The Army Gets a First Look at DOD’s New Digital Enterprise Architecture

The Army Gets a First Look at DOD’s New Digital Enterprise Architecture

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The Army Gets a First Look at DOJ’s New Digital Enterprise Architecture

The Department of Defense’s (DoD) digital enterprise architecture is now complete, and DoD is releasing it to public comment for the first time. The “Digital Enterprise Architecture Framework” includes requirements, standards, processes, and tools to guide organizations in developing an agile, adaptive technology strategy that enables them to meet current and future mission requirements across the spectrum of military operations — land, sea, and air; cyber; space; and intelligence.

The Army Gets a First Look at DOJ’s New Digital Enterprise Architecture

Agency officials revealed their plan last week, calling it the “first major revision to the department’s information management framework since 2002.” And this time around, they say, they have put the entire framework through rigorous testing. “We have been using this internally for months now,” said Col. Michael D. Miller, director of information systems policy, doctrine, plans, and programs at DoD. “And we believe we have a robust set of solutions available today.”

The Army Gets a First Look at DOJ’s New Digital Entrepreneurial Architecture

Not only does the framework offer the DoD a path forward to implement digital strategies, it also helps agencies better align their policies, procedures, regulations, and guidance for implementing those strategies. In short, it brings them closer together.

The Army Gets a First Look at DOJ’s New Digital Enterprise Architecture

The architecture provides five core components:

A strategic vision—which envisions how the government will use technology over the long term to accomplish specific missions, including defense, law enforcement, national security, and diplomacy;

An enterprise technology roadmap—a road map that describes the technologies currently available and the ones that will emerge in the near future;

Information management principles and practices—guidelines for managing information throughout the life cycle, from creation through destruction;

Standards and guidelines—the building blocks upon which information management professionals can build their own information architectures; and

Business processes—practices and methods for conducting business electronically.

The Army Gets a First Look at DOJ’s New Digital Enterprise Architecturre

The Army Gets a First Look at DOD’s New Digital Enterprise Architecture

What is a digital enterprise architecture?

A digital enterprise architecture (DEA) is the foundation upon which modern business systems are built. A DEA directs how organizations plan, implement, and operate technology-based systems and services.By leveraging information technologies, organizational capabilities, and human capital assets, businesses should be able to manage change, innovate, create value, and deliver high-quality products and services.

Why does the Army need a new digital enterprise architecture?

The Department of Defense has embarked on a mission to transform its operations and business processes across both the military and civilian sectors. In doing so, the department is not only looking to improve the way we do business but also to provide its warfighters with better ways to accomplish missions. As part of that transformation, the department is developing a new digital enterprise architecture (DEAs). One of the primary components of the transition is establishing a secure network infrastructure.

How does the Army use the new DEA to build, deploy, monitor, and sustain a secure network infrastructure?

To meet the requirements of a secure network environment, the Army uses the new DEA to establish a comprehensive framework for design, construction, management, monitoring, and sustaining networks that are reliable, capable, and resilient. The DEA provides guidance on the following areas of consideration in defining and designing network architectures for the Army:

Network design

Security policy and procedures

Network operating systems

Communications protocols

Data classification

Data governance

Network management

Operations security

The Army Gets a First Look at DOD’s New Digital Enterprise Architecture

Military Needs’ Enterprise ‘Capability to Meet Complex Future Challenges

Military leaders will need a new set of capabilities and processes to meet complex future challenges, including those related to artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and cybersecurity. To help prepare their organizations for these changes, Defense Department leaders have begun developing a new digital enterprise architecture (DEA)—a framework of guiding principles and practices for the modernization of military services, acquisition systems, logistics, personnel, training, and workforce management.

DEAs Can Help Define Modernization Roadmaps

To create an effective DEA, DoD officials will first need to determine how they want to modernize their organizations. An effective DEA would then serve as a road map that identifies specific goals, objectives, and activities; describes how each activity supports organizational missions and goals; outlines the roles, responsibilities, and authorities of individuals, teams, and agencies; and establishes accountability requirements and incentives for success.

Achieving Success Requires Better Collaboration Across Departments

One challenge facing DoD planners is ensuring that different parts of the organization work together effectively. These efforts should begin early in the planning process. Doing so will ensure that each department understands the others’ missions, capabilities, and limitations.

Developing an Effective DEA Will Take Time.

It may take years before the DoD develops its first draft of an effective DEA. However, some initial steps can help get the ball rolling. As the department moves toward adopting a new DEA, leaders should identify ways to improve collaboration across department boundaries. As the department drafts the components of an effective DEA, it should ensure that departments share information about their operations and capabilities, review and evaluate their successes and failures, and discuss ways to improve performance.

Building an Effective DEA Will Require Leadership Commitment.

The entire executive leadership team should understand the value of a well-developed DEA and commit themselves to supporting its development. In addition, the Pentagon should continue to develop and refine its current business processes and standards to make them align with the DEA. DoD should use the DEA to guide its procurement decision-making and budgeting decisions, as well as to manage its supply chain. And, finally, DoD will need to ensure that managers view the DEA as a tool to drive change throughout the agency and not just a document that sits on a shelf gathering dust.

