Volume 8

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Improving Government Enterprise Architecture Practice – Maturity Factor Analysis

Recognized as a critical factor for the whole-of-government capability, many governments have initiated Enterprise Architectures (EA) programs. However, while there is no shortage of EA frameworks, the understanding of what makes EA practice effective in a government enterprise is limited. This article presents the results of empirical research aimed at determining the key factors for raising the maturity of the Government Enterprise Architecture (GEA) practice, part of an effort to guide policy-makers of a particular government on how to develop GEA capabilities in its agencies. By analyzing the data from a survey involving 33 agencies, the relative importance of the factors like top management commitment, participation of business units, and effectiveness of project governance structures on the maturity of the GEA practice was determined. The results confirm that management commitment and participation of business units are critical factors, which in turn are influenced by the perceived usefulness of the GEA efforts.

Architecture Styles

Architecture styles are derived from the design and management criteria used to realize, operate, and evolve enterprise systems. By applying different architecture styles, Enterprise Architects can decide on relevant functional features, extent of process automation, the appropriate management style, and optimal technical infrastructure for an application landscape. As the first part of two, this article provides a theoretical foundation for developing architecture styles by considering the characteristics of an architectural style, some analogies that are useful in explaining architecture styles, and considerations for implementing style diversity in enterprises.

The Impact of Enterprise Architecture Principles on the Management of IT Investments

The strategic role of IT and its significance throughout the organization increases complexity, variety, and the need forchange. Hence, IT management must deal with uncertainties derived from different, conflicting, and ever-changingdemands. In this sense, Enterprise Architecture (EA) is playing an increasingly important role in improving ITmanagement practice. If contemporary organizations do not succeed in managing architectural issues, there is a clear risk that considerable resources will be invested without achieving desirable effects. This article investigates how EnterpriseArchitecture Principles impact the management of IT investments in the context of large organizations. The purpose of the article is to provide a deeper insight into the relationship between EA and management of IT investments through theelucidation of two significant types of principles: Delineation (differentiation) principles and Interoperability (integration)principles. Our conclusion is that the choice of architectural principles has a major impact both on alignment betweeninformation systems and business demands, and on the management of IT investments. This impact concerns at least four aspects: the responsibility for IT investments; time to value; long-term alignment; and coordination of investments ininformation systems with changes in business processes.

Can a Re-Discovery of Open Socio-Technical Systems Strengthen EA?

Recent publications by reputable market research firms affirm that IT organizations and Enterprise Architecture groups are not doing very well: high project failure rates and low acceptance of the Enterprise Architecture group. These challenges can be attributed to the “mechanistic” worldview of current IT organizations according to socio-technical systems theory, a theory from the 1950s which has only recently started to be integrated in IT. Over the last decade, there has been a quasi-exponential growth in the use of the term “socio-technical systems” in the IT literature. From this, one could suggest that a possible paradigm shift is occurring in the IT space: a shift from a mechanistic view of organizations to a socio-technical one based on the rediscovery that organizations are open socio-technical systems.

The Enterprise Architecture Approach to Support Concept Development in a Military Context: A Case Study Evaluation of EA’s Benefits

The importance of Enterprise Architecture (EA) to enterprise transformation has been identified by an increasing number of companies as well as public sector actors. However, the literature to date does not provide much empirical evidence of the benefits of EA. In this article, we evaluate empirically the potential benefits of the EA approach in Concept Development and Experimentation (CD&E), which is considered a tool to drive strategic transformation in the military community. The DeLone and McLean information system success model is used as an evaluation framework. The research method in the article is a case study. The results of the case study are analyzed statistically. The results suggest that the EA approach could benefit CD&E. The EA approach supports the further utilization of the military concept, which is a life-cycle stage preceding military capability development. The applicability of the evaluation framework needs further research.