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Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise Architecture

Discussion and news from the Enterprise Architecture (EA) service

Aligning EA and Strategic Change

At the start of a new year, it’s traditional to set out some goals for the year ahead.  Apart from blogging more often, my main goal for the year is to further improve links between the Enterprise Architecture team (that’s us), the Digital Strategy team, and the Strategic Change team.

The aim of enterprise architecture (EA) as a practice is to align business architecture, data architecture, and technical architecture.  To achieve this, teams have to work together across organisational boundaries, which is easier said than done. Although people have good intentions, they have their own areas to focus on.

In our university, the Enterprise Architecture section was created within the Information Services Group, and our work to date has reflected our origins in IT.  Initiatives such as starting a data warehouse, moving to API-led integration, consolidating CRM platforms, building an EA repository and agreeing technical strategies were all necessary steps and all took substantial work.

Previous blog entry – Building a Strategic Reporting Capability

Previous blog entry – HR Data Feed to Schools

During the same period, other teams were implementing significant business change projects, and work started on the new digital strategy.  All these teams, including those of us in EA, talked to each other and contributed to some common goals, but we were mostly concentrating on our own projects.

More recently, we’ve all had a bit more time to look at how we can work together and I hope to encourage more of this in the new year.  We have working groups looking at common vocabularies, and at how different analysis techniques can provide mutual insight.   A particular point of commonality is the Higher Education Reference Model and how we can use this to co-ordinate our strategic initiatives.

UCISA – Higher Education Reference Model

I think we may be at an inflection point, where after a long period of tentative conversations, we could be about to find better ways of working together.  The EA work on the Curriculum Transformation Project is helping to show the benefits of such collaboration.  I don’t expect this to happen quickly – nothing in universities happens quickly – but I am optimistic for the new year.

Previous blog entry – Assessing the Impact of Curriculum Transformation

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