Strategic Architecture Committee
by B Victor Chakravarty
The Strategic Architecture Committee is an OIT task force launched in early March. Its mission is to draft and communicate architectural directions for critical IT infrastructure, applications and procedures. The goal is to examine emerging issues and develop a general approach to serve as a direction-setting guide to OIT staff and vendors as they make day-to-by decisions and execute projects.
Members of this committee are appointed by the CIO, at the recommendation of the IT Leadership Team. The Director of Policy and Strategic Planning chairs the committee, and facilitates its proceedings. Current members include the Chief Technology Officer, the Director of Applications Services, the Director of Network Services, the Director of Operations, the Director of Desktop & Customer Support, the Director of Security, the Enterprise Systems Architect, the Enterprise Infrastructure Architect, the eGov Management Analyst, and the AITD of GOV-DAFS-DOE-SPO-Cultural-Library.
The following are the more detailed functions of the committee:
- Focus on ways to improve the ROI of technology investments.
- Define preferred "to-be" states describing where we would like the State of Maine to be at some point in the future for individual issues.
- Define an "as-is" state describing where we are now for each "to-be" state to help expose the gaps to be addressed in getting there.
- Prepare a non-technical visual diagram to express the desired "to-be" state as a means of communicating the new direction.
- Find ways to communicate the "to-be" states to those OIT and business staff who are working in areas that may be impacted.
- Prepare a draft and vet updates to the "Gartner Bricks" in the 2002 IT Strategic Plan.
- Provide to the Portfolio Review Committee, Project Management Office and other governance entities guidance to help them ensure that development projects are consistent with the long-term architectural directions.
- Recommend ways to develop, communicate and enforce architectural standards for IT.
The general approach of the committee is to work with a small group to draft a set of straw person documents, and circulate them widely within OIT to foster discussion and feedback. The resulting comments will then be used to develop the final documents. Roughly speaking, the committee uses the following three criteria for choosing discussion topics: strategic criticality, time sensitivity, and technical inter-dependency (low-hanging fruits first). Since mid-March, the committee has been meeting every Friday, from 1-3 PM. The committee has so far created a charter for itself, and has already discussed the following topics: Desktop Provisioning, Desktop Configuration, Active Directory for Universal Internal Authentication, Future Internet/Intranet Architecture, the Universal Proxy Server, and Server Consolidation. The current goal is to publish the final documents as part of the OIT Strategic Plan in the Fall.