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RESOURCES   |   Enterprise Architecture Program Toolkit & Resources

  About   |   Publications

About the Program

The NASCIO Enterprise Architecture program was developed to enable the mission of state and local government. Government must continually reinvent itself to remain relevant by effectively and efficiently providing services to the citizens of this country. The path to this continual transformation must embrace leadership, management, coordination, communication and technology throughout government. Enterprise architecture is the discipline to appropriately define and leverage these capabilities within the complexities of government.

Funding to support the NASCIO EA Program and information sharing initiative is provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs.

Committee Publications

Enterprise Architecture Development Tool-Kit v3.0 Enterprise Architecture Development Tool-Kit v3.0
October 2004
The enhancements in the third version of the Tool-Kit result from the expertise and continued dedication of enterprise architecture practitioners from all levels of government and the private sector. Version 3.0 incorporates an updated governance architecture framework with added roles and responsibilities and a focus on multi-level communication. Process models with explanatory narrative are included for governance and the architecture lifecycle. The Tool-Kit also includes fully populated security domain and application domain blueprints.

Is State IT Working on the 'Right Things'? Is State IT Working on the 'Right Things'?
July 2015

 What does it mean to be working on the right things? This determination is often difficult when considering the state as both an enterprise and a collective of individual agencies. Through interviews and formal surveys, NASCIO and Infosys Public Services gained insight from state IT leaders on the fundamental processes, mechanisms and criteria necessary to ensure that state IT is working on the right things. The resulting report will help state IT decision makers understand the key factors needed to identify the right things to do, see how they and their peer states stand against these factors and what can be done to bridge the gap.

States and Open Data: From Museum to Marketplace - What's Next States and Open Data: From Museum to Marketplace - What's Next
May 2014

NASCIO takes a look at what has occurred across the states since NASCIO’s first report on open data published in 2009. This latest report examines progress in open data across state and local government. Open data initiatives are advancing at all levels of government in the United States and globally. States and local governments have partnered with industry to create innovative capabilities in delivering data to consumers. Those consumers include citizens, business, non-profit organization and government. The report also presents recommendations for continuing to advance state government open data initiatives and begin moving to a next level of maturity.

Destination: Advancing Enterprise Portfolio Management – First Stop: Issues Management Destination: Advancing Enterprise Portfolio Management – First Stop: Issues Management
December 2013

State CIOs are managing a growing and diverse set of investments, services and collaborative arrangements. Enterprise portfolio management (EPM) is a discipline that provides the tools and best practices necessary for doing this proactively and successfully. EPM provides a view into the enterprise – not only projects, but also services, operations, programs and resources. EPM essentially turns enterprise architecture into action. EPM involves many portfolios. The first portfolio that drives the others is the portfolio of issues that identifies, scores and prioritizes the very issues we’re trying to solve through projects, programs, management initiatives and operations.

What Makes Collaborative Initiatives Work? What Makes Collaborative Initiatives Work?
October 2012

Collaboration is a major part of the solution to sustaining and thriving government organizations and services. But it has to be done correctly so it is effective, can sustain through the life of the initiative’s intent, and can adapt with changing environmental circumstances. No matter what service area, mode of delivery, management area, or technology, collaborative arrangements should be considered as an alternative that may deliver the most effective outcomes.

NASCIO is actively investigating existing collaboratives in order to promote collaborative arrangements across government and to uncover operating discipline and best practices that make for successful collaboratives.These best practices support strategy, governance, program and project management, organization, operations and effective application of technology.Collectively these best practices are imbedded in the enterprise architecture of successful collaboratives.

Why Should Government Join Up? Why now?  What do we gain? Why Should Government Join Up? Why now? What do we gain?
September 2012

Maintaining and increasing government service delivery in the current economic circumstances is nearing the impossible. What is the answer? Part of the answer is the formation of collaborative relationships across agencies and jurisdictions to share and in some circumstances consolidate investments. State and local governments can not afford to go it alone. Through collaborative governance structures, jurisdictions can pool funding, increase buying power, remove or reduce redundant investments in technology and actually make significant gains in the quality of service.

