects that they led that were, among other criteria, crucial to the business and successfully deployed. The candidates would also be interviewed by a panel of certified IT architects.

According to de Raeve, candidates must also be able to apply communication skills, lead a team, perform conflict resolution, and apply standards and technical vision. "The certification will enable companies to know that who they bring in will be a fully rounded individual," says de Raeve.

Much of the details of how the candidates will be assessed have yet to be finalized but it is expected that organizations such as HP, IBM and Accenture, which provide IT architecture services, would have their internal IT architect assessment programs accredited by The Open Group and would be able to forward candidates to The Open Group as certified individuals. The Open Group also expects to assess independent consultants directly, but has yet to decide whether to open accreditation to third-party training companies.

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