DOD releases plan to integrate business systems

The Defense Department's documented Financial Management Enterprise Architecture, released today, will build on integration and interoperability, an official who helped develop the architecture said. <br>

The Defense Department's documented Financial Management Enterprise Architecture, released today, will build on the integration and interoperability the Pentagon has made with other military information systems, an official who helped develop the architecture said.

'One of the things we're doing in the business plan is leveraging current systems that are heading in the right direction,' said Catherine Santana, the deputy director for enterprise architecture in Defense's Financial Management Modernization Program Office. 'Good things are not thrown away.'

Through the architecture, DOD wants to integrate thousands of disparate business systems. The plan lays out the department's goals for increasing interoperability, reducing redundancy and eliminating systems that don't advance the Pentagon's efforts to improve the way it does business. But the architecture does not spell out which systems DOD will add, keep, upgrade or eliminate.

'We don't know what the systems answer is just yet,' Santana said. 'That's the next step.'

To get to that step, DOD has appointed domain owners to manage development in seven business areas: logistics, acquisition, accounting and financial management, program and budget, personnel and readiness, technology infrastructure and real property, and environmental liabilities.

The department also has taken an inventory of its business systems. It has accounted for more than 2,600, but financial managers expect to find more at remote military stations.

Domain managers are assessing which systems in the inventory can be used to advance the enterprise architecture and which can be discarded to eliminate redundancy. Each domain owner has appointed domain working groups that meet weekly to discuss such topics.

In the next phase of the project, moving from establishing the architecture to re-engineering its business processes, DOD will run simulations to test the effect any changes to business systems would have on their integration and interoperability, Santana said.

The Financial Management Modernization Program Office will post the architecture online Monday at www.dod.mil/comptroller/bmmp/l_prods.htm.

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