School of Information Technology
EA Documentation and Procedures
The purpose of this EA is to describe the architecture processes that support the School of Information Technology and present a structured methodology for identifying, collecting, and maintaining architectural information across all levels of the EA cube framework while addressing the vertical components and LOB’s within the organization. This document will specify high level architecture development and approval processes while improving overall IT decision making and improved program performance and success.
The following EA procedures will outline the recommended phases for the development, implementation, operations and maintenance of IT systems and applications. These will also apply to all systems including contractor developed IT systems.
The EA policy for the SIT sets the direction for how this EA will be developed and maintained, and how information technology investments and assets will be evaluated. This policy is aimed to provide consistent services, accessible information (online repositories), proper integration and alignment within the SIT organization.
EA Project Schedule:
I have developed a theoretical timeline of how long I believe it would take to implement the following EA within the School of Information Technology. This project should take approximately seventeen to twenty four weeks with proper participation from each entity within the EA. The intention is to be far enough along in the implementation process to be able to properly document the IT projects associated with these EA.
The successful implementation of this project will result in completion of the following objectives.
• Increase IT effectiveness by improving the process for selection to ensure that IT decisions provide optimized services across the entire SIT.
• Creation of a migration plan for architecture implementation.
• Create an IT standard for the EA.
• Establish a necessary EA team to perform and support the EA process as an ongoing program.
• Documentation of processes, policies and procedures.
• Define current and future LOB’s for the SIT.
• Complete an EA implementation methodology to include first 3 phases.
• Creation and documentation of artifacts for each level of the EA cube framework.
Roles and Responsibilities:
• Responsible for developing, maintaining, communicating and promoting the use of the EA.
• Applying EA products and practices.
• Provides direction and priorities of the EA team.
• Provides accurate information management practices including segment and solution architectures to the CIO.
• Advises on enterprise level use of technology, common business architectures and development processes.
Chief Financial Officer:
• Responsible for strategic and budget planning processes.
• Coordinating with the CIO to ensure that the EA processes are supporting the strategic and budget planning processes.
Chief Information Officer:
• Provides an IT strategic direction which helps inform the EA team.
• Reviews, approves, and issues the enterprise architecture baseline and enterprise transition plan.
Chief Technology Officer:
• Reviews technology and security considerations within the enterprise architecture.
• Chairman of the Quality Technology Subcommittee.
• Responsible for issuing procedures, guidance, and technical standards associated with the EA, with a specific focus on the technology architecture.
Enterprise Architecture Team Lead:
• Responsible for managing the EA team, including strategic planning, establishing priorities, managing day to day functions and directing the activities of the EA team.
• Works with the Chief Architect in fulfilling the CIO’s strategic direction and ensuring collaboration with managers and stakeholders.
Enterprise Architecture Team:
• Comprised of an architecture core team led by the EA team lead and consisting of a dedicated staff of subject matter experts and stakeholders.
• Supports the Chief Architect in annually reviewing segments, developing and maintaining an enterprise architecture transition plan.
Information Management Officer:
• Responsible for coordinating and overseeing conformance with data, security, and IT standards.
• Works with Information Security Officer for security related issues.
Project Manager / Solutions Architect:
• Develops a solutions architecture in conformance with relevant segment architecture and best practices.
• Ensures that the system is managed in compliance with all policies and procedures.
Senior Information Official:
• Grants authority to access sensitive information.
• Monitors the implementation of information resources to ensure the IT used and managed supports the business needs and mission. Helps to achieve strategic goals.
Stakeholders are also considered part of an EA team and have their own roles and responsibilities. Stakeholders utilize EA work and its products in their daily function but also sponsor and support the EA as well. It is important to maintain stakeholder support by following the four phases mentioned below.
• Strategize and Plan: Develop a plan that will nurture an ongoing process that will develop and maintain key stakeholder support.
• Assess Current State: Assess the key stakeholder attributes to enable the identification and institution of best practices.
• Assess Competencies: Use current state analysis to identify and select appropriate best practices and necessary competencies.
• Operate and Evolve: Operate and evolve appropriate best practices and necessary competencies to generate and maintain stakeholder support.
EA Implementation Methodology:
The following EA implementation methodology will cover the first three phases and include each step involved with their respective phase. This EA Management Plan will be updated and released annually (fourth quarter) via online repository.
Phase 1: Establish Information Requirements and Architecture Vision
Step 1. Schedule frequent team meetings to include identifying a Chief Architect, planning of activities and review/creation of deliverables.
