Enterprise Architecture in Academic Environments – EDUCAUSE Midwest conference

Here are some notes from Jim Phelps’ talk on Enterprise Architecture. He’s the IT architect at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

“… this is the room where the future pours into the past via the pinch of now.” – Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man. Jim says this captures the feeling he has of being an architect.

Requirements management: takeaway point is that this starts at the business level and progressively moves down into to technical implementation details.

What is core? The core set of business processes and data has to be the focus. Very critical that this be established and this focus be held throughout the journey.

Hooks to use can include budget. A unified financial budget allows Stanford University to influence the enterprise through controlling funding. If a department on campus wants to run its own mail server, the CFO can choose not to fund it because it fails to align with the architectural plan.

University of Washington has a very distributed, Zen-like approach to their architecture. Campus culture makes this approach appropriate for them. The architects use an enabling/advising approach but do not impose control on departments.

When do you engage? At inception? Things go smoother down the road if you start with architecture at the front.

Methods of engagement can include pleading, recommending, requirements, project review, and project gate.

ITANA.org is a peer group of IT/EA architects in academia. Get in touch with them and collaborate. Share artifacts from your architectural work.
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