DHS architecture moves forward

"[Enterprise Architecture] is much like a security effort," FEMA's Barry West said. "It isn't a project, it's an ongoing process."

Henrik G. de Gyor

More details on the second version of the Homeland Security Department's enterprise architecture should become known over the next three months, a DHS official said earlier this month.

A team drawn from DHS' 22 bureaus will draft the next version of the architecture, said Barry West, chief information officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a DHS directorate.

"They are getting people from all the business units together in a room to work on it," West said at a Federal Sources Inc. breakfast in McLean, Va., March 9.

Version 2 of the architecture will drill down into the missions and systems of the bureaus, he said, adding, "You'll hear a lot more over the next three months."

FEMA's own enterprise architecture is a major priority, West said. The agency is using a tool from Popkin Software Inc. of New York to build its enterprise architecture and track its progress.

"EA is much like a security effort," West said, "It isn't a project, it's an ongoing process."

FEMA's architecture will integrate with DHS' architecture and the federal enterprise architecture that the Office of Management and Budget is developing for all government agencies, West said.

Because agencies are operating with fewer resources and less money, officials are always looking for ways to reduce costs, he said.

"When you brief us, if you can bring return on investment and show us savings, that's a big plus," West told industry officials.

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