Enterprise architecture evolves

The Enterprise Assessment Framework is changing, and although the changes that will comprise the third major iteration are still proposals, the direction is taking shape, according to the Office of Management and Budget's EA leader.


Kshmendra Paul, chief architect at OMB's Office of E-government and information Technology, outlined the plan today at Enterprise Architecture, an 1105 Government Information Group conference.


"It's important, for this kind of change, that we don't do it too quickly," he said, describing OMB's desire to hear from all quarters before finalizing the Version 3 framework.


Under both the current assessment framework and the proposed revision, OMB considers the degree of completion, whether the agency actually uses the architecture, and its results. However, the proposed one lacks the emphasis on recent concerns such as IPv6 migration and change management, favoring instead factors such as performance management integration and the alignment between the agency's enterprise transition plan and its OMB Exhibit 300s, which make the business case for proposed investments.


"There are a lot of segmented architectures under development, so the question comes up, how do these all glue together?" Paul said.


In response to an audience member's question, Paul said the upcoming change in presidential administrations is not likely to disrupt the enterprise architecture plans.


"When folks put together the management agenda at the beginning of the current administration, they looked around for best practices," he said. "I'm sure that will be the process for the next administration. But what will they find? They'll look at private industry, they'll look at academia. [They'll find] that we've already got an effective mechanism for change."


In a separate conference session, Vernon Bettencourt, former Army deputy chief information officer and now senior executive at consulting firm Technical and Management Resources, emphasized the need for sound governance.


"You need a governance process to make sure you're meeting [OMB] mandates, and can report out on those mandates," he said.


Bettencourt was involved in the rebuilding of the segments of the Pentagon that were destroyed or damaged in the 2001 terrorist attacks and played a role in overseeing the IT recovery. He said that a key factor in the success of a project that is still under way is to demonstrate that the time and expense are worthwhile.


"It's very important to keep hammering that this is an enterprise solution," he said. "And then deliver."

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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