Focused on the fit.
We live and work in a world of ubiquitous technology. From the teaching & learning environment, to business processes, to daily communication – a normal day requires technology.
What does the IT organization need to change, build upon, or stop doing in order to meet the needs of the campus enterprise in three years... five years... in a decade?
Whether it's intentional or not, every organization has a structure and process that fits everything together... an architecture. The goal in being intentional about the Enterprise Architecture (EA) is to ensure that investment in technology benefits the entire institution as much as possible. Technologies we employ should work with other technologies, but also with the people who use them—supporting institutional goals and making it easier to become whatever "new UNL" that we need to be. When everything works together, we have the flexibility to take on new challenges without having to recreate the wheel or tear everything down and start over.
- architecture should be prescriptive, not corrective
It's impossible to achieve harmony overnight—some resources and processes are the product of years of investment and refinement (and politics)—so departments need to implement technology in a way that best suits their needs. The architecture process must bring intrinsic value to projects and be accepted on its own merits.
- The trade-off is that IT resources are limited. If a resource does not fit with the campus-wide architecture, it is much harder to support with central resources.
- architecture must foster innovation
Academic & business units need to provide services that are unique to their discipline and make them competitive. EA helps to provide a baseline of risk mitigation and interoperability—without creating unnecessary constraints.