ITANA’s Constituent Group meeting was on Thursday at 4:55PM. We had approximately 40 people attend. Many of the attendees were from newly formed architecture groups.
Jim Phelps started out the meeting with a short presentation on ITANA, how it is supported and how you can participate. He reviewed some of the findings from the CIO Survey on EA (Enterprise Architecture).
There was active discussion around the role of Architecture in Business Process Improvement. Most CIOs stated that Business Process Improvement was where EA had the least impact on the enterprise. The reasons that were put forth included:
- EA is often seen as a “technology group” with no real input or understanding of the business side
- EA is often on the technology side and the changes actually need to come from the business side and be made by the business side.
- The business owners often want to re-implement the processes that they are currently doing not adopt new processes. We often make the technology match the current business process rather than change the business process.
There was discussion about the role of EA in business process change. This mostly focused on the fact that EA cannot implement the change but they can highlight the issue, document the current process and the improvements and work to lead the discussion around the change.
We also discussed the way that EA engages in the enterprise. Some institutions use EA as a gate function. Projects don’t get the go-ahead without EA’s approval or they are allowed to continue with contingencies. Other institutions use EA to guide projects and illuminate issues. Where does EA plug-in to the organization and the project / funding processes?
The Next Six Months:
Jim closed by asking what can/should ITANA work on over the next six months. The following were suggested:
- Best Practices for EA in academia – what are the balancing points?
- Definitions of the various roles
- Principles that institutions have adopted and the process used to get them in place
- Case Studies on EA in higher education
- Use Cases involving EA
- Matrix of tools – the value of each tool and when to apply
- Analysis of various models for EA (the Federal model, TOGAF, et al). How do they relate to each other? Which bits are interesting or applicable to higher ed?
There was discussion of another full-day face to face meeting in 6 months – possibly at the Internet2 meeting in Arlington, VA.