Is Big Data a Big Deal for State Governments? The Big Data Revolution – Impacts for State Government – Timing is Everything Is Big Data a Big Deal for State Governments? The Big Data Revolution – Impacts for State Government – Timing is Everything
August 2012

The volume and velocity of data creation is at all time high – and is accelerating. State government is a veritable data engine creating vast amounts of data from a vast number of sources. That data is being used to comply with regulations; uncover fraud, waste and abuse; and ultimately improve the lives of citizens. The sky is the limit in terms future data generation based on the growth in mobile applications, sensors, cloud services and the growing public private partnerships that must be monitored for performance and service levels, according to NASCIO’s latest in its series of issue briefs on analytics - “Is Big Data a Big Deal?”

In this issue brief, the universe of “big data” will be explored in order to:

  • Create a foundation preliminary to further description and exploration in future briefs, conference sessions and innovations forums.
  • Set common characteristics of big data versus simply lots of data.
  • Emphasize the necessity of data governance and data management within a broader state government enterprise architecture.
  • Present some early recommendations for state government regarding big data.

Capitals in the Clouds Part III – Recommendations for Mitigating Risks: Jurisdictional, Contracting and Service Levels Capitals in the Clouds Part III – Recommendations for Mitigating Risks: Jurisdictional, Contracting and Service Levels
December 2011

Cloud computing will continue to be an invaluable resource for state and local governments in their efforts to rationalize and optimize computing resources. Cloud computing should be seen as an IT innovation that can support rationalization and optimization of business services as well as IT services. Due diligence prescribes the necessity of exploring and evaluating jurisdictional issues in order to ensure long term sustainability and growing adoption of collaborative government operations in state and local government.

Capitals in the Clouds - The Case for Cloud Computing in State Government Part II:
Challenges and Opportunities to Get Your Data Right Capitals in the Clouds - The Case for Cloud Computing in State Government Part II: Challenges and Opportunities to Get Your Data Right
October 2011

Cloud computing brings with it opportunities, issues and risks. One major consideration that must be addressed is the management of data – governance, stewardship, consistency, ownership and security. Data is the lifeblood of state government operations and critical for service delivery. With the fiscal stress and operational pressures that are driving state and local governments toward serious consideration and adoption of cloud computing, the data must not be ignored. These pressures must be managed intelligently to avoid pushing government into a future situation that could constitute greater cost, and more difficulty in achieving interoperability of government lines of business and government jurisdictions.

Capitals in the Clouds - The Case for Cloud Computing in State Government Part I: Definitions and Principles Capitals in the Clouds - The Case for Cloud Computing in State Government Part I: Definitions and Principles
June 2011

Cloud computing has arrived as a serious alternative for state government. There are outstanding issues that must be faced and dealt with in order to maintain the reliability, responsibility, security, privacy, and citizen-confidence in government services. Government is exploring technology and business process innovations that will make the way for government to deliver existing services more economically. Cloud computing provides a number capabilities that have the potential for enabling such innovation.

A Call to Action: Information Exchange Strategies for Effective State Government A Call to Action: Information Exchange Strategies for Effective State Government
April 2011

NASCIO Recommends State Government Adopt the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) to Enable Government Information Sharing
The National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) provides a broad range of products and capabilities for planning and implementing enterprise-wide information exchanges. Government effectiveness and citizen centric government services require effective cross line of business collaboration and communication. Use of national standards will avoid redundant investment and unnecessary variation. What is needed is a common discipline for information sharing that is employed by all government lines of business.  NIEM exists as that discipline for federal, state and local government.

