The current Enterprise Architecture services listing is available for download here [.pdf]
The Enterprise Architecture team provides a number of services to stakeholders across CSU. The sections below describe the services available.
To find out more information or request any of these services, please contact the Senior Enterprise Architect (Digital).
A key service of any Enterprise Architecture program is the development of architectures. The precise definition of the word "architecture" varies according to context but two useful definitions from the TOGAF framework are as follows:
"A formal description of a system, or a detailed plan of the system at component level, to guide its implementation."
"The structure of components, their inter-relationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time."
There are many reasons as to why an architecture should be developed but typically the key driver is to secure a consistent understanding of the components of a system (e.g. technology, process or information system) and how they relate to each other. This information can then be used in many different ways including unpacking requirements, measuring asset health and developing roadmaps.
The Enterprise Architecture team have developed a large number of architectures in support of a variety of needs including:
The development of architectures often arises out of large-scale Initiatives and Strategy Implementation Plan (ISIP) governed projects but can occur elsewhere.
Enterprise Architecture provides an opportunity for unique insight into the potential impact of changes to IT systems, processes and information. In-turn, this insight well positions the Enterprise Architecture team to contribute specialised knowledge in the development of business cases.
The benefits of developing a business case include well-formed articulation of benefits, costs, risks and opportunities of a proposed change.
The nature of a business case can also range from full-scale, multi-month in-depth analysis for large expense and high impact items, through to smaller scale analysis of key concerns.
The need for a business case may be triggered through a formal project or result from discussion early in budgeting and planning processes.
A key output of Enterprise Architecture is understanding the health of organisational assets.
In the Enterprise Architecture context, health is defined as 'a combination of condition coupled with the suitability of an asset.' Condition is measured at technical and informational levels, while suitability includes consideration of the extent of an asset's ability to meet current and future business needs.
Health assessments can be conducted from a number of different perspectives.
In some instances, it is appropriate to conduct an in-depth assessment of a specific asset (e.g. reviewing the organisational Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system). In other cases, a portfolio wide assessment can provide greater insight (e.g. reviewing the average age of major applications).
The key outcome of conducting a health assessment is insight into areas of need for future investment. This insight can be used in support of activities such as budgeting, scheduling and initiative proposal development.
A key step in implementing a new IT service is an initial risk assessment. The nature of the risks that could be incurred vary widely depending on the nature of the proposed change. Changes made at an enterprise level can be assisted by having an Enterprise Architecture driven risk assessment undertaken.
Elements considered in an Enterprise Architecture risk assessment commonly include review of:
Risk assessments conducted by the Enterprise Architecture team in 2015 included assessments in the following areas:
The development of strategy occurs at many levels of an organisation. In some contexts, the Enterprise Architecture team can be of assistance in the development of strategy.
Organisational strategies are developed by the senior leadership relative to the scope of the strategy. At CSU, the organisational strategy is embodied by the CSU Strategic Plans. The University Strategy development is led by the Vice Chancellor and development and execution of the associated Sub-Plans is delegated to nominated senior staff. While the Enterprise Architecture team is informed by these strategies, they are not involved in their development.
The Enterprise Architecture team can assist in the development of domain strategies.
Domain strategies are developed with the intent of unpacking the future direction of a specific area at a high level of detail and are often supportive of multiple organisational strategies. The specialised nature of domain strategies requires contribution from domain specialists which are often from a variety of areas across the organisation.
Roadmaps come in many shapes and sizes but all provide a visual representation of a sequence of events which build towards achieving a strategically aligned outcome. Where a strategy outlines what needs to be achieved, the roadmap spells out the sequencing and timing of the activities needed to achieve the strategy. The development of roadmaps is a core Enterprise Architecture service.
The benefit of developing roadmaps is clarity on initiative requirements and dependencies to support resource planning, budgeting and more.
All projects of any significant size or complexity will develop or extend an architecture of some form during their execution. Accordingly, project support is a key service provided by Enterprise Architecture.
The form of support provided to projects is diverse and ranges from involvement as early on as business case development through to input into detailed design and testing. Outputs from Enterprise Architecture project support services also vary greatly and range from lengthy formal documentation through to informal conversations and whiteboard chats.
The extent of Enterprise Architecture involvement in a project also influences the form of engagement. Longer and larger activities typically involve formal allocation of one or more Enterprise Architects in a charged (as per ISIP framework) format whereas lighter engagements are often informal and temporary in nature.
A key value-add premise of Enterprise Architecture is the ability to provide insight into both the current state and possible future state of IT systems, processes and information. To support this, the Enterprise Architecture team are engaged in a range of ongoing industry research and analysis activities.
Analysis into the current state of IT systems, processes and information is undertaken in several forms (e.g. health assessment activities, regular analytics analysis and reporting).
Future state research is undertaken by team members individually but is also supported by engagements with a number of external consultants. These engagements help provide insight into future trends and market predictions. Engagements with peer organisations are also used to support this work.
The ISIP is a core means for prioritising, funding and coordinating the execution of medium to large scale IT related projects at CSU. The Enterprise Architecture team play a key role in supporting ISIP processes, in particular, collaborating with proposers for the development of ISIP submissions.
Engaging the Enterprise Architecture team in proposal development provides the initiative proposer support in undertaking the analysis required to complete the proposal template. In particular, the team can help provide input into strategic alignment, identifying risks and unpacking benefits and drivers.
The engagement of Enterprise Architecture for proposal development typically occurs through the Technology Projects office as part of the ISIP process but can also be instigated directly.