Most of the IT staff of the State has responsibilities other than Technical Architecture. One of the key questions has to be what is an engagement strategy that will work for the State to leverage TA benefits without an undue cost burden to agencies? Figure 1 illustrates some of the available options:
Central TA will not scale easily, and is much too expensive to implement as a stand alone TA resource. Outsourcing TA is costly and has many communication and practical issues that are difficult to overcome effectively.
The State has many employees with specialized capabilities as business, technical, and data architects that could effectively develop TA in a federated model. Some of these areas could ultimately move to a Center of Excellence (COE) model where COEs become primary centers for TA development in their respective domains, as well as for ongoing operational implementation. Figure 2 represents a recommended federated strategy2 that leverages expertise in all DTS customer agencies. This model makes better use of knowledge pools within agencies and leverages specializations that already exist.
Collaboration with LOB personnel is also facilitated by this model. Commitment is for a defined deliverable, and is closely integrated with the actual needs of the agency. Historically, getting agency LOB input to TA has been challenging at best. This method presumes a business-centric approach that does not focus on technology per se with agency LOBs; rather, it focuses on business missions and processes and how IT can enable them.
This federated model leverages collaboration that has already proven to be effective in some prior TA efforts within State government. TA teams are ad hoc and focused on key deliverables and ongoing review processes as needed. When a team has finished its work, it does not need to continue meeting except for required ongoing review cycles. Impact on day-to-day operational responsibilities is minimized. Collaboration among those with architecture responsibilities in DET, the agencies, the PMO, engineering, and operations is essential for this TA method to be successful.