Treasury begins refining its systems architecture

Treasury begins refining its systems architecture

Officials cite need for more flexible business models and easier ways to deploy modernization plans

By Shruti Dat'

GCN Staff

The Treasury Department will re-create its
2-year-old Treasury Information System Architecture Framework to enhance its bureaus' ability to establish an enterprise information technology environment and deploy modernization projects such as the IRS Prime contract.

'TISAF is one of the first efforts to develop an enterprise framework,' said Asghar Noor, Treasury's senior architect. 'The Office of Management and Budget points to it as a reference model.'

The need to manage information as a corporate asset across the organization, along with competitive pressures for more flexible and responsive business models, helped prompt the development of TISAF, Treasury officials said.

Part of a team

The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the IT Management Reform Act of 1996 and Executive Order 13011'the president's IT directive'also spurred the development of TISAF. The department introduced TISAF in January 1997 as the basic component of a common departmental IT vision to form cross-functional teams and consolidate business operations, Noor said.

Six months later, the department added two more components to help bureaus implement TISAF.

The Treasury Architecture Development Process 1.0 describes the ways bureaus should design, develop and implement information systems that are consistent with TISAF.

The Treasury Architecture Development Guidance 1.0 outlines principles for the process.

TISAF helped Treasury agencies set up IT architectures to fit their missions, Noor said.

TISAF set the stage for the Bureau of Public Debt's Savings Bond Connection, an online, round-the-clock bond-selling service.

Noor said industry and university research, along with lessons learned at the bureau level, taught Treasury to link IT with business processes. Treasury will revamp the three components of its IT plan to align business goals with appropriate automated tools.

Treasury IT architects will work this year to link design, integration and implementation. Treasury also will add a fourth component, changing TISAF to the Treasury Enterprise Architecture Framework over the next year.

Noor said TEAF would close the gap between an enterprise architecture and a technical architecture.

IT should meet business goals and objectives to create an enterprise environment, Noor said. TEAF will create a template to meet business goals through systems' design, implementation, integration and performance measurements.

Data repository

TEAF also will uphold documentation as a fundamental tenet to mold Treasury systems.

Identifying accurate collection and documentation of systems' information will play a critical role in TEAF, Noor said.

Treasury will compile all related information in an architecture repository.

'The stakeholders should be able to extract, analyze and visualize the information from the architecture repository,' Noor said.

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