Step 2. Review and discuss existing documentation and identify all steps within the EA methodology. Create working sessions with IT managers to identify EA requirements, critical issues, and currently used technologies.
Step 3. Find an approach to enable effective policies, such as pre-requisites needed to take certain classes and how many credit hours are required for graduation. Establish a plan on how decisions will be made such as unanimous decision or majority rule. This step will also involve other management processes such as goal setting, budget planning, who will be working on what projects, etc.
Step 4. Perform a critique of phase one execution including recommendations for improvements. Create an EA communication plan to gain stakeholder buy-in such as students, nonprofit organizations, and sponsors. This is especially important regarding the gaining an internship LoB. Develop a mission statement, purpose of the institution and a vision of the enterprise architecture. Explain how the EA will create value to the school and make sure that documentation is available to anyone who may be interested in reading it.
Phase 2: Create architectural framework requirements and principles.
Step 5. Development of a current status report and obtain EA documentation framework from the Chief Architect s, team members and stakeholders. Make sure the framework covers the areas that the EA framework discusses.
Step 6. Identify and present LoB’s to stakeholders and discuss findings to ensure continued participation and gain support for the next phase.
Step 7. Perform a critique of phase two and identify the EA components to be documented such as strategic goals, activities and the outcome of the program. Identify the business needs such as staff, equipment, marketing, etc.
Step 8. Develop documentation methods such as meeting minutes, electronic and hardcopies. These documents should also be made available via an online repository.
Step 9. Using Essentials Launchpad to help capture data that is required to populate foundational views within an EA.
Step 10. Establish a repository data management system such as a SharePoint site for automated documentation. This would also allow for EA team members to add or edit existing documents and would allow for immediate updating.
Phase 3: Develop EA documentation and domain details.
Step 11. Work with core architecture team to evaluate current documentation and infrastructure such as principals and design.
Step 12. Review and documentation of existing views of the SIT components across all areas of the EA framework. Verify documentation is being stored successfully and properly within the online repository.
Step 13. Worth with the team to develop future technology scenarios and include viability assessments.
Step 14. Identify future planning threads for each of the scenarios developed in step thirteen.
Step 15. Review current and future scenarios with the team and take any input and/or ideas and place them into the SharePoint site which is available online. Use this information to help organize and create future scenarios.
Step 16. Work with EA team to schedule planned changes to the EA if needed. Create an EA management plan if necessary to keep up with these changes.
The above implementation methodology
EA³ Cube Framework and Artifacts:
The following information describes the hierarchical levels of the EA cube framework for the School of Information Technology. There are five high-level views which consist of sub-level architectural views. Each of the five levels will be supported by the appropriate artifacts. The SIT mission statement will be included in the goals and initiatives as this is part of the strategy level of the EA cube framework.
Strategy: Goals and Initiatives
The School of Information Technology is committed to producing high quality graduates by taking a comprehensive, hands on approach across a wide range of technologies and professions, including computer security, networking systems, IT enterprise management and software development. The School of Information Technology strives to achieve the highest level of excellence by accomplishing the following goals:
• Maintaining a high enrollment to graduation rate.
• Providing students the tools and knowledge needed to successfully obtain employment in their chosen field.
• Provide confidence and a think on your own mentality.
• Provide resources needed to be successful in life.
• Provide a flexible plan of study to meet the student’s availability such as online or distance learning classes.
Mission Statement: “The School of Information Technology provides the highest quality technology based services, while remaining cost effective and enhancing, improving, engaging, and stimulating the learning environment for all students to advance their educational experience and skills in order to prepare them for a successful career in Information Technology.”
Vision Statement: “The School of Information Technology will be an exemplary institution that produces graduates who demonstrate the knowledge, skills and values required to become productive members in a complex, interconnected and constantly changing world.”
Provide documentation to students outlining the requirements to complete their chosen degree program. This documentation will assist students in obtaining the necessary knowledge base to successfully create a step by step process that will guide the student from their very first enrollment experience to the completion of their degree program. These initiatives will not only meet the needs of students but satisfy the faculty and stakeholders as well. This documentation will also contain the current strategy of taking new students and setting them up for success to become successful graduates.
