Architecture guides DHS investments

The Homeland Security Department completed the first draft of its enterprise architecture in mid-October. That's good news for agencies within DHS and outside the new department, which have been waiting to learn how their operations and systems — as represented in their own enterprise architectures — will mesh with those

of DHS.

DHS, which developed its architecture with Science Applications International Corp., has already identified many opportunities for consolidation, according to chief information officer Steve Cooper. Officials have begun implementing objectives from the transitional strategy to move the department toward its target architecture, a model of the desired state of information technology operations.

This is critical if the right IT investments, appropriately integrated, are to be made for supporting homeland security missions, said Karen Evans, administrator of the Office of E-Government and IT in the Office of Management and Budget.

"Achieving true homeland security will require IT investments that both guarantee real-time information sharing and successfully improve response time and decision-making," she told a congressional panel.

Both DHS' architecture and the federal enterprise architecture are vital tools for improving the management and performance of homeland security missions across all levels of government, she said.

About the Author

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

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