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Government

Government watchdog urges use (and reuse) of shared services to transform government

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued its guidelines intended to help government agencies achieve enterprise transformation through enterprise architecture. The guidelines and conclusions offer a strong business case for commercial businesses also seeking to achieve greater agility and market strength through shared IT services.
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Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer on

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued its guidelines intended to help government agencies achieve enterprise transformation through enterprise architecture. The guidelines and conclusions offer a strong business case for commercial businesses also seeking to achieve greater agility and market strength through shared IT services.

As GAO explains it, effective use of an enterprise architecture achieves a wide range of benefits:

"...having operations and technology environments that maximize institutional mission performance and outcomes. Among other things, this includes realizing cost savings through consolidation and reuse of shared services and elimination of antiquated and redundant mission operations, enhancing information sharing through data standardization and system integration, and optimizing service delivery through streamlining and normalization of business processes and mission operations."

GAO explains the risks of not employing EA: "organizational operations and supporting technology infrastructures and systems that are duplicative, poorly integrated, unnecessarily costly to maintain and interface, and unable to respond quickly to shifting environmental factors."

GAO issued a major update to its Enterprise Architecture Management Maturity Framework that "provides a flexible benchmark against which to plan for and measure EA program maturity." The agency solicited comments from 27 federal departments and agencies, as well as representatives from the private sector, state governments, and academia, and it leveraged its prior experience in applying the framework.

The framework consists of three interrelated components:

  • Seven hierarchical stages of management maturity;
  • Four representations of management attributes that are critical to the success of any program or organizational endeavor; and
  • 59 elements, or building blocks, of EA management that are at the core of an EA program.

(Photo credit: Joe McKendrick)

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