Business: Products and Services
Provide documentation illustrating the available resources to current and future students. Documents outlining available plans of study and course catalogs listing each class along with a class description. Provide distance learning options such as online classes and satellite locations. Information showing how services and products can be delivered via PC to the students and/or stakeholders. Provide students with information regarding available IT clubs and committees that will help with the overall growth and development of the student. Implementation of a student center where students can go to get help with homework or other opportunities. Financial aid and scholarship information will also be made available. Also let it be stated that students are considered products and by turning out highly qualified graduates we as an organization are creating top level products. A policy will be created regarding the services listed above to prevent those services from being abused or misused.
Here is a simple swim lane diagram (artifact) illustrating the enrollment process using a web portal. They key here is to not overly complicate this process but to merely show the process flow of enrollment.
Data: Data and Information
Provide charts that include roles and responsibilities within the School of Information Technology. Provide plan of study course definitions which will be available online and in the course catalogue to include any services that will be provided with that particular plan of study. Include process maps such as course prerequisites, degree programs, enrollment schedules and other documentation that is related to the SIT. Provide documentation on how and where online repository information will be stored.
Below is a system flow diagram (artifact) illustrating how an EA repository works.
Applications: Systems and Applications
Provide system and applications that support faculty, students and other supporting entities for the School of Information Technology by increasing the portability of applications and making upgrades and migration of system components easier while maintaining a high standard of security. Include website/portal access such as content libraries, D2L and online classrooms to students and faculty members so that the overall success of this institution will be greatly increased.
Provide assessment applications/tools for faculty that allows them to grade and return homework to students who are taking online classes. Ensure that all software being used within the School of Information Technology is properly licensed and is backed by vendor customer support. Verification that hardware and operating systems meet minimum requirements and are available for use.
Below is an illustration (artifact) showing an application migration methodology within the School of Information Technology.
Infrastructure: Networks and Infrastructure
Provide documentation that will support network infrastructures that are flexible and adapt to the end user’s needs. Create an environment that provides the capability to expand the existing network infrastructure with minimum interruptions to the end users. Documentation showing an infrastructure that is based on an open technology. Open technology will enable the School of Information Technology to take advantage of industry trends and future technology. Get away from the “Well we have always done it this way” mentality. Create a budget and staff to support infrastructure migration that allows for interoperability. It is also imperative to educate as to the benefits of a common infrastructure so it can support the strategic plan. Provide necessary network infrastructure capabilities to meet the demands of WAN/LAN usage throughout the School of Information Technology.
Below is a basic networking artifact showing a network topology consisting of several classrooms, offices and NOC.
Lines of Business:
This section will address the LOB’s mentioned in phase two, step six of the EA implementation methodology. The following LOB’s contain both vertical and horizontal components. The first Line of Business is the student’s ability to choose a plan of study which consists of an associates in applied science, associates in science or bachelors of technology. These three degree programs have a focused study option of Information Assurance, Networking Systems, Software Development and/or Enterprise Management. Students will have the option to choose which electives they will take each semester based on their chosen field of study. Students will also be given a tentative graduation plan (provided by their academic advisor) that will show how many credits per semester hour they will need to take in order to graduate within a certain amount of time. This is important if using the GI Bill because you only receive 36 months of benefits (post 911) to complete your plan of study.
The second Line of Business is obtaining an internship, which is a requirement and prerequisite to graduate from the School of Information Technology. Students may choose between a six, nine or twelve hour (semester) internship. This choice will be reviewed by the student’s Internship Coordinator. Before a student can begin their internship they will need to have their Internship Coordinator approve their internship to make sure that it meets all requirements to qualify as an IT internship. Currently there is no requirement that states which semester a student must complete their internship. Internships may be paid or unpaid depending on the organization in which the students will be interning. There is currently no documentation stating whether an internship must be paid or unpaid.
There are three current threads running through all layers of the EA³ cube framework. They are skills, security and standards and these threads are basic elements of the EA analysis and design. Each planning thread will be discussed starting with security followed by standards and lastly skills.
Security threads are embedded authentication solutions with multi-level protection. These threads can be used in a wide range of applications and are versatile by design. The School of Information Technology will develop privacy act policies designed to protect personal and financial information of our students, staff and clients. Provide documentation showing that all necessary precautions have been taken regarding the physical security of SIT facilities. Mitigate risk by developing an accountability plan for anyone who has physical access to each and every building within the School of Information Technology. Ensure that IT infrastructure is not vulnerable to external or internal attacks or other malicious intentions by constantly monitoring network traffic and using intrusion detection software. Conduct thorough background screenings for all faculty and contractors and also any students who will be enrolled in certain cybersecurity courses to mitigate malicious intentions.
