States open toolkit, talks for EA

NASCIO's Enterprise Architecture Development Tool-Kit

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers and the Office

of Management and Budget have begun talks to see how the two levels of government

can align their approaches to building enterprise architectures, with a

goal of easier collaboration and sharing of data.

NASCIO in July published Version 2.0 of its Enterprise Architecture

Development Tool-Kit, which describes a general approach to building what

it calls "adaptive architectures" that can conform to governments' shifting

needs over time. The first version, published last year, was seen largely

as a tool to educate people about why they need to develop an enterprise

architecture.

The latest version includes such things as more specific process models

for how to customize the toolkit to fit individual agency needs, better

diagrams of governance and technology architectures, and sample blueprints

of security and application domains within an architecture.

The new features in the second version are the result of input from

states that already used the toolkit, from a workshop on toolkit use attended

by 22 states and from an intergovernmental security forum held last year,

said Gerry Wethington, CIO of Missouri and chairman of NASCIO's Enterprise

Architecture Committee.

"People were very positive about the first version of the toolkit, but

they said it would be even more helpful if it provided more constructive

hints about how to build certain aspects of the architecture," Wethington

said. "They wanted to see more explicit templates they could use."

As the demand for better information sharing across federal, state and

local government boundaries increases, the need for some compatibility among

architectures is apparent and, Wethington said, NASCIO and OMB officials

are talking about what can be done to bring elements of the state and federal

approaches into line.

Various other federal agencies also have expressed interest in working

with NASCIO on some of the architectural items, Wethington said.

"This isn't just from a homeland security perspective," he said. "There's

a recognition it's needed also for more effective electronic government

and other things."

Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be

reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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