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US Government & Federal Agencies Keen on Enterprise Architecture & SOA

Impetus for Enterprise Architecture and SOA past tipping point in government

Over the past two years, governments around the world have caught the enterprise architecture and SOA fever. This is especially the case in the US Federal Government, where a number of regulations, EA frameworks, and major spending initiatives are all pointing towards continued and lasting expenditure and investment in the area of EA. One can also notice this trend based on the number of EA and SOA events now focused on the US Federal Government, or at least taking place in the Washington, DC area. For example, ZapThink's Practical SOA event in DC on October 2, 2009 is focused on cost-effective legacy enablement and data management, while its 4-day Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) boot camp running in DC from September 21-24, 2009 provides SOA certification and credentialing to government and other DC-area firms. ZapThink's SOA & Cloud governance certification and training class in DC sold out earlier this month (August) and was so popular the company is running it again, in DC, September 30-October 1.

In aggregate, the Department of Defense (DoD) is perhaps the largest implementer of SOA in the world, in large part because they have an organization-wide SOA mandate. It's true they have high-level drivers for this mandate, including increased business agility and a more cost-effective approach to siloed IT resources. But those general drivers don't help much when a defense contractor must create a specific implementation.

As such, training is not the only thing on the minds of US government and contractor enterprise architects. They are also very much interested in learning from their peers. A number of forums, user groups, and in-person meet-ups, such as ZapForum DC evening networking event running on October 1, have sprung up catering to the needs of government agencies, contractors, and local firms looking to take advantage of the newfound focus on EA and SOA. While many might see SOA as a flash in the pan, the US government at the very least doesn't think so. Various new regulations and guidelines have emerged that not only require enterprise architecture planning as part of the IT development process, but demand it as part of the IT budgeting process. As they say, money talks. As such, continue to look for more EA and SOA activities focusing specifically on the needs of governments, throughout the world.

More Stories By Ron Schmelzer

Ron Schmelzer is founder and senior analyst of ZapThink. A well-known expert in the field of XML and XML-based standards and initiatives, Ron has been featured in and written for periodicals and has spoken on the subject of XML at numerous industry conferences.