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Enterprise Architecture

Interweaving Business and IT together


What is Enterprise Architecture?

Enterprise architecture is the process that interweaves business and IT together. (Gartner)

It supports digital solution decision making within both IT Services and also across the University.

It creates a common understanding of the organisation, its enabling business capabilities, and dependency on digital solutions.

This allows the business and IT to understand the challenges, risks, and gaps, enabling better decisions faster.

How are we doing this?

UCD is a large, diverse organisation, supported by a complex digital environment comprising university-wide digital solutions that are supported centrally by IT Services as well as a range of locally-supported digital solutions.

Work is underway to map out UCD's Enterprise Architecture. At a high level this will involve:

  • Mapping digital solutions to business capabilities (using the Higher Education Reference Model) to identify gaps & duplications
  • Identifying Application Business Owners and Application IT Owners to clarify the governance and support structures
  • Using Application Portfolio Management to determine where investment in existing solutions is needed and to derive roadmaps for the future
  • Using Enterprise Architecture Principles and Standards to inform, guide and govern the design and deployment of solutions across the University

Business Capability Model

Capabilities define what your business does or can do (not how it does it or who is doing it).

The Business Capability Model describes the complete set of Capabilities an organisation may require to execute its business model or fulfill its mission.

It is used to illustrate how business capabilities are supported/enable by applications and technologies, so that dependencies are understood.

UCD has adopted the Higher Education Reference Model (previously known as the CAUDIT Model).


UCD Enterprise Architecture Principles

A set of UCD Enterprise Architecture Principles have been approved by the UMT Services Group to inform, guide and govern the design and deployment of digital solutions across the University.  

They act as guardrails to streamline and reduce the complexity of investment decisions and help to inform procurement and solution delivery decisions, to increase the consistency and quality of technology decision-making.  

Alignment with these principles is a requirement for all initiatives, from local solutions in individual schools and units, to centrally-managed enterprise platforms deployments.  

Describes in detail the purpose, use and goals of the overall set of Enterprise Architecture Principles, as well as the rationale and implications each Principle. 

The abridged version of the Enterprise Architecture Principles should be included in all procurement requests for digital solutions.


UCD Enterprise Architecture Standards

A set of Technical Standards been built to ensure that digital solutions being purchased or developed, adhere to the Enterprise Architecture Principles.  These should be should be adapted and included in all procurement requests for digital solutions.

Additionally the University has Policies, Principles, Procedures and Guidelines, to safeguard essential services, protect the privacy of students and staff, and comply with contractual requirements and legislation. These must be followed at all times.


Digital Solution Deployment Guide

A Digital Solution Deployment Guide provides customers looking to buy, develop, or deploy a digital solution (solution with an IT component) in UCD, the steps that should be followed, and requirements met before the solution is brought into use in UCD.


Application Portfolio Management

An Application Portfolio is being built with information about the digital solutions (applications and technologies) in use throughout the University.

This information is being captured through engagements with units, institutes, and schools and colleges, and is ongoing work in progress.

This allows us to provide quantifiable evidence to inform decisions.


Architecture Models & Roadmaps

Enterprise Architecture, builds on the Business Capabilities model, capturing the digital solutions that enables each Business Capability.

The Architecture is modelled in two states.  The As-Is represents the current state, the To-Be represents the vision of where we want to be

A Roadmap is the plan to get from As-Is to the To-Be, on an iterative basis and driven by the benefits to the University.

UCD IT Services

Computer Centre, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.

Contact us via the UCD IT Support Hub: www.ucd.ie/ithelp