Government Enterprise Architecture Framework

Enterprise Architecture (EA) describes how organizational, information and technology structures support the strategy and operations of organizations. In the context of government enterprises – a coordinated set of activity areas involving one or more public organizations and possibly third-party entities from private organizations or civil society, an EA provides technical descriptions of the organizational goals, business and administrative processes, information requirements, supporting applications and technology infrastructure of the enterprise. These descriptions are typically captured in the form of models, diagrams, narratives, etc. A Government Enterprise Architecture (GEA) may be associated with a single agency or span functional areas transcending several organizational boundaries, e.g. health care, financial management and social welfare.

Reasons for developing enterprise architectures in government include:

  1. Understanding, clarifying and optimizing the inter-dependencies and relationships among business operations, the underlying IT infrastructure and applications that support these operations in government agencies and in the context of specific government enterprises
  2. Establishing a basis for agencies to share information, knowledge and technology and other resources or jointly participate in the execution of business processes
  3. Optimizing ICT investment and business cases across the whole of government by enabling the opportunities for collaboration and sharing of assets, thus reducing the tendency for duplicated and poorly integrated IT resources and capabilities

There is increasing awareness on the importance of EA as most of the leading countries in e-government have well established EA programs. Presently, there are EA maturity models with defined relations to well known e-Government Maturity stages. The increasing popularity of EA practices by governments in both developed and developing countries is indicated by the different global surveys on EA.

Despite the popularity of the EA practice in the private sector and increasingly in the government, the EA discipline is relatively new, lacking foundational theories and models and characterized by multiplicity of frameworks and reference models; even lacking an agreement on the definition and scope of the subject matter. From the earlier orientation of EA as a technological optimization or standardization concern, EA has gradually evolved to a management practice with stronger emphasis placed on the organizational-IT alignment.

However, there are mixed results in terms of outcomes from EA initiatives. In general, demonstrating concrete benefits from EA program has been challenging for many organizations. This difficulty is attributed to lack of metrics for EA initiatives. Notwithstanding, a number of successful EA initiatives have been reported by some governments, particularly, in Canada and the US. Unfortunately, comparing and analyzing these EA initiatives and cases is difficult in the absence of assessment frameworks, techniques and tools.

Completed

1. Aim

The project aims to provide policy guidelines for the development of Government Enterprise Architecture Frameworks (GEAFs), establish concrete requirements for such a framework in Macao, and provide recommendations on how elements of a Macao GEAF (MGEAF) could be built from existing Government EA Frameworks, Reference Models, Methods, and Modeling Framework. The project will also provide an example of agency-specific EA based on the recommended Macao framework.

2. Objectives

  1. Improving understanding and contributing to the body of knowledge of GEA through foundational research
  2. Enhancing EA practice by providing policy guidelines and development of Government EA Frameworks based on results from (1) with the supporting toolkit
  3. Understanding the factors that contribute to wide adoption of EA practice within a government
  4. Building capacities of government agencies and their architects through development of courseware for educational and training purposes as well as the use of tools in (2)
  5. Dissemination of project output (1 through 4) through various channels including publications (books, journals, conference papers and technical reports), schools and courses, seminars, workshops and projects.

Deliverables

  1. State-of-the-Art Report on EA Development and Policy Recommendations – a report presenting the state-of-the-art in EA development and practice in government with a set of policies to enable the meaningful uptake of EA development and use in Macao government agencies and institutionalization of the EA practice in the core sectors
  2. Government Enterprise Architecture Framework (GEAF) – This consists of the following major elements of GEAF: i) Reference Model, ii) GEA Methodology, and iii) GEA Modeling Framework
  3. Courseware on EA Development in Government – annotated slides on Developing Enterprise Architectures in Government Agencies and core Sectors
  4. Pilot Agency Enterprise Architecture – Partial descriptions of a government agency EA will be developed based on the recommended GEAF (2) for a selected pilot agency
  5. Project Website – pages created on the e-Macao Program Portal to comprehensively describe the projects, outputs, and information on other EA-related activities in government agencies

 
 

The project is funded by the Government of Macao SAR through Macao Foundation, as part of the e-Macao Program portfolio, and UNU-IIST. In kind contribution is provided by the National University of Singapore’s Institute of Systems Science.

 
 
 

Other partners on this project include:

  • Macao SAR Government Agencies,
  • National University of Singapore - Institute for Systems Sciences.