Enterprise architecture: Where do we go from here?

Integrators prepare next steps on IT blueprints<@VM>The state of EA (continuation of main story)<@VM>EA implementation (continuation of main story)<@VM>Help for contractors (continuation of main story)<@VM>EA crystal ball<@VM>Enterprise software: Quality issues?

Contracts with EA opportunities

Network-centric Enterprise Services

Defense Information Systems Agency

$1 billion

Expected RFP date: March 2005

Expected award date: June 2005

Details: NCES is an ambitious program to migrate the Defense Department to a services-oriented architecture. In May, DISA issued an RFI seeking ideas and is working on its acquisition strategy. NCES will eventually integrate a series of core services that will allow for the secure use of applications across the Defense Department's Global Information Grid. It will conform to the department's GIG architecture.

Electronically Managing Enterprise Resources for Government
Efficiency and Effectiveness

Homeland Security Department

$56 million

RFD date: June 24

Expected award date: August

Details: The eMerge 2 contract covers an enterprise solution for the department's back-office operations, including accounting and reporting, cost and revenue performance management, asset management, acquisition and grants management and budgeting. The program's goal is to transition the department's 22 bureaus and 78 resource management systems to one system that will conform to the department's enterprise architecture. It will also integrate non-core business functions, including human resources and e-travel.

Business Management and Modernization Program

Defense Department

Not available

Expected RFP date: Not available

Expected award date: Not available

Details: The Defense Department's BMMP program, formerly called the Financial Management Modernization Program, is a massive, ongoing process of implementing the department's business enterprise architecture to integrate financial management and business operations into a joint enterprise. IBM Corp. has a $100 million prime contract to develop the business enterprise architecture. The Defense Department holds periodic industry days to share its progress and plans for future BMMP-related programs.

Lines of Business Enterprise Architecture

General Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget

Not available

Expected RFP date: October

Expected award date: January 2005

Details: Based on ongoing studies of core business functions across all agencies, GSA may require development of various enterprise architectures and business system consolidation. The Lines of Business initiative is to identify ways that multiple agencies can share solutions in financial management, human resources and grants management. Agency task forces are also working on consolidating functions in federal health and case management, but action on those initiatives isn't expected until a later date.

Information Technology Support Services A-76 Study

Energy Department

$1.6 billion

Expected RFP date: August

Expected award date: December

Details: The Energy Department requires IT support at 26 sites. It is conducting an A-76 cost comparison study before awarding what could be up to $1.6 billion worth of contracts. Service providers would support the department in IT management, systems development and engineering, operations support and cybersecurity. They would also be responsible for aligning systems with the department's enterprise architecture.

Citizenship and Immigration Services Transformation Initiative

Homeland Security Department

Not available

Expected RFP date: August

Expected award date: November

Details: The Citizen and Immigration Services Office of the Chief Information Officer is looking to overhaul the agency's IT infrastructure with one built on an enterprise architecture. The office will issue one or more solicitations for a solution that will encompass data sharing, digitization of paper records and integration of legacy immigration systems data. Work required will include system design, integration and implementations, and business process reengineering. The architecture will have to conform to DHS' enterprise architecture.

Enterprise Information Management Solutions

Air Force

$70 million

RFP date: June 3

Expected award date: September

Details: The Air Force Electronics Systems Center, Materiel Systems Group, plans to issue a five-year blanket purchase agreement against GSA schedules for workflow management and data sharing at Air Force headquarters. It is a small-business program. The system will support business processes for knowledge, records and document management. Contract winners will be required to plan and implement an architecture that integrates with any architecture. There may also be a requirement for business process re-engineering.

Enterprise Services and Applications

Air Force

Not available

RFP date: January

Expected award date: January 2005

Details: Under this broad agency announcement, the Air Force Electronic Systems Center, Enterprise Services and Applications Directorate, is looking for proposals and demonstrations in several areas, including services-oriented architecture, enterprise service management, enterprise storage, messaging, security and more. The agency is responsible for the Air Force Command and Control Enterprise Reference Architecture and contributions to GIG Enterprise Services. Proposals are due in December.

