GAO defines enterprise architecture benchmarks

Responding to agency requests, the General Accounting Office has updated its guide on enterprise architectures with expanded metrics to measure how well an agency succeeds in implementation

The update, "Information Technology: A Framework for Assessing and Improving Enterprise Architecture Management," provides benchmarking tools for agencies to plan and measure their efforts in developing enterprise architectures. It also provides guidelines for the Office of Management and Budget to evaluate agency efforts.

The report was updated using feedback from the release of the first version, published February 2002 and entitled, "Information Technology: Enterprise Architecture Use Across the Federal Government Can Be Improved."

That document focused on evaluating how well agencies had implemented their enterprise architectures. It also provided some guidelines on implementing the 1999 Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework, developed by the Chief Information Officers Council, to set a common language for agencies to use in coordinating business processes.

This update expands the performance measurements identified in the first report. It defines attributes critical for success and offers a matrix to gauge how mature an agency's architecture is.

The GAO solicited feedback from 116 federal departments and agencies. Suggested improvements include adding more information on security, on maintenance of enterprise architectures, on linking guidance to other government mandates and on measuring both progress and return on investment.

The report defines an enterprise as any activity that an agency executes. The architecture characterizes how that activity is structured. OMB's office of Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management breaks an enterprise architecture into five categories:

  • Business reference model: Describes the activity in terms of its business operations


  • Performance reference model: Describes the means to measure the performance of the activity


  • Data and information reference model: Describes the data needed to support the activity



  • Service component reference model: Identifies the support services needed to complete the activity


  • Technical reference model: Describes the standards for the technology needed by the activity


  • About the Author

    Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

    Reader Comments

    Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

    Please type the letters/numbers you see above

    What is your e-mail address?

    My e-mail address is:

    Do you have a password?

    Forgot your password? Click here
    close

    Trending

    • Dive into our Contract Award database

      In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Our databases track awards back to 2013. Read More

    • Navigating the trends and issues of 2016 Nick Wakeman

      In our latest WT Insider Report, we pull together our best advice, insights and reporting on the trends and issues that will shape the market in 2016 and beyond. Read More

    contracts DB

    Washington Technology Daily

    Sign up for our newsletter.

    Terms and Privacy Policy consent

    I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.