Enterprise architect

Enterprise architects should be in thick of system design, emerging tech

Enterprise architects have to move beyond compliance checking and get into the thick of data governance and the changing architecture of systems at their agencies, according to Nitin Naik, director for strategic planning at the Internal Revenue Service.

“At the IRS, one of the key things we are trying to prevent is duplication of data,” Naik said. Even though every division would like its own copy of data to improve performance or to mash-up in a particular way, requests for duplication of data are now being stopped by the enterprise architects who direct users to a centralized repository. 

The enterprise architects have built a set of data access services on top of the repository, and now all systems use those services to get the data, Naik explained while moderating a panel Oct. 28 at the Enterprise Architecture Conference held by the 1105 Media Public Sector Group in Washington, D.C.

The goal of an EA program is to drive business results, infrastructure optimization, data management and ultimately innovation.    “The Census Bureau is a big data organization, this is what we do for a living,” said Avi Bender, the Census Bureau’s chief technology officer. Having the proper underlying architecture and infrastructure to support the collection, processing and dissemination of data is core to the agency’s business.

Bender said efficient management of internal data can help drive innovation and have an impact on the world outside an agency. Taxpayers expect agencies to collect and synthesize information to improve the delivery of public services. To do this effectively, the agency has to create a data factory to efficiently manage the information.  This requires architecture and infrastructure skills, he said.

EA can be instrumental in helping to define the technology standards needed for shared services and cloud computing, the government IT managers noted.

The Census Bureau doesn’t just handle the data on the population collected every 10 years.  It also conducts 200 surveys a year and provides services for other agencies.  To that end, Census is a steward of its own and other agencies’ data, Bender said. 

To set up a cost-effective infrastructure, Census is looking at ways to optimize its IT enterprise internally through a service-oriented architecture, standardization and leveraging the cloud for data that is not as sensitive, Bender said. “We know the end game is a hybrid cloud approach,” a mix of private and commercial public clouds. 

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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