Enterprise Architecture Panel


Moderator: Gerry Wethington, Chief Information Officer, State of Missouri
Panelists: Carey Brown, Information Resources Manager, Kansas Information Technology Office
Theresa Lynn Hadden, Senior Internet Architect, Fairfax County, Virginia
Venkatapathi Puvvada, Chief Technology Officer, Unisys 

Carey Brown talked about the implementation of the Kansas Criminal Justice Information System.  I think the idea was that it was a successful implementation based on an enterprise architecture toolkit, although somehow that point didn't seem to come out in the talk.  Still, the recitation of the project was interesting---if nothing else it emphasizes the nature os projects in the public sector: wide range of clients, wide range of sizes, multiple legacy systems, processes that must keep going, and few resources.  

Theresa Hadden is talking about Fairfax County's efforts in the Information Domain (part of an enterprise architecture).  She says 80% of her data is unstructured (not in databases).  I'm surprised its that low.  They are using a content management system to help manage all this data and moving all HTML pages onto the CMS.  Metadata plays an key role in repurposing unstructured data for other uses.  She wants a call center person to be able to access structured and unstructured data in answering citizen questions.  For example, if someone calls up with a tax question, can the call center people have access to emails that have been sent regarding that citizen's taxes?  This rings some bells with me.  First, we're in the middle of deciding policy questions regarding the status of email as a public document.  Second, I'd love to be able to google my own email.  Wy not my co-worker's email as well---at least that related to work.  That's a big challenge with some interesting payoffs since much of the information we've got is now tied up in email messages that are unavailable as a data source. 

Venkatapathi Puvvada, who goes by "PV". is talking about business architecture and makes the statement that it is the key to business process integration.  Central to this concept is that that we must become citizen centered, not agency centered.  I think this is a concept that is lost sometimes.  Frequently, when we talk about driving IT from "the business" too many think we're talking about agencies.  The problem is that that just perpetuates the old stovepipes.  The federal government found, for example, that there were, on average, 10 cabinet agencies involved in each "line of business" that the federal government is involved in.  That's largely true of the states as well, although the numbers may change.  A good example of where we're overcome this to some degree is criminal justice.  When we view criminal justice as a line of business and then bring agencies to the table who are involved with criminal justice we're getting closer to building a business architecture that is correctly focused.