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Strategic IT Planning via Enterprise Architecture – A Case Study from Portland Water Bureau – Portland, Oregon

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This paper describes how the Portland Water Bureau (PWB) successfully leveraged the enterprise architecture approach to strategic information technology (IT) planning to determine the best way to provision information systems and technology to serve twelve of their core business workflows and identify projects that will improve their performance. PWB defined its enterprise architecture by first defining the business architecture; modeling the mission, vision, strategic goals, organizational structure, roles, and business processes. Process modeling was applied to twelve key business workflows, bringing together all of the business architecture elements. Goals were then mapped to the underlying business processes (e.g., meter to cash) to show how goals are achieved. The systems architecture model was then built by identifying the conceptual systems and information elements and mapping them to workflow activities. The technology architecture was defined by modeling the physical software, hardware, and network components and linking them to the system models. Current and future state architecture models were compared to identify areas for improvement or gaps. Gap closure action plans were then developed and prioritized, providing a roadmap for investments over the next three to five years. PWB's approach to strategic IT planning using the enterprise architecture approach has proven to be very valuable, providing a foundation for all staff to eventually understand how service levels relate to the underlying business, systems, and technology elements and where changes can be made to improve PWB's overall performance.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2012

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