Enterprise Architecture

What is Enterprise Architecture?

  • Enterprise architecture is the process of translating business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating and improving the key requirements, principles and models that describe the enterprise's future state and enable its evolution. The scope of the enterprise architecture includes the people, processes, information and technology of the enterprise, and their relationships to one another and to the external environment. 
  • Example is like city planners – you plan what areas or functions are complementary (zone) and work towards reducing needless redundancy (two water systems).

Why is it important?

  • Common observations:
    • Common issues are addressed differently
    • Unplanned approach can lead to less desirable results
  • If there is ever a need to plan for more than one project or application at a time, or is there a project that will involve more than one business unit? If so, enterprise architecture is beneficial
  • DIS provides technology guidance to agencies, boards and commissions as needed. DIS is responsible for IT provisions of the technology plan and ensuring that the plan aligns with the state's enterprise architecture.

Arkansas approach:

  • Bring together a diverse team made up of representatives from different functional areas of government
    • Representation included ACIC, Arkansas State Library, Highway and Transportation, Economic Development, Dept of Health, Dept of Human Services, Dept of Labor, Administrative Office of the Courts, ASTA, Dept of Finance and Administration
    • Our first task was to build a requirements document that becomes the State IT Plan.
    • Based off goals identified by the Governor, the team identified environmental trends and created business strategies to address the goals and trends. Then the team identified business, information, technology and solution requirements.
    • That information is included in the State Technology Plan which has been drafted and will be presented in the next State Technology Council meeting for feedback before publishing.
    • Next create principles that provide a basis for decision making throughout state government. Ex., reduce needless complexity, maximize benefits to the enterprise, ease of use, etc.
    • Next create models by domains to communicate information

Benefits

The value proposition for EA is indirect, but there are benefits.
One goal:  Saving significant IT dollars by buying products that work across state government and standardizing common tools to improve effectiveness and efficiency.

In addition to cost savings, enterprise architecture can improve the delivery of services to Arkansas citizens by:

  • Ensuring the linkage of IT to state strategy
  • Improving interoperability and integration of systems
  • Increasing agility to meet changing requirements
  • Improving security
  • Reducing risk
  • Improve quality
  • Identifying innovation opportunities

The Most Important Deliverable of Enterprise Architecture Is Change.



Successful example of Enterprise Architecture:

Problem:

The IT planning process identified 10 different vendors providing anti-virus software in the state environment and over 60 different versions.

Solution:

Create a security working group tasked with identifying requirements for anti-virus and end point protection tools and provide the information to DFA-Office of State Procurement who put out the requirements for bid.

Results:

Three vendors provided qualifying bids and in some cases the unit prices dropped substantially. A forecast has been made that if everyone in state government were to utilize this contract, the annual savings realized is approximately $117,000. Additional benefits include easier to manage, more uniform prices, economies of scale due to high volume, reduced security risks, and to be better prepared against attacks.