DO YOU THINK? OR DO YOU KNOW? PART II: The EA Value Chain, The Strategic Intent Domain, and Principles DO YOU THINK? OR DO YOU KNOW? PART II: The EA Value Chain, The Strategic Intent Domain, and Principles
September 2010
Investment in business intelligence and business analytics must be driven by enterprise strategic intent. Proper leverage of analytics should start with a clear understanding of the outcomes state government is trying to achieve. This issue brief presents the rationale for analytics using the NASCIO Enterprise Architecture Value Chain as a framework for organizing the thinking and the questions which eventually drive investment in analytics capabilities. It builds on the foundational concepts discussed in NASCIO’s first issue brief on this subject, and strongly recommends an enterprise approach. Without an enterprise approach to analytics, investment across the enterprise is un-orchestrated and uncoordinated. That creates redundant investment in tools and training, and creates barriers to cross line of business collaboration. State government can not afford redundant and disconnected investment. One of the values of enterprise architecture is the management, optimization and simplification of investment within state government. Proper investment and application of analytics is essential to deploying effective and efficient government services. Finally, the level of complexity of analytical methods and tools depends on the complexity of the decisions and the issues.

DO YOU THINK? OR DO YOU KNOW? Improving State Government Operations Through Business Analytics DO YOU THINK? OR DO YOU KNOW? Improving State Government Operations Through Business Analytics
February 2010
Business analytics provides an evidence-based approach for decision making. With the current emphasis on transparency and visibility into the operations of government, government leaders need to anticipate more questions and evaluation related to not only what decisions are being made, but also what rationale was applied in making those decisions. As stated in this issue brief, intuition alone is not adequate for evaluating alternatives and making decisions. Effective implementation of a business analytics capability will promote an enterprise-wide culture of fact-based decision making. State government is encouraged to seriously look at business analytics as a means for fully understanding current circumstances and make predictions about the future. The predictive nature is particularly important as we continue to face ongoing fiscal challenges and increasing demand for state government services.

Data Governance Part III: Frameworks – Structure for Organizing Complexity
May 2009
This issue brief presents the concept of frameworks that describes what constitutes a data governance program, with a focus on frameworks from the Data Management Association (DAMA), the Data Governance Institute (DGI), and IBM. Use of frameworks can assist state government in planning and executing on an effective data governance initiative. They assist in achieving completeness in a program. In any subject or discipline frameworks and maturity models assist in describing the scope – both breadth and depth – of an initiative. This holds true as well for data, information and knowledge management.

Data Governance Part II: Maturity Models – A Path to Progress
March 2009
Data governance maturity models provide a foundational reference for understanding data governance and for understanding the journey that must be anticipated and planned for achieving effective governance of data, information and knowledge assets. This report continues to build on the concepts presented in Data Governance Part I. It presents a portfolio of data governance maturity models.

Governance of Geospatial Resources: “Where’s the Data? Show Me” - Maximizing the Investment in State Geospatial Resources
July 2008
Geospatial resources refer to a whole discipline around managing data with a spatial orientation or component to support better decision making. Geospatial resources include a field of knowledge, people, policies, processes, standards, and technology that are not only necessary for everyday decision making but also critical for continuity of operations and disaster recovery. A new emphasis on location aware is evidenced further as State CIOs named “GIS” on their Top Ten list of Priority Technologies for 2008. Geospatial resources are so ubiquitous anymore that state government as well as citizens and industry think “where?” regarding almost every issue. This issue brief explores government’s demand for geospatial resources and offers recommendations and calls to action for the state Chief Information Officer to meet that demand.

Data Governance - Managing Information As An Enterprise Asset: Part I - An Introduction
April 2008
Data governance entails a universe of concepts, principles, and tools intended to enable appropriate management and use of the state’s investment in information.  Part I on data governance presents an introduction that describes the basic concepts.  Governance, and particularly data governance, is an evolutionary process.  It begins with an understanding of the current investment and then manages that investment toward greater value for the state.

IT Governance and Business Outcomes – A Shared Responsibility between IT and Business Leadership
March 2008
IT Governance is all about ensuring that state government is effectively using information technology in all government lines of business. This requires that the decision rights for IT investments and deployment are properly shared between the business and IT functions within state government. This issue brief provides an introduction to this very broad topic.

Electronic Records Management and Digital Preservation: Protecting the Knowledge Assets of the State Government Enterprise
Part III: Management Leads and Technology Follows – But Collaboration is King!

