A well-defined enterprise architecture is an essential tool for leveraging information technology (IT) to transform business and mission operations. GAO’s experience has shown that attempting to modernize and evolve IT environments without an architecture to guide and constrain investments results in operations and systems that are duplicative, not well integrated, costly to maintain, and ineffective in supporting mission goals. In light of the importance of enterprise architectures, GAO developed a five stage architecture management maturity framework that defines what needs to be done to effectively manage an architecture program. Under GAO’s framework, a fully mature architecture program is one that satisfies all elements of all stages of the framework. As agreed, GAO’s objective was to determine the status of major federal department and agency enterprise architecture efforts.
What ails enterprise architecture efforts?
"The key to these departments and agencies building upon their current status, and ultimately realizing the benefits that they cited architectures providing, is sustained executive leadership, as virtually all the challenges that they reported can be addressed by such leadership. Examples of the challenges are organizational parochialism and cultural resistance, adequate resources (human capital and funding), and top management understanding; examples of benefits cited are better information sharing, consolidation, improved productivity, and reduced costs."
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