In a world where information superiority can mean battlefield victory, enterprise architecture is critical to military transformation and execution.
Military Information Technology, 11 February 2008, reports “Enterprise Architecture: Key to Netcentricity.”
Why is EA important in general:
“An actionable EA provides organizational leaders information sufficient to make enterprise plans, investment resource and management decisions, and to optimize key operational and support processes.”
Why is EA important to The Department of Defense?
The warfighter relies on information superiority to sense a threat, decide on a course of action, and execute faster than the enemy. This is not much different than survival in America’s Wild West years ago, by those who had the fastest [gun] draw.
Today, “The OODA [observe, orient, decide, act] loop is a 'sense and respond' cycle driven by actionable data and information for superior information management, battlespace awareness, and operational decision-making...when organizational components use rich and timely information, dramatically improved battlespace operations effectiveness can be realized…the single unifying approach that delivers the needed information and insight is enterprise architecture."
What is netcentricity?
Netcentricity or “network-centric operations (NCO) enables military forces to anticipate and adapt rapidly to changes in the environment such as enemy warfare tactics. NCO touches all aspects of department operations and, by integrating organizational networks and information, enables enhanced warfare operations effectiveness. NCO is enabled through dramatic changes in mindsets, processes, IT and access to information and networks.”
“An actionable EA is critical to the DoD realizing netcentric capabilities.”
“Unfortunately DoD is struggling to implement actionable EA. The General Accountability Office (GAO)…in 2006 found that the EA programs of the departments of the Air Force, Navy, and Army were among the four most immature EA programs within the government.
What does DoD need to advance their EA?
GAO found that “strong executive leadership could resolve all the challenges organizations experienced in developing and using actionable EA capabilities.”
Transformational leaders in DoD will provide the “vision, integrity, communication, inspiration, and empowerment.” And they “empower organizational members with human, material, and financial resources to accomplish the vision.”
EA cannot be achieved without management commitment and adequate resources!
What about the DoD leaders who say that EA cannot be implemented “because the organization is too complex”?
This thinking is sort of ironic, because EA is what captures information, analyzes and catalogues it, and serves it up to the end-users to enable better decision-making. EA is what simplifies information and makes it transparent enabling strategic transformation and the realization of netcentric capabilities.
EA is exactly what DoD needs for evaluating itself, planning its future state, and transitioning itself to achieve its goals of battlespace superiority through information superiority.
"Implementing an actionable EA capability can take up to five years and requires...[DoD leaders need to] focus on long-term performance improvements," through enterprise architecture implementation.