Enterprise Architecture in Countries with Volatile Governance: Negotiating Challenges and Crafting Successes

Enterprise Architecture in Countries with Volatile Governance: Negotiating Challenges and Crafting Successes

Saleem Zoughbi (UN-ESCWA, Lebanon) and Sukaina Al-Nasrawi (UN-ESCWA, Lebanon)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1824-4.ch008
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Abstract

The growing adoption and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in public administration enables global alteration of functions and business processes used by Governments hoping to convert into viable and successful e-governances. The main objectives are not limited to the traditional e-government goals, but also to improve public sector efficiency, transparency, and accountability, and lower cost across all government administrations, thus leading to the reengineering of the public sector. This could happen at different levels. The success rate is related to results achieved in e-democracy, e-transparency, citizen’s involvement in public management, and other controversial outcomes, which may not be welcome in some countries. With the advent of EA, one sees a more comprehensive method of solving customization problems. The number of difficulties and obstacles may increase when dealing with issues related to the transformation into e-governance at the micro level; hence, a more efficient way is to introduce an EA framework where one can leverage these difficulties before the actual transformation.
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The Problem / Challenge

Despite the advancements in developing EA solutions for governments, much of the work remains a fine piece of achievement in design and good will, but very little has been implemented. In many instances, consulting firms are contracted to do comparable EA design and development in some countries, but these remain only partially realized. There are numerous reasons stopping the implementation of EA solutions (Spewak, 1993). These include:

  • The decision makers involved in such EA development are not “decision makers” in the sense that a serious political figure has enough leverage on them so they can hinder, or even in some cases stop, any implementation on EA plans that were already agreed upon;

  • The resources upon which the EA development planning is based are not clearly committed by the governments concerned, and even after starting implementation, priorities are changed, as well as financing plans and other reasons.

  • Partners in the EA development have to stand their ground. One of the main worries is that higher-level managers and government officials change very frequently, and the project may run into a “reinventing the wheel” situation.

The problem here is to investigate if EA development can be processed in a way where the effect of obstacles could be minimized. There are risks to EA practitioners in such countries where governance is very volatile. With the lack of good governance, even qualified professionals will encounter risks (Spewak, 1992). They could be affected by the opinions of decision makers, results of inadequate decisions, and poor work coordination. These risks are numerous and they include:

  • Lack of Alignment;

  • IT centric;

  • Stand-alone initiatives;

  • Lack of cross-functional process owners;

  • Enterprise Optimization focus is in the wrong place; and

  • Too much focus on the micro level.

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Measuring Governance

The World Bank Institute led a project named Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI). The project’s indicators were designed to measure six main dimensions of governance. Reports covered 213 economies over the period of 1996–2009. The six dimensions of governance were:

  • 1.

    Voice and Accountability;

  • 2.

    Political Stability and Absence of Violence;

  • 3.

    Government Effectiveness;

  • 4.

    Regulatory Quality;

  • 5.

    Rule of Law; and

  • 6.

    Control of Corruption.

The issue of governance is not the subject of this chapter; however, there is a need to distinguish between different kinds of governance (Weill & Ross, 2004). The definitions of governance could vary in form; however, they all are focused on a few important issues, such as exercising authority and formulating effective policies and mutual respect, especially for government institutions. For each of these focus areas, some indicators were devised to measure the success in each area. These are called the World Governance indicators. Table 1 is a listing of the definitions of the World Bank Institute indicators.

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