Enterprise Architecture:

Enterprise architecture (EA) is the strategic framework driven by the business of the commonwealth enterprise comprised of business strategies, visions and goals.

The framework establishes a process focused on building and maintaining an enterprise-wide business, information, solutions and technical infrastructure that is adaptable and best enables the service activities of state government in an ever-changing environment.

The goal of EA is to create a common and cohesive vision among business and technology leaders about:

  • emerging technology trends and enterprise business strategies that will drive the architecture
  • IT requirements derived from enterprise business strategies
  • role and definition of the technical architecture that best enables the business needs of the enterprise
  • migration plans to move the enterprise from a current to future architecture

The commonwealth's EA contains four primary component architectures as seen in Figure 1:


Figure 1: COV EA Model
  1. Enterprise business architecture (EBA)
  2. Enterprise information architecture (EIA)
  3. Enterprise solutions architecture (ESA)
  4. Enterprise technical architecture (ETA)

For more information about EA and its impact on your technology programs and projects, please see the following EA policy documents:

Enterprise Architecture Standard
Enterprise Architecture Policy

Enterprise Business Architecture

The enterprise business architecture (EBA) documents the business strategy, governance, organization and business functions of Virginia state government. EBA also establishes a baseline that defines which organizations perform these functions.

EBA provides a holistic view of our state government from a business perspective that defines who we are, what we do and where we want to go. It also provides a common reference model for citizens, businesses, members of the General Assembly, current and future administrations, and other interested parties that helps define the business of state government.


Figure 2: Enterprise Business Model

EBA provides primary drivers for developing other EA component architectures.  These drivers include:

  • business strategies and intent of state leadership
  • current EBA
  • future EBA
  • determining steps or initiatives required to reach the future EBA (gap analysis)

Enterprise Information Architecture

Enterprise information architecture (EIA) provides the framework, model, and method to enhance each agency's ability to quickly discover, access, and understand data, while creating the information needed to support critical agency business function decisions.

The EIA framework has three components that contain information about the commonwealth's data assets:

  • data sharing
  • data description
  • data context

EIA Framework

In its simplest terms, the EIA Framework has three components that will contain information about the Commonwealth's data assets.


Figure 3: EIA Framework

EIA answers questions such as:

  • What data is available?
  • Who has the data?
  • Who owns the data?
  • Can I get access to that data?
  • Is the quality and reliability of the data good enough to meet my needs?
  • Is the data in a format I can use?

Enterprise Solutions Architecture (ESA)

Government expectations to deliver more services better and more economically have never ended. These high expectations present understandable challenges for Virginia. Well-engineered, cloud, and/or automated solutions can increase productivity that supports superior service delivery. Commonwealth agencies make significant investments in such solutions to improve the business of state government.

The commonwealth enterprise solutions architecture (ESA) provides the framework, model and method supporting transitions from silo-based, application/agency centric, and on premise IT investments, to an enterprise and cloud approach where solutions are flexible, scalable, and cloud enabled. Agencies are then able to take advantage of shared and reusable components, facilitate the sharing and reuse of their data where practical, appropriate, and lawful, and make best use of available technology infrastructure.

The ESA needs to contain a unified view of solutions to achieve this increase in reuse and reduction of solution complexity. The unified view of solutions includes the business (EBA), information (EIA), and technology (ETA) perspectives. To support this unified view, the ESA method includes inventories, governance, and the relationships between agency applications and other EA component architectures.

An ESA is the collection of information systems supporting or related to the business functions defined in the EBA and the enterprise business model, including applications and components that are purchased or custom-developed.

The unified view of solutions includes the Business (EBA), Information (EIA) and Technology (ETA) perspectives. This view also shows how agency solutions/applications connect to:

  1. Data - the business of the commonwealth (by sub-lines of business)
  2. Assets - by data exchanges
  3. Infrastructure services - by software tools (operating systems, languages, etc.)

The ESA includes:

  • inventory of solutions, applications, and components currently used to support business functions in the commonwealth
  • analysis of current/baseline solutions
  • future-state recommendations of automated solutions
  • analysis of current technology tools supporting existing automated solutions.
  • future-state recommendations related to technology tools
  • framework and governance structure that establishes and implements enterprise, collaborative, and sharable solutions
  • ESA governance and implementation requirements

The word solution as defined by the VITA document, Creation of Solutions' Business Case Process document is as follows:

A solution is a:

  • product
  • combination of products
  • services
  • mix of products and services

In virtually every case, a solution addresses a specific business problem, or other need.

Enterprise Technical Architecture (ETA)

An ETA is a consistent set of IT standards, and models that:

  • reflect and support the EBA, the EIA, and the ESA components
  • guides the engineering of emerging information systems and technology infrastructure

Our ETA comprises eight technical domains:

  • security
  • enterprise systems management
  • information
  • database
  • applications
  • integration
  • platform
  • networking and telecommunications

For more information, please contact the VITA EA team at: ea@vita.virginia.gov.