A Federated Approach to Enterprise Architecture (EA)

Federated Enterprise Architecture

Federated EA is a model for providing holistic enterprise architecture capabilities without centralizing architecture in a single department. In this model, EA leadership and coordination are centralized while the balance of architects, solution designers, and specialists are embedded within departments that utilize their specific expertise.

Ensuring Quality Products and Components that Fit Together

Quality design requires holistic viewpoints and expertise from multiple architects and designers to optimize solutions and their fit into the broader IT environment. Therefore, the organization needs to empower these professionals to work with each other and project teams across traditional departmental boundaries.

To achieve this in a federated approach, each department commits a percentage of effort from their architects, solution designers, and specialists towards contributing to the EA capabilities of the broader organization.

This commitment of time is not selfless but rather serves the needs of each department as EA activities are negotiated to, in balance, improve the outcomes of each department and the organization as a whole.

Federated Enterprise Architecture Organizational Diagram

This diagram identifies the different entities in the organization that collaborate to deliver essential EA capabilities organization-wide.

Enterprise Architecture

EA, reporting directly to the Chief Information Security Officer, focuses holistically on the architecture of the enterprise, by leading the EA efforts across the organization, coordinating the EA efforts of Departmental Architects (see above), and chairing the Technology Architecture Committee.

EA Responsibilities: Lead and coordinate the EA program. Chair TAC. Provide expert consultation. Analyze and propose remediation for architectural concerns of Major Incidents.

Departmental Architects

The Departmental Architects, solution designers, and design-oriented IT specialists, reporting directly to their respective departments, primarily focus on departmental needs and how those fit into the broader enterprise. They participate in the Technology Architecture Committee.

EA Responsibilities: Lead development of solution architectures, technology standards, and technology roadmaps. Provide expert consultation. Participate in TAC.

Technology Architecture Committee

The TAC, chaired by EA and comprised of representative architects approved by IT Senior Leaders, convenes regularly to discuss and inform Yale’s architectural approach, to govern solution architectures for major technology initiatives, and to govern ITS technology standards.

EA Responsibilities: Advise EA on optimizing EA capabilities in ITS. Review and govern solution architectures. Develop the human resources in technology architecture, solution design, and related expertise.