The Army Gets a First Look at DOD’s New Digital Enterprise Architecture

Information Technology

The Department of Defense (DOD) recently released its first ever digital enterprise architecture (DEA). According to the DOD’s website, “the purpose of this document is to provide a high-level view of how DoD plans to use information technology for the benefit of our warfighters, government personnel, military families, and civilians alike.”

“Networking and Communications”

With the help of the DEA, the DOD aims to streamline various communication channels, including email, social networking sites, online forums, text messaging, and instant messaging. The goal is to increase efficiency by helping employees stay connected to the network while reducing downtime caused by connectivity issues.

Cloud Computing

In addition to helping employees connect, cloud computing will also allow them to access applications remotely. According to Gartner, by 2016, more than 75% of enterprises will have adopted cloud service offerings.By 2018, the figure is expected to reach 90%.

The Army Gets a First Look at DOD’s New Digital Enterprise Architecture

The Army’s enterprise architecture program is moving forward under a new direction. After many years of planning, design, construction, integration, and testing, the Department of Defense (DOD) recently released a formal version of its next-generation enterprise architecture (NAEA). In tandem with this release, the NAEA was formally adopted by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), which oversees the DoD enterprise architecture program.

The Army’s Next Generation Enterprise Architecture (NAEA) provides the foundational framework to guide the implementation of the department’s business-wide data strategies. According to OSD, the NAEA “promotes effective information sharing across the department while building upon existing DOD architectures.” To accomplish these goals, the NAEA supports service-specific architectures built around specific business lines, including operations, logistics, acquisition, finance, human resource management, training and education, and personnel services. Additionally, the NAEA incorporates capabilities from the future Joint Enterprise Architecture (JAEA), developed by the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The JAEA includes concepts that address future challenges in cyber security, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, cloud computing, mobility, sustainability, and space exploration.

The first step in the adoption process was the public release of the draft version of the NAEA in October 2015. This document includes significant changes made since the initial draft published in 2011. These changes were driven by feedback from stakeholders, including industry experts, military leaders, system users, and non-governmental organizations. Based on stakeholder input, modifications to the structure and content of the draft NAEA were made to meet their requirements and enhance the usability of the final product.

While the final version of the NAEA was not officially released until April 2016, several articles have been written about the contents of the document. One of those articles, authored by Michael Johnson, a senior research fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) and a former director of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)’s IT Transformation Management Office, provided some details on how the enterprise architecture program came together. He pointed out that the final version of the proposed NAEA reflected the feedback received from stakeholders throughout the entire project cycle.

According to Johnson’s article, the primary objective of the enterprise architecture program is to provide “a high-level view of the landscape of DoD enterprise systems that will serve as the basis for managing and maintaining the operational mission.” His article further explained that the purpose of the enterprise architecture program was to enable the department to build an “operational-level architecture based on a shared understanding of the strategic objectives, critical success factors, and supporting technical architecture for the department’s mission-critical systems.”

Johnson said that the first step toward achieving this goal was to develop a conceptual model of the enterprise architecture. He added that the conceptual model serves as a reference point for the creation of the enterprise architecture, which then guides the design and implementation processes.

In order to create the conceptual model, the DOD formed two teams. The first team consisted of subject matter experts who were tasked with developing a preliminary set of architectural principles. The second team was composed of architects who had experience in designing enterprise architectures. Both groups worked independently, using different methodologies to define the enterprise architecture. Additionally, both teams incorporated lessons learned from past efforts to develop enterprise architectures.

As the conceptual models evolved, they were reviewed by the various stakeholders and underwent iterative revisions. Once the revised conceptual models were complete, they were analyzed by the architect team to identify gaps between the current state of the art and the desired future state of the art. Those gaps were then addressed before the conceptual models were ready for publication.

To ensure that the final conceptual model captured the intent of the stakeholders, Johnson recommended that the program should include a review process to validate the conceptual model prior to its release. This validation process involved soliciting comments and suggestions from all appropriate stakeholders, including subject matter experts, government officials, and industry representatives.

Once all the stakeholders were satisfied with the quality and completeness of the final conceptual model, the architects were able to begin working on the detailed design and development of the enterprise architecture. At the same time, the architects began working on the technical architecture that would support the enterprise architecture.

Based on the resulting collaborative work, the program produced two documents—the Conceptual Model of the DoD Enterprise Architecture and the Technical Reference Architecture. The second document is designed to support the conceptual model while providing detailed descriptions of the necessary technologies and tools to implement the enterprise architecture. The Technical Reference Architecture also specifies how to connect the various components of the enterprise architecture and indicates the necessary interfaces among them.

One of the key advantages of the enterprise architecture approach is that it can be applied to any size organization. While the DOD is considered to be a large organization, the architecture applies equally well to smaller organizations as well, according to Johnson. For example, a small company could use the enterprise architecture to map out its own business strategy.

Another advantage of the enterprise architecture approach, as compared to a traditional approach, is that it allows for continuous improvement. Instead of adhering to a static plan, the DOD can make constant improvements to the enterprise architecture as needed. As Johnson pointed out, another benefit of the enterprise architecture approach over a more traditional one was that it promotes collaboration.

However, there are also disadvantages associated with the enterprise architecture approach. One of those drawbacks comes from the fact that the architecture cannot be implemented without the support of significant investments in technology. While the DOD has made significant progress in adopting the enterprise architecture approach, the department still needs to invest heavily in infrastructure upgrades to support the new approach.

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