NASA Technology Transfer Systems Services


$10 million

Expected RFP date: October

Expected award date: February 2005

Details: NASA's Langley Research Center needs a contractor to provide ongoing support of its National Technology Transfer System, a distributed network of relational databases and Web servers. The contractor will be responsible for implementing configuration changes and aligning the system with NASA's enterprise architecture.

Sources: Federal Sources Inc., Input Inc.

In four months, SAIC helped the Homeland Security Department develop its enterprise architecture. Now DHS CTO Lee Holcomb (left) has tapped Karl Kropp and SAIC for the next version.

J. Adam Fenster

By all accounts, it was an impressive feat. Last summer, the Homeland Security Department had four months to develop an enterprise architecture so it could prepare its 2005 budget request.

Without an architecture that mapped information technology systems to specific business functions, the Office of Management and Budget could have denied DHS the funding it wanted for new projects.

More importantly, without an enterprise architecture, the department itself could not identify effectively what IT programs it needed.

"We had to come up with a description of the 'as-is' components of 22 agencies coming into the department, an initial 'to-be' architecture, and a technology and project transition plan," said Lee Holcomb, chief technology officer at DHS. "In terms of applications alone, we discovered more than 2,000 that we needed to better manage at the department level."

DHS hired Science Applications International Corp. of San Diego to help create its architecture. SAIC experts, who had worked with several of the department's legacy agencies, analyzed IT systems across DHS' more than 700 disparate computing systems and identified several areas for consolidation.

SAIC found, for example, that DHS had at least eight programs to manage ports of entry and 14 for issuing credentials.

DHS completed the first version of its architecture in September 2003 in what Holcomb called "record time." To put that in perspective, it took a year to develop one portion of the Defense Department's business enterprise architecture.

The DHS effort is just one of many federal enterprise architecture projects under way. OMB reported that agencies spent $1.4 billion on enterprise architecture and planning in fiscal 2003, according to market research firm Input Inc. of Reston, Va. The government is estimating $1.5 billion in 2004 spending and requesting $1.7 billion for fiscal 2005.

As agencies put into place the first blueprints of their IT environments, systems integrators and other contractors face the question of what happens next. Agencies will need help creating more detailed versions of their architectures. SAIC, for example, is already helping DHS with a second version of its plan.

But the importance of this work goes well beyond the creation of an enterprise architecture. Contractors now must focus on winning the follow-up -- and possibly more lucrative -- work of implementing enterprise architectures.

"Once you get an initial architecture out, you can add more detail to it," said Karl Kropp, director of SAIC's Center for Enterprise Architecture. "You can also work on getting it implemented and actually working with programs. And that's where you see opportunities arise for solutions developers and integrators."

Eventually, all IT projects will have an EA component. Integrators that understand an agency's architecture will be better positioned to offer solutions that complement and enhance the overall design.

"It's a matter of not looking at enterprise architecture as an opportunity in and of itself," said Payton Smith, manager of public-sector analysis at Input, "but looking at it for what it will force agencies to do in terms of managing their architectures going forward."Despite stepped-up spending on EA in recent years, most agencies' architectures can best be described as immature and needing additional iterations that fill in the details about applications, systems and infrastructures.

For example, the Government Accountability Office in November 2003 reported that since 2001, 22 agencies had improved the maturity of their architectures, 24 had backtracked and 47 remained the same.

The situation is unchanged today, said Randy Hite, GAO's director of IT architecture and systems issues.

"There are factions that are doing very well, and there are factions that are not doing as well," Hite told Washington Technology.

Except for high-profile contracts such as SAIC's work on the DHS architecture and IBM Corp.'s development of the Defense Department's business enterprise architecture, the work so far, while plentiful, has been somewhat ad hoc. Much of it has been purchased as consulting through task orders and General Services Administration schedules, Smith said.

Industry officials estimate that about half the government's EA spending goes to the private sector.

"The projects associated with enterprise architecture tend to be buried because of their relatively small value," said Ray Bjorklund, chief knowledge office at market research firm Federal Sources Inc. in McLean, Va. "They're very important, but you're not going to see $20 million EA projects."

