- Associate Vice President, IT Strategy & Innovation, Nationwide
Q. How long have you been involved with The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum?
I have been involved with IT4IT off and on since its start as an HP customer consortium 7-8 years ago. More recently, I have been actively involved with the Forum since about January 2015. I have spent time as the Co-Chair then Chair of Adoption Work Group, ran the Certification and Training Subgroup, was Vice-Chair for a year and am now currently Co-Chair for 2018.
Q. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?
I am Associate Vice President, IT Strategy & Innovation at Nationwide, and Gold member of The Open Group for many years. I have been with Nationwide since February 2017. Prior to that, I spent two years running the Americas division of CC&C Solutions, a global boutique IT Strategy & Architecture consulting and training firm. Prior to that, I spent ~20 years at Procter & Gamble, much of it in Enterprise Architecture.
Q: Why did your organization become a member of the Forum and what does your involvement look like?
Nationwide has been a gold member of The Open Group for many years. We are involved with and get value out of several forums, including Architecture, ArchiMate®, Open Platform 3.0™, IT4IT, and most recently Digital Practitioners Work Group. Specifically within the IT4IT Forum, we get insight into how to best manage the business of IT4IT, both strategically and operationally.
Q: How has membership in The Open Group benefited you, your organization and the industry at large?
Personally, I have learned so much from being around so many wonderfully brilliant thought leaders. I have been able to dramatically increase my depth of knowledge through engagement with The Open Group. Organizationally, we are active users of TOGAF® within our EA practice. It is the core of how we do Architecture. And we are currently learning how to evolve and upskill our organization through engagement with Digital Practitioners.
As far as improving the industry at large, there are so many Open Group stories I could mention and ways The Open Group has benefited the industry during its rich history. But I will focus on what I have seen personally with IT4IT. I believe the IT4IT Level 1 Reference Architecture diagram and the IT Value Chain diagram from IT4IT are iconic images that get everyone in an organization on the same page regarding how IT works. I have personally talked to people from hundreds of companies and I have never once gotten pushback or major criticism on either diagram when it comes to helping people understand the big picture of IT. They can add value aligning an organization and getting individuals on the same page in as little as a single conversation. To me, there is no greater benefit to the industry than to get us all on the same page and moving in the same direction.
Q: What contributions do you hope to bring to the Forum?
I have personally used IT4IT in so many different ways since I first learned about it. I hope to share some of my experiences with others so that they can benefit from my mistakes and learnings for their organizations.
Q: Why is it important for other organizations to join The Open Group?
Membership in The Open Group gives you access to such a rich library of knowledge. Using what others have contributed can save an organization days, weeks and months of effort. But beyond that, The Open Group is such an amazing place to come and interact with industry thought leaders and incredibly bright people. The personal development one can gain from joining the weekly conversations or attending an in-person conference far exceed what you can learn from reading a book, taking a course or attending almost any other conference.
Q: What are your hobbies?
I like to read and spend time with my family. I also love Ohio State Football. Few things are better than a football Saturday in the Horseshoe. Finally, I love coaching my kid’s sports teams, but as get older and my travel schedule has increased, I don’t get as much opportunity to do that as I used to.
Q: What book are you currently reading?
The Startup Way by Eric Ries
Q. What social networks do you belong to?
LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. But I spend most of my social network time on LinkedIn. I love keeping up with what my work colleagues are up to and I am constantly learning from the content people write and post.
Q: Any last thoughts?
We are in an exciting time in our industry. It is important for us all to remember this quote that I love. “You have a choice: you can either create your own future, or you can become the victim of a future that someone else creates for you.” Vice Admiral (ret.) Arthur K. Cebrowski. We each need to be thinking about how we are creating our own future and the future of our industry. The Open Group gives us a chance to do just that, but only if we get involved.
Michael Fulton, Associate Vice President, IT Strategy and Innovation at Nationwide Insurance, is an experienced IT Industry thought leader with 10+ years of experience in IT Strategy & Enterprise Architecture and 25+ years of IT experience. He has certifications in TOGAF, IT4IT, and ITIL and is a Cloud Certified Architect and has led work at companies big and small in Digital Transformation, IT Transformation, IT Strategic Planning and Enterprise Architecture. Michael has worked in roles across the entire IT Value Chain during his career. He is an experienced speaker and trainer, a practiced leadership and strategy coach and mentor and is well known across the industry. He brings a strategic viewpoint and the ability to communicate with all levels of the organization. He is currently Vice Chair of Open Group IT4IT Forum.