Standard threads list approved products and standards that are applicable to the School of Information Technology architecture which is described in this EA. The enterprise standard thread is primarily for use by individuals involved with the design, development, and product selections. The SIT will provide documentation showing IEEE, Cisco, and other standards are being met. Provide guidelines governing the appropriate use of information systems such as network resources, email, applications, etc. Ensuring any privacy, confidentiality or security issues are addressed responsibly and in a timely fashion. Verification that any software installed on SIT assets has been legally obtained and properly licensed. Constant monitoring of academic integrity and/or plagiarism through the use of software by faculty.
Skill threads provide a view of the competency levels needed for specific roles within a work area and depth of knowledge required to fulfil that role successfully. The School of Information Technology understands the risks of hiring unsuitable personnel that are underqualified to meet current standards. Because of this risk, SIT has established the following requirements. Provide a clear understanding of minimum requirements for employing IT staff in the areas of education, certifications and work experience. Develop a workforce plan that will account for staff and forecast future staffing requirements. Identify gaps that might arise such as staff per student ratios for a particular semester. Research an acceptable student to teacher ratio that will allow the SIT to reach its graduation goals. Develop strategies to stay up to date with emerging technologies and become a magnet for qualified employment seekers.
This section will showcase the viability radar, which is designed to assess the current viability of the School of Information Technology’s EA program. Based on services and documentation, this will highlight what is currently working well and what needs to be improved or addressed. This assessment will review the importance of simplifying technology, supporting value of networks, cost-effective business models and upgrading to current technology solutions.
• An overview of the SIT’s strategic plan to include vision and mission statements
• Meet with Technology Advisory Committee
• Meet with Technology Coordinator
• Review curriculum integration
• Review professional and developmental training plan
• Review of infrastructure to include internal, external, PC’s, and peripherals.
• Review of technology funding and budgeting
• Review of SIT’s administration use of school management systems
The School of Information Technology’s vision and mission statement has been reviewed and verified. These statements provide the required strategies and tactics for the SIT to achieve their technology goals. This is important because curriculum driven technology objectives are established based on the needs assessment and objectives.
Technology Advisory Committee:
The technology advisory committee consists of educators, technical personnel, parents, students and community members who through proper continuous technology planning and assessment have advised the SIT where future budget and spending should be allocated. Currently the SIT is preparing a budget to migrate from physical resources to a more virtualized environment to include implementation of VMWare and Cloud data storage.
The School of Information Technology has verified via the technology coordinator that the current technology resources have no identifiable issues with curriculum or implementation.
The School of Information Technology recognize the value that technology tools impart to the learning environment, strengthening basic human skills such as: problem solving, creativity, communication, time management and exploration. The School of Information Technology has reviewed the current curriculum and has verified that skills are being developed that can be employed across multiple disciplines based on our number of degree options. Project based active learning is being practiced. The current integration of technology reflects the needs of students in today’s IT market place.
The School of Information Technology has a well-defined plan for technology education and continuous improvement for all faculty and staff. The SIT has a firm understanding of technology and that it is a prerequisite to the integration of technology into a school setting. The school currently dedicates 20% of its technology budgets for in-service and training expenses.
The School of Information Technology has all internal and external networking infrastructures in place and functioning to include: voice and data, permanent connection to the internet and intranet and technology hardware access for all students and faculty. The ratio of teacher/computer and students/computer is acceptable.
A financial plan for technology and activities to include technology grants, budget and support have been reviewed and accepted. No fiscal restraints have been identified that would prevent full technology integration. A plan for long term funding has been established and any grant support has been sought and requested.
Due to the rapid pace of technology development, the SIT has implemented a realistic view of all technology expenditures as recurring costs. Technology has been included as a line item in the budget to adequately finance and maintain a technology rich environment.
Guidelines have been established regarding the use of equipment and data security to include an acceptable use policy. There has been a full implementation of technology policies that have been given to each faculty member. The acceptable use policy is acknowledged and signed by each employee that has been granted access privileges. The administrative use of the SIT management system has reviewed the use of standards based grading systems (D2L). A plan has been put in place for the security of all data and technology to prevent loss of administrative control.
The School of Information Technology will be adding an addition to the current plan of study in order to attract more students and meet evolving technologies. This is addition will be a bachelor’s degree in Virtualization and Cloud Computing. This new program will be designed to meet or exceed student expectations and provide the necessary tools and resources to fill this type of role.