Many agencies will rely on in-house IT staff to do asset discovery and mapping using tools they've bought on their own, including Computas Metis and Popkin System Architect. Most of the work has been designed to help agencies get a handle on what their architectures look like.

"The next step is to develop the go-to point. What do they want their architecture to look like going forward?" Smith said.Ultimately, enterprise architecture will be an inherent part of any IT-related contract. Experts have said integrators should build a related practice and understand the architectures of various agencies.

Several integrators have said they see healthy business in helping agencies validate their architectures and prepare business cases for OMB that demonstrate the link between new projects and underlying architectures.

"We're beginning to see RFPs come out with enterprise architecture language in the statement of work," Kropp said. "Basically, 'Thou shalt conform to the enterprise architecture' so that you can ... minimize duplication and diversity, because in many cases it's duplication and diversity that drives up an agency's costs."

Besides fine tuning and validating architectures, agencies will begin working on the technology infrastructures that reflect those architectures.

Soon, analysts say, OMB will start pushing agencies to consolidate IT systems and eliminate redundancies.

This should present an opportunity that integrators can begin planning for now. By analyzing agencies' architectures, integrators can predict what systems OMB might identify as redundant.

They can then proactively develop solutions to help agencies consolidate those systems and conform to OMB's requirements.

Consolidation efforts among multiple agencies are already under way. GSA and OMB have started a line of business initiatives, which aims to establish common solutions and architectures that multiple agencies can use to perform core functions, including financial, grant and human resources management.

"It's like e-gov 2 in that they're looking at back-office processes and seeing where economies of scale can be obtained and solutions can be deployed across government," said Carolyn Brubaker, e-government solutions specialist in the federal unit of Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash.

As system consolidation takes place, agencies also will begin migrating to a services-oriented architecture to take advantage of reusable software components within and among agencies, said government and industry experts.

The Defense Department's Network-centric Enterprise Services project is one high-profile, services-oriented architecture initiative.

Such an architecture takes advantage of Web services and Extensible Markup Language (XML) to deliver applications over an Internet protocol network.

"We're seeing a trend toward taking common functionality out of government business systems and putting it into shared infrastructure," said Kerry Champion, chief technology officer of Westbridge Technology Inc., a Mountain View, Calif., developer of secure XML messaging solutions.

Champion said Westbridge's products are being evaluated in Defense Department and intelligence community for building secure, services-oriented architectures.

As system consolidation, services-oriented architectures and other technology initiatives roll out, they'll likely come under separate task orders of whole new procurements, scrubbed clean of any enterprise architecture label, analysts said.

"They may be called 'modernization' or something like that," said Input's Smith.

Michael Beckley, vice president of product strategy for Appian Corp. of Vienna, Va., said his company would recognize EA opportunities by the solutions they called for.

"I'm picking up a pile of RFPs, and they say things like 'gateway,' 'knowledge management,' 'portal,' and 'application integration,' " Beckley said.

These technologies provide part of the foundation of EA implementation. Appian was behind development of the Army Knowledge Online portal, considered one of the largest deployment of Web services in government.The mere existence of enterprise architectures will help all government contractors. When an agency has an enterprise architecture in place, integrators can avoid pitfalls like the ones hampering EDS Corp.'s work on the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet, where the EDS team continues to turn up undocumented IT systems that must be accounted for.

"My greatest point of frustration while I was at the Defense Department was failing to get the Navy to understand the need for an architecture in that circumstance," said John Osterholz, the department's former director of architecture and interoperability and an executive at BAE Systems North America Inc.

When an integrator needs to pull together disparate systems, Osterholz said, it runs the risk of "undisclosed dependencies." An enterprise architecture can help mitigate that risk.

Richard YoungAs long as integrators stay well versed in agencies' architectures, they have a lingua franca for talking about future IT requirements.

"The government has actually done industry a huge favor by coming out with these architectures," said Richard Young, above, chief architect at Microsoft Public Sector. "They've created an environment where industry can simplify the conversation they're having with different government officials. I don't have to sit there and lecture someone on the definition of collaboration or data warehousing" because they've already established the working definition.

