EA tops managers' concerns

Seventh Annual Top Ten Challenges Survey

Enterprise architecture and culture change topped the list of concerns for federal senior information technology managers, according to the seventh annual Association for Federal Information Resources Management survey released Dec. 19.

Formulating or implementing an enterprise architecture ranked sixth in last year's AFFIRM survey, but jumped to the top of this year's list of challenges.

The change was expected, said Robert Golas, executive director of business development for Oracle Federal and Michael Lisagor, president of Celerity Works LLC, who presented the survey results at an AFFIRM lunch.

"With the emphasis being placed on the federal enterprise architecture, this comes as no surprise," the report found. Both the defense/intelligence community and the civilian agencies saw this as their biggest challenge.

For the second year in a row, "making the business and cultural changes necessary for full e-government transformation" came in second. This reflects the "current emphasis on the president's 24 e-government initiatives as well as department and agency emphasis on internal e-government initiatives."

However, the defense/intell community ranked this challenge eighth -- six spots below the ranking that civilian agency managers gave it.

Also ranking high at Nos. 3 and 4 are hiring and retaining skilled professionals (which was also third last year) and aligning IT and organizational mission goals (which made it back on the top 10 list after a few years' absence.)

The survey recipients were also asked to select five items from a list of 30 critical technologies and solutions that they considered the most important to the federal chief information officer. Security infrastructure, like last year, was ranked No. 1. Internet/intranet/Web applications and knowledge management followed as No. 2 and No. 3.

This year's survey also included five additional questions to help government executives better understand the impact of Sept. 11. Responses to one question indicated a lack of agency management attention to e-government initiatives, as well as the need for continued efforts to improve IT infrastructure security and an increased emphasis on service to the citizen. These are all areas that might warrant further attention, the survey said.

The survey is available online at www.affirm.org.

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