October 2007
This research brief concludes the current NASCIO series on the subject of electronic records management and digital preservation. This subject area is very broad and has multiple dimensions, perspectives and challenges for the state IT community. The objective for the series is to highlight some of the key issues and make relevant recommendations to the state CIO. Ultimately, electronic records management and digital preservation must be a shared responsibility with understanding and support from the state CIO. Everyone within state government must play their part in managing the digital assets of the state.

Electronic Records Management and Digital Preservation: Protecting the Knowledge Assets of the State Government Enterprise
PART II: Economic, Legal, and Organizational Issues

July 2007
NASCIO continues its series on electronic records management and digital preservation with Part II which focuses on economic, legal, and organizational issues and recommended actions for State CIOs.  Part II builds on the theme that the state CIO and the state enterprise architect will need to view electronic records management and digital preservation as disciplines that comprise an enterprise architecture domain.  Partnering with the state’s archivists, librarians, and records managers to fully leverage their expertise will help ensure the state’s knowledge assets are managed for value with a long term view.  eDiscovery and offshoring present significant challenges to the state enterprise.  CIOs will need to build their awareness of these subject areas and author necessary compliance and risk management strategies.

Electronic Records Management and Digital Preservation: Protecting the Knowledge Assets of the State Government Enterprise
PART I: Background, Principles and Action for State CIOs

May 2007
Electronic records management and digital preservation are necessary disciplines for managing the knowledge assets of the enterprise. Attention to these disciplines must be part of every IT investment decision. The lifecycle of "born digital" is presented with emphasis on the decision making process at each major phase. The series will present the current issues and recommendations for action. This first release in this series deals with the principles of records management, and highlights the most significant challenges facing the states.

Transforming Government through Change Management: The Role of the State CIO Transforming Government through Change Management: The Role of the State CIO
April 2007

This white paper reviews contemporary ideas surrounding the subject of organizational transformation, presents a state perspective on the issue, and provides the state CIO with relevant recommendations and calls to action. The accompanying research summary provides a short overview of the research findings presented in the white paper.

The paper illustrates that change is an ongoing process that requires organizations to become change competent. It emphasizes that as with enterprise architecture, the best approach to organizational change involves incremental, step-by-step transformation that is effectively delivered through valued relationships involving all stakeholders.

Building Better Government through Enterprise Architecture Building Better Government through Enterprise Architecture
February 2007
State government is becoming increasingly more complex.  Policy makers are facing significant challenges ranging from global economics to rising citizen expectations to ongoing fiscal crisis.  How can today's policy maker manage the complexity of state government in today's world?  The answer is the discipline of enterprise architecture.

Service Oriented Architecture: An Enabler of the Agile Enterprise
May 2006
This brief identifies what state CIOs need to know now regarding Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), including its business value, the vision for SOA, SOA governance, SOA as a program and SOA security.

A National Framework for Collaborative Information Exchange: What is NIEM?
March 2006
The NIEM initiative is in its beginning stages but is already anticipated to be a major breakthrough initiative, which will have a tremendous impact on how government interoperates with the intention of making possible the communication among government lines of business at all levels of government.

This brief both summarizes the intention of this national initiative and provides guidance on participation in this effort.

IT Procurement and Enterprise Architecture: Recognizing the Mutual Benefits
October 2005
This brief highlights the benefits of a closer alignment between IT Procurement and Enterprise Architecture (EA), which includes improving and streamlining IT investment decisions in a way that supports the state’s overall strategic goals and intent. It also identifies “touchpoints” at which these two disciplines can establish stronger ties and concludes with recommendations on how states can start down the path to greater EA-IT Procurement alignment.

NASCIO Enterprise Architecture Business Case Summary
October 2005
NASCIO has collected success stories from a variety of sources including its various awards programs. NASCIO members have found that success stories provide an invaluable dimension of the underlying analysis when presenting the business case for EA related projects. These are now being made available to the greater NASCIO community to provide anecdotal information for developing a strong business case for EA. Much can be learned from these experiences and the reader is encouraged to contact the original source for any additional information or comment regarding those success stories that are most relevant.

