What is Enterprise Architecture?
The Clinger-Cohen Act requires that every Federal agency develop an Enterprise Architecture (EA). EA is a management engineering discipline presenting a comprehensive view of the enterprise, including strategic planning, organizational development, relationship management, business process improvement, information and knowledge management, and operations.
EA consists of models, diagrams, tables, and narrative, which together translate the complexities of the agency into simplified yet meaningful representations of how the agency operates (and intends to operate). Such operations are described in logical terms (e.g., business processes, rules, information needs and flows, users, locations) and technical terms (e.g., hardware, software, data, communications, and security standards and protocols). EA provides these perspectives both for the enterprise's current or "as is" environment and for its target or "to be" environment, as well as a sequencing plan that charts the journey between the two.
In the rapidly evolving business landscape that impacts the CMS mission, EA analysis provides Agency leadership with clear views into the operational reality of those impacts. New legislation needs to be systematically analyzed with a focus on how it will modify or replace existing business practices at CMS. EA provides this repeatable, process-oriented analysis discipline to CMS leadership ensuring seamless integration of business and operations changes across the enterprise.
EA development, implementation, and maintenance is a basic tenet of effective IT management. Managed properly, architecture can clarify and help optimize the interdependencies and interrelationships among an organization's business operations and the underlying IT infrastructure and applications that support these operations."
Ways that the EA can guide information technology investments include:
- Providing architectural views that help communicate the complexity of large systems and facilitate management of extensive, complex environments.
- Improving consistency, accuracy, timeliness, integrity, quality, availability, access, and sharing of IT-managed information across the enterprise.
- Supporting the Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC) process by providing a tool for assessment of benefits, impacts, and capital investment measurements and supporting analyses of alternatives, risks, and trade offs.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also participates in multiple Federal Health Architecture/Federal Enterprise Architecture (FHA/FEA) work groups to improve coordination and collaboration on national Health IT Solutions and Federal Line of Business. Additional information regarding the Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF), Federal Reference Models (FRM), and OMB A-130 Circular are provided through the web sites on the left navigation bar and links outside CMS section below.