Popkin: Serving the need

For the past decade or so, the phrase "enterprise architecture" has been a major topic in the hallways of federal agencies.

When properly developed, architectures are designed to help agency officials understand the interrelationships among enterprise processes and their underlying information technology infrastructures. An enterprise architecture also helps agencies justify IT expenditures in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget's Circular A-130, which requires federal agencies to use architectures to guide technology investments.

Some agencies, after initial work, have yet to reap the benefits of enterprise architecture, because architecture information is only useful if it is understandable and available. Yet many programs focus on delivering high-level views of the information or on the capture and analysis of data, leaving IT teams struggling to figure out how to implement technology decisions.

Other initiatives remain stand-alone efforts and fail to show the value of transforming an architecture into a true enterprise program. Such approaches never achieve the primary goal: providing readers with the information they need to make decisions.

Increasingly, agency officials are recognizing that enterprise architecture is much more than a compliance mechanism or a way of meeting the latest "mandate du jour." The value of architecture is its ability to be a decision-support tool. When implemented properly, an architecture can help officials to develop an integrated strategic information base for more powerful decision-making.

An enterprise architecture should make information easily accessible for comment and review by stakeholders. A well-developed architecture offers multiple views

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group