The Data Briefing: Design-Driven Enterprise Architecture Creating the New Federal Government Agency

Jun 7, 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in on enterprise architecture (EA). My last in-depth work with EA was around 2011 when I was on detail to the Office of Personnel Management’s Open Government Team. The EA model I worked with was the top-down organizational design of information technology assets, data assets, and business processes. Many of you are probably familiar with this traditional EA model.

Six years later, it is predicted that in 2018 that “half of enterprise architecture (EA) business architecture initiatives will focus on defining and enabling digital business platform strategies.” Traditional EA is just not fast enough to meet the innovation brought about by digital transformation. EA is now becoming design-driven and customer-centric. As one technology industry expert observes in The Evolution of Enterprise Architecture:

“Customer-centric, design-driven architecture builds on the traditional business-outcome-driven EA model. Focusing on the customer gives EA and technology innovation leaders the information required to design digital business models that support what customers value, want and need. ‘Design-driven architecture allows organizations to understand an ecosystem and its actors, gain insight into them and their behavior, and develop and evolve the services they need.’”

Personally, I am excited to see the merger of design thinking and EA as it will create more agile and responsive organizational technology infrastructures. Agile EA will become even more vital for government agencies as the agencies adopt machine learning and predictive analytics. I’ve argued before that agencies must develop better data collection on their work processes. Imagine if the agency’s agile EA platform collects the work processes data and then uses predictive analytics to monitor and refine the EA platform and agency work processes.

Abstract digital and technology background.

Now, for another prediction; by 2020, 85% of all customer interactions will be through chatbots. Pair chatbots with business intelligence produced from machine learning and predictive analytics and you have an AI-powered federal government agency. Routine work processes are automated, leaving the federal employees to handle the more complex and human-centric tasks. Thus the need for design-driven EA to build the constantly innovative digital platform the agency will need to deploy chatbots.

At the intersection of design thinking and artificial intelligence lies the new digital federal agency designed to operate more efficiently in its work processes while providing more effective services to the American public.

Each week, The Data Briefing showcases the latest federal data news and trends. Visit this blog every week to learn how data is transforming government and improving government services for the American people. If you have ideas for a topic or have questions about government data, please contact me via email.

Dr. William Brantley) is the Training Administrator for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Global Intellectual Property Academy. All opinions are his own and do not reflect the opinions of the USPTO or GSA.