Said SAIC's Kropp: "An architecture is really an expression of requirements. Now agencies can express requirements in a more robust fashion."

Staff Writer Brad Grimes can be reached at bgrimes@postnewsweektech.com.As agencies finalize their enterprise architectures, contractors must anticipate next steps and follow-on opportunities. Washington Technology asked integrators what they saw as the future of enterprise architecture projects.

Jim BaldoJim Baldo ? enterprise architect, Northrop Grumman IT "The anticipated next step, after you map all the business processes and rules and get them validated and put into a tool, is to go into existing assets and decide what can be eliminated and what can be expanded. We're beginning to see RFIs and RFPs with methodologies for realizing the enterprise architectures."

Andras SzakalAndras Szakal? chief architect, IBM Federal Software "There are very few opportunities for us to define an enterprise architecture. The lion's share of the opportunities to affect the goals of an enterprise architecture will be through the implementation of programs."

John Osterholz ? vice president of C4IS at BAE Systems North America Inc. and former DOD director of architecture and interoperability "I'm no longer bidding an architecture job. I'm bidding a job whose natural lifecycle description is in terms of an architecture. ... Over time, integration will be less of a heroic job and more of an expectation."

Debra StoufferDebra Stouffer? vice president of strategic consulting, DigitalNet Holdings Inc. "Companies have a lot of opportunities to offer service components that provide solutions to e-gov goals. ... Integrators have advantages in being able to work issues across agencies and departments."

Ernst Volgenau ? chief executive officer, SRA International Inc. "A lot of work is in independent validation and verification, checking over the EA work of an agency. More often than not, it is embedded in a larger contract."

Michael Beckley ? vice president of product strategy, Appian Corp. "The real money in new opportunities in enterprise architecture is doing one of two things: helping a department or agency webify an application in a way that's compliant with Web services, or working at a strategic level in helping CIOs define what enterprise architecture standards should be."
After a Government Accountability Office report in March said the Defense Department may have wasted $8 billion in fiscal 2003 on poorly written software, solutions providers have been lining up to tell Washington Technology how they can help agencies and integrators improve their software development processes.

In the GAO report, the Defense Department estimated it spends 40 percent of its research and development budget on software, which is becoming an increasingly important part of weapons systems.

According to the Defense Science Board, the new F/A-22 Raptor fighter under development will rely on software for 80 percent of its functionality.

GAO said lapses in software quality have contributed to a 127 percent increase in cost of developing the F/A-22.

"The primary reason software is so unreliable, insecure and expensive to develop is a lack of developer testing," said Alberto Savoia, chief technology officer at Mountain View, Calif.-based Agitar Software Inc.

"Studies show that the cost of finding and fixing bugs grows exponentially as you move from design and development through integration and deployment."

Agitar sells Agitator and Agitar Management Dashboard applications, which automate developer testing throughout the design process and display metrics onscreen.

The privately held startup sells almost exclusively to commercial customers, but Savoia said Agitar's backers, including Silicon Valley venture capital giant Sequoia Capital, have begun introducing the company to the government market.

Number Six Software Inc. of Arlington, Va., specializes in improving the development process. The company puts teams of software engineers on projects to help manage development and software portfolios. Its customers include Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., the National Institutes of Health and the State Department.

According to Paul Moskowitz, Number Six's vice president of marketing and sales, inconsistent methods, undefined roles and brittle software architectures are among the primary reasons software projects fail.

To make matters worse, changing requirements and "scope creep" make it hard to keep any project on track, Moskowitz said.

Jim KAneJim Kane, chief executive officer of the Herndon, Va.-based Software Productivity Consortium, said his group -- which includes Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. -- is committed to developing quality programs.

"It's why they became members in the first place," he said. "They have a passion for good software engineering."

The SPC maintains a staff of engineers that works with integrators and competes for contracts to provide independent validation and verification on government software programs.

"We also work with contract suppliers to bring their products up to CMMI 3 compliance," Kane said. Capability Maturity Model Integration Level 3 is a measurement of software best practices sponsored by the Defense Department.

Several integrators, including SPC members Raytheon Corp. and Science Applications International Corp., recently announced programs that have earned CMMI 3 certification.

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