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.
One of the most frequent topics of conversation among government IT leaders today is how to manage legacy systems at a time when the pressure to modernize is at an all time high but budgets remain tight. But what exactly is a legacy system, and why are they creating such problems in the federal government?
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.
There is strong buzz around a recent i360Gov press announcement titled,” Portfolio Management Survey Underscores Need for Greater Awareness.” The release highlights new data points from its recent 2015 ProofPoints survey on Application Portfolio Management (APM) within the Federal government. The survey results illustrate that while government IT is packed with innovation and change agents, there is much more to be done. In the survey, over 100 federal government executives weighed in on various elements of government IT decision making, with APM and its need for transparency and understanding at the forefront.
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.
The topic of IT portfolio management as an essential component to an agency’s ability to meet agency mission while mitigating costs, came up frequently in the presentations delivered at Digital Government Institute’s (DGI) Enterprise Architecture conference in late April. As a follow on, DGI is now hosting a webinar on June 23rd focused on EA and IT Portfolio Management, titled, “Fueling Transformational Success through IT Portfolio Management & Enterprise Architecture.
One of the most fundamental ways in which agencies can reduce costs while increasing efficiency is to ensure they understand their system architecture and information technology ecosystem at a very granular level. With this enhanced visibility into your infrastructure, applications, and systems, agencies can then make correlations from these assets back to mission objectives in order to gauge where there is potential to eliminate redundancy and waste.