IAC chairman: Examine enterprise architecture

The basic framework of federal enterprise architecture may need a thorough evaluation in 2005, said Dan Twomey, the new chairman of the Industry Advisory Council's enterprise architecture shared interest group.

Twomey, director of marketing for Altarum's enterprise solutions division, was elected to lead the IAC shared interest group Dec. 3; outgoing chairman Venkatapathi Puvvada, the chief technology officer of Unisys Global Public Sector decided not to run for re-election but will continue to serve the IAC group as an adviser.

Members of the IAC group are considering several architecture-related tasks for completion in 2005, one of which includes examination of the architecture framework. With all five reference models — the basic building blocks of the federal enterprise architecture — now released, government architects face a situation akin to herding sheep, Twomey said.

"Where it gets hard is when you start to close the flock together and you've got to prevent things from leaking out on the weakest side," he said.

Gaps in the architecture may now become more apparent because the first of four volumes of the data reference model is available for agency use, Twomey said.

Members of the IAC group are also monitoring whether the relationship between the Office of Management and Budget and the CIO Council's Architecture and Infrastructure Committee will change now that Richard Burk has assumed chief architect duties. In the eight-month absence of a chief architect following Bob Haycock's departure in April, the committee's role in enterprise architecture expanded, Twomey said.

IAC's role in enterprise architecture has been to advise government officials on "real lessons learned and best practices and give that view of 'how would this play in Peoria,'" Puvvada said.

The important IAC tasks of 2004 were to help government officials make enterprise architecture an actual, as opposed to theoretical, tool, Puvvada said. "2004 was to essentially to make it real," he said. Throughout the year, group members asked government officials to focus their research into areas that the government needs the most, he added.

Data architects are no longer being perceived "as the guy that ran the machines and made sure the air conditioning worked right around them," Twomey said.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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