How a comprehensive Enterprise Architecture practice will help us build the University of tomorrow

Posted on Monday, March 1, 2021

Author: MaryAnn Welke Lesage, Enterprise Architect

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The uOttawa Enterprise Architecture (EA) program has experienced a significant shift in the wake of COVID-19 and the accelerated digital transformation of the institution. The EA team has grown to include architects on key project portfolios such as Facilities, Teaching and Learning Support Service, and the Administrative Services Modernization Program. We are also engaging with students in a growing variety of ways.  In 2020, EA had three CO-OP students involved in student-facing initiatives, and we participated in a course research project where students examined the future of higher education from a digital transformation perspective. 


The Architecture Review Board (ARB) continues to grow with active collaboration from IT staff and partners across the Faculties and Services.  ARB meetings are open to anyone in the University who wishes to observe or participate, and all materials are available in the ARB Docushare folder and ARB MS Teams channel to ensure transparency in the decision-making process.  In 2020, we collectively achieved a significant milestone - 85% of planned projects were presented to ARB in some capacity. This significant increase from the previous year demonstrates how the entire community is more involved and committed to the ARB processes and EA principles, policies and standards.  We have come a long way, but still have a long way to go.  


Upcoming activities include further development of the Higher Education Capability Model and a definition of Technology Building Blocks and associated enterprise standards.  We will also be working closely with the Project and Portfolio Management team to simplify and streamline the project lifecycle, including the architecture review process.   


Architecture review is an important contributor to the realization of Transformation 2030 goals and the Digital Campus Transformation Plan. We have created a mechanism to ensure the alignment of digital transformation initiatives with strategic and institutional needs and guiding principles, while ensuring best practices in information security, application development, application integration, infrastructure management, and information and data management are met. 


Want to get involved in building the University of tomorrow? Attend a future ARB meeting to learn more about the IT projects at the University.  


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