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EA Conceptual Principles

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is built upon five core principles:

  1. Optimize for the Enterprise
  2. Utilize Standard Technologies
  3. Create Customer-Centric Services
  4. Ensure Business Continuity
  5. Secure the Enterprise

1. Optimize for the Enterprise

All products, solutions, tools, designs, applications, and methods used within the architecture shall be selected with the purpose of reducing complexity of the technology architecture, which should be optimized to provide the greatest benefit to the state as a whole; meaning that optimization should be enterprise wide.

Rationale/Benefits:

  • Promotes information sharing
  • Reduces duplication
  • Lowers maintenance and training costs
  • Optimizes for total Return on Investment
  • Minimizes platform configurations
  • Utilizes standard technology
  • Increases shared knowledge base
  • Creates clear migration path for future investments

Implications:

  • Decreases the number of vendors, products, and configurations in the environment
  • Migration to standardized configurations might imply additional short-term investments to ensure long-term results

Counterargument:

  • Optimize for the agency: Agency autonomy from standards should take priority in order to optimize agency’s current investments in systems, budgets, and staff expertise

2. Utilize Standard Technologies

Information technology solutions will use industry standard, main-stream technologies that will facilitate interoperation across the enterprise.

Rationale/Benefits:

  • Ensures interoperability of agency-level solutions
  • Creates a shared knowledge base across the enterprise
  • Reduces risk
  • Promotes more efficient interagency collaboration
  • Strengthens enterprise security and reliability

Implications:

  • Reduces platform configurations
  • Requires migration for outlying technologies
  • Requires ongoing identification, evaluation, and determination of industry standards and best practices

Counterargument:

  • Solution decisions need to be based on the application’s “best fit” regardless of the technology it is built upon

3. Create Customer-Centric Services

All products, solutions, tools, designs, applications, and methods used within the architecture shall be designed to simplify customers interaction with state government.

Rationale/Benefits:

  • Makes government more accessible
  • Promotes “one-stop-shopping” for services
  • Reduces confusion
  • Increases efficiency of government and effectiveness of its employees

 Implications:

  • In combination with Optimize for the Enterprise, this principle drives the need for a common interface both internally and externally
  • Applications will need to utilize a common directory philosophy
  • Applications should be web accessible
  • Minimizes the number of access points, (web, phone, etc.)
  • Ease of use and support should be priorities for quality assurance of applications
  • Centralized Help Desk

Counterargument:

  • All applications will be designed to be as cost effective and efficient purely from an agency perspective without regard to cross-agency functionality.

4. Ensure Business Continuity

All products, solutions, tools, designs, applications, and methods used within the architecture shall take into consideration risk management and business continuity.

Rationale/Benefits:

  • Critical systems will continue to function in the case of a disaster.
  • Data/information will remain in tact
  • Customers will continue to receive needed services

Implications:

  • Critical services need to be identified and prioritized
  • Critical systems need to be adequately staffed
  • Contingency plans need to be developed

Counterargument:

  • Solutions are driven by lowest cost and/or expediency to deliver

5. Secure the Enterprise

All products, solutions, tools, designs, applications, and methods used within the architecture must be implemented in adherence with all security, confidentiality, and privacy policies and statutes.

Rationale/Benefits:

  • Ensures proper authorization and access
  • Maintains data, information, and system integrity
  • Ensures public trust 
  • Mitigates risk

Implications:

  • Policies must be current and enforced
  • Single sign-on
  • Monitoring and auditing tools will be administered
  • Compliance with enterprise security solutions
  • Enterprise solutions will reduce local control
  • Education and training will be required

Counterargument:

  • Government information should have unrestricted access.
  • Systems should be built for cost effectiveness of the agency, i.e. enterprise solutions increase administration and system costs with limited perceived benefit to the agency

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September 30, 2014