Whole-of-Enterprise Approach to Government Architecture Applied for Implementing a Directive of EU

Whole-of-Enterprise Approach to Government Architecture Applied for Implementing a Directive of EU

Ivo Velitchkov (European Commission, Belgium)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1824-4.ch010
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Abstract

Sustainable benefits of EA efforts could only be realised if all structures and behaviour are taken into account together with their drivers and controls. This chapter tells the story of an e-Government project in Bulgaria where a whole-of-enterprise approach was applied to identify together legal, organizational, and technological measures related to achieving compliance with a new regulation and improvement of a set of e-Government services. One of the main objectives of the project was to discover the potential for simplification of administrative procedures for authorisation of service providers in line with a new regulation in the European Union supporting realisation of a single market of services. The obtained analytical results and the defined target state were not limited to improvement of online services but included pertinent legislation harmonisation and other non-IT related changes. The applied agile EA approach helped with completing the project within 6 months and realising results exceeding its scope.
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Introduction

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is supposed to be a holistic approach. However, the predominant practice so far is still IT- and organisation-centric (Velitchkov, 2011). So are most of the frameworks. EA is not viewed as the architecture of the enterprise but rather as a business-conscious IT architecture.

Another approach that narrows the benefits of EA is related to scope. The frequent occurrence of it is when boundaries of ‘the enterprise’ are perceived as those of the organisation that is the main beneficiary of an EA effort. The negative consequences of such approach have been shown in the works of Tom Graves (2010, p. 13) and Chris Potts et al. (2010). The organisation-centric approach does not just limit the return on enterprise architecture management. When applied in a Government context it also supports the application of entrained intuitional patterns in decision-making.

There are a growing number of researchers and practitioners realising that if EA is IT-centric or organisation-centric it could not just have difficulties proving its value. The disillusionment of the EA (Gartner, Inc, 2010) will at best allot a marginal role for it in the business management. Thus it will not be able to even realise its potential as an IT-centric discipline aiming business-IT alignment.

The whole-of-enterprise approach is not an alternative approach. It is not called just “EA” only because, owing to its origin, “EA” is currently used to label something that is less than ‘enterprise’ and its architecture management, and the IT- and organizational-centrism are not the only issues. Information-centrism is just another limitation, albeit a less harmful one.

The chasm between business and IT is one of the drivers for the development of most of the EA frameworks, but it is sometimes overrated, leaving less attention to other chasms like the one between business strategy and execution, or that between formal and informal architecture. A whole-of-enterprise approach would not just help to bring into EA scope elements like objectives, internal and external influencers, non-information technologies, knowledge, and trust. It would also mean keeping it coherent, not allowing new chasms to open, like the one between enterprise and solution architecture or the one between structured and unstructured processes.

This chapter tells the story of an e-Government project in Bulgaria. The project had so much weight of the legal analysis that it did not really prompt the usage of an EA approach and tooling, and as there have been many similar projects in the other countries of the European Union, it really turned out that doing it this way was more or less exotic.

The project was on one hand one of the many local measures supporting the realisation of a single internal European market for services. On the other hand, as it aimed to improve the Government and public services for authorisation of service providers, it was part of the further development of the Bulgarian e-Government. The scope of the project included analysis and identification of the needed legislation harmonisation as well as legal analysis relating to improvement of some administrative services provided by Government and non-Government institutions. One of its main objectives was to discover the potential for simplification of administrative procedures for authorisation of service providers in line with a new Directive of European Union supporting realisation of a single market for services. The obtained analytical results and the defined target state were not limited to improvement of online services but included pertinent legislation harmonisation and other non-IT related changes.

A whole-of-enterprise approach was applied to support together legislation harmonization, compliance, and e-Government efforts. The main benefits were realized through re-use of business objects in different views while ensuring coherence and unambiguity with a repository-based EA tool. A flexible architecture method was used to support handling of emergent patterns. The method implied but did not impose service orientation. Last but not least, the project success was due to the lean and agile project organisation.

The scope of the ‘enterprise’ included about 50 central and local Government agencies, other public service providers, businesses, and citizens. The project was realised in less than 6 months, achieving all objectives and realising additional benefits.

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