TOGAF, which stands for "The Open Group Architectural Framework," was first released in 1995 and the program is now on version 9. The certification is intended to help provide a high-level, efficient and standardized approach to the design, planning, implementation, and governance of an enterprise architecture. TOGAF addresses four levels: business, applications, data, and technology.
As described by The Open Group, "the program enables organizations to standardize on open method for IT architecture and avoid a lock-in to the proprietary methods of major consulting firms. Customers can base their IT architecture on an open, industry standard method, which works with all major frameworks, and can procure tools, training, and the services of consultants (individuals and integrators) with confidence, on the basis of certified conformance with TOGAF standards."
The Open Group also urges vendors to look into TOGAF certification.
Gary Doherty, TOGAF product manager for The Open Group, observes that TOGAF became a handy tool for many companies and IT professionals attempting to weather the recent economic hurricane:
"As organizations have struggled financially, they have been forced to look at their organizational and business models and determine where they could cut spending dramatically. Obviously IT budgets were a large part of those evaluations. Open standards, such as TOGAF®, can help organizations better manage difficult times by providing a framework that allows enterprise architects to help their companies save money, maintain and enhance profitability and improve efficiencies."