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Board Report: 2014-IT-B-003 February 26, 2014

Opportunities Exist to Achieve Operational Efficiencies in the Board's Management of Information Technology Services

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Other Matter for Management's Consideration

The Division of IT has developed a strategic plan that notes the importance of leveraging enterprise architecture (EA) principles to increase IT standardization and effectiveness across Board divisions. EA consists of a blueprint that describes how an organization operates in terms of business processes and technology, how it intends to operate in the future, and how it plans to transition to the future state. EA would also include the development and implementation of Board-wide IT standards that could be leveraged to achieve cost savings. We found, however, that the Division of IT's efforts to develop an EA have not included all the technologies and services used across Board divisions. Further, Board divisions are not required to follow the EA standards that the Division of IT creates, resulting in inconsistent IT services processes, procedures, and tools used across Board divisions.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office has noted that many successful private and public organizations have utilized EA to implement operations and technology environments that maximize attainment of strategic objectives.3 The Division of IT has developed standards and guidelines for the current and future state of software, hardware, router, and database technologies used within the division. Further, an Architecture Review Board was recently established to ensure that the Division of IT's projects align with these standards and guidelines. However, other Board divisions are not required to adhere to the standards, the guidelines, or the Architecture Review Board's processes.

The absence of a Board-wide EA stems from decentralized IT and strategic management processes that until recently have not prioritized operational efficiencies and cost reduction as Boardwide goals. We recognize that the development and implementation of an EA across Board divisions would entail a concerted effort over a period of time and would require collaboration and coordination; however, such an effort could provide a foundation for achieving operational efficiencies and cost savings.

As such, we suggest that the Director of the Division of IT work with Board divisions to identify IT standards, services, and technologies currently in use across Board divisions and those needed to meet future strategic goals and objectives, and then define a transition plan.

  • 3. U.S. Government Accountability Office, Enterprise Architecture: Leadership Remains Key to Establishing and Leveraging Architectures for Organizational Transformation, GAO-06-831, August 2006.  Return to text