The States and Enterprise Architecture: How Far Have We Come? Findings from the NASCIO 2005 EA Assessment
October 2005
NASCIO conducted a survey or "census" of the U.S. states to assess the level of enterprise architecture (EA) adoption and the experience with the NASCIO EA portfolio of products. NASCIO and the U.S. Department of Justice are interested to know the progress made in building awareness and EA capabilities at the state level. This survey effort and report supports the NASCIO program management function, which is responsible for measuring ongoing progress and effectiveness of NASCIO programs and initiatives.

Enterprise Repositories Issue Brief
August 2005
NASCIO has identified the need for a repository for sharing a variety of enterprise artifacts, presentations, and white papers across the NASCIO community. is the preferred repository for meeting the needs of state and territorial government. This research brief describes the issues, constraints, options and recommendations.

PERSPECTIVES - Government Information Sharing: Calls to Action PERSPECTIVES - Government Information Sharing: Calls to Action
March 2005
NASCIO is pleased to announce the release of a new publication on the subject of information sharing. NASCIO has pulled together interviews and articles from a variety of contributors from integrated justice, homeland security, environmental protection, transportation, public health and economic development. Perspectives includes discussions from federal, state and county government. Not so surprisingly, according to the contributors to this first issue of Perspectives, technology is not the major barrier. This report presents barriers to information sharing and the “Calls to Action” to overcome these barriers.

Enterprise Architecture Assessment Tour Report Enterprise Architecture Assessment Tour Report
October 2004

Digital Government
January 2004

Architecture: A Blueprint for Better Government
January 2004

Enterprise Architecture – Government Leader Perspective
January 2004

Enterprise Architecture – Information Technology Professional Perspective
January 2004

Enterprise Architecture Maturity Model Enterprise Architecture Maturity Model
December 2003
An adaptive, dynamic enterprise architecture enables the enterprise to change and manage the complexities inherent in large government enterprise. Enterprise architecture brings an operating discipline to the organization and prescribes the necessary traceability from strategic intent to the capabilities that enable that intent. These capabilities include both business and technology components. Enterprise architecture doesn’t happen at once. It is an iterative, maturing discipline that provides management the operating discipline for organizing and engaging business and technology components to fulfill the mission of the organization. This maturity model provides a scale or metric for understanding where the organization is in its evolving discipline, and what steps are required to take it to the next level of maturity.

The NASCIO Enterprise Architecture Maturity Model provides a path for architecture and procedural improvements within an organization. As the architecture matures, predictability, process controls and effectiveness also increase. Development of the enterprise architecture is critical because it provides the rules and definition necessary for the integration of information and services at the design level across agency boundaries. Enterprise architecture includes business processes and representations, and supportive technology components. At its fullest maturity, enterprise architecture becomes an inter-enterprise concept and prescribes the infrastructure for inter-enterprise business processes and provides the design for allowing data to flow from agency to agency, just as water flows through the pipes and electricity flows through the wiring of a well planned home.

Enterprise Architecture Maturity Model Validation Report
December 2003

Concept for Operations for Integrated Justice Information Sharing Version 1.0 
Concept for Operations for Integrated Justice Information Sharing Version 1.0
July 2003
ConOps provides a discipline-specific focus for justice information sharing, which in turn can be used to identify and expose broader IT architectural and infrastructure issues that must be addressed by CIOs. While this ConOps focuses primarily on information sharing in the justice arena, the concepts are applicable to any business domain.

ConOps defines the discipline-specific, business functions for integrated justice and explores the architectural implications for state CIOs, who are responsible for planning the IT enterprise architecture. Additionally, ConOps defines fundamental concepts, principles, functions and operational requirements for integrated justice information sharing, presents a scenario of integrated justice information sharing and a general methodology for states to use in validating their IT architecture for information sharing characteristics. Finally, this document articulates an action plan for the validation, implementation and expansion of this ConOps to other disciplines.

Concept for Operations for Integrated Justice Information Sharing Validation Report
July 2003

NASCIO Justice Report - Toward National Sharing of Governmental Information NASCIO Justice Report - Toward National Sharing of Governmental Information
February 2000


National Information Exchange Model NASCIO Community - Government Affairs State IT Workforce: Under Pressure