Enterprise Integration (EI) is an inherently complex undertaking that tends to have a fairly high failure rate. Integration needs are difficult to predict and solve because there are multiple system silos with their own project plans that span several release cycles to manage. Keeping track of these multiple silos makes it difficult to determine and eliminate redundancies and track system interdependencies. With so many cogs in the integration wheel, it’s challenging for agency IT leaders to embrace EI. So how can we simplify integration processes to help CIOs leverage the benefits? It all starts with the how of EI.
When President Obama’s 2017 budget was released in early February, it was clear that a key focus of the administration’s final year was to drive a smarter and more efficient government through IT. Key sections of the budget confirmed what has been evident for some time now: that “[t]he Administration has embarked on a comprehensive effort to fundamentally improve the way that the Government delivers technology services to the public,” through means of “recruiting top technologists and entrepreneurs to work within agencies on the highest priority projects, leveraging the best processes to increase oversight and accountability for IT spending, and ramping up Government contracting with innovative companies.”
As a result of EA’s mercurial nature, stress can exist for CIOs and agency IT leaders. Paula Ziehr, Reality Check contributor, suggests in regard to EA: “Just breathe…that is my advice when you are feeling the pressures … Just breathe – and start planning. That old adage ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’ has never rung so true.” Ziehr stresses throughout “Enterprise Architecture: Just Breathe and Find the Time to Plan” the importance of planning and remaining calm throughout the EA development process.
Government IT has been humming with valiant efforts to embrace modernization in order to increase efficiency and improve upon fulfilling agency mission. Yet, without a well-organized and transparent IT portfolio and a focus on Enterprise Architecture (EA), missions run the risk of falling flat with innovation puttering out as transformation efforts get lost in the noise.