2016 Leadership in Enterprise Transformation using EA -
Government Project, Civilian

Connecting the Dots: Technology Roadmap for the IRS Future State

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

 

DGI EA 2017 239

Team Members:

Gaurav Jain, Balinda Moreland, Rakesh Gupta, Sid Sinha, and Charles Exum

Summary of Enterprise Project Challenge:

IRS is undertaking a generational transformation of its business operations towards a “Future State”. Business priorities (e.g., online accounts, on-arrival tax processing) depend heavily on harnessing modern technology paradigms. With highly dispersed enterprise planning, a unified “source of truth” was needed in articulating the business and IT direction.

Summary of EA Driven Solution:

IRS’s Enterprise Architecture team developed a Technology Roadmap to guide architecture, investment, and implementation, in partnership with leaders in both IT and business organizations to establish an EA-led approach to aligning Business and IT Strategies, “translating” the future state business vision into needed IT capabilities and services.

Who derives the benefit(s) from this EA driven solution?

• IRS Business Community: IT solutions and investments submissions from Business units are now driven by a comprehensive understanding and analysis of required business capabilities and aligned to the business strategy and IT direction. The IT organization, led in this effort by EA, is working collaboratively with leads from business units and programs to shape and validate the enterprise technology direction and its alignment to business needs. Because EA is driving architecture at enterprise, program, and project / solution levels, solutions are being deployed more quickly, are better leveraging shared assets (e.g., common SOA services, shared infrastructure), and are better aligned to enterprise standards.
• IRS IT Community: The Technology Roadmap provides the IT community with a shared understanding of the IRS business and IT direction over the next several years. EA’s partners in other IT divisions (e.g., Strategy & Planning, Enterprise Operations, User and Network services, Application Development, Cybersecurity, Enterprise PMO etc.) have proactively been mapping the alignment of their division activities and priorities to the Technology Roadmap. In addition, the IT community is able to come together “deep dives” topics into key enterprise priorities, notably cloud computing, agile, and data analytics. Additionally, IRS is socializing the key themes and concepts in the Technology Roadmap with IT vendors and solution providers to give them more insight into the IRS business and IT direction, and to allow them to develop more tailored solutions to IRS challenges.
• The Public: IT solutions and investment decisions derived from business-driven planning and sound architectural analysis yield more innovative applications of technology to address business challenges, fundamentally transform the taxpayer experience toward secure digital interactions with the IRS, reducing costs from duplicative and misaligned solutions, and ultimately ensure better use of taxpayer dollars

What results and benefits have been achieved to date using the discipline of EA?

Improved Alignment between Business and IT Priorities: EA led the development of the Technology Roadmap, as well as Target EA, that collectively established the business and IT direction for the Service, detailed the desired future state architecture, and described the plans for moving from the current to future state. These EA products are enabling executives and projects to better visualize the alignment between IT strategies and desired future state business capabilities, identify and prioritize areas of alignment, and plan initiatives to close gaps. The Technology Roadmap is the authoritative statement of direction to which all IT investment proposals must demonstrate alignment.

Portfolio Rationalization: By applying architecture and portfolio rationalization principles, EA identified an opportunity to consolidate 90+ existing case management applications ($118M O&M cost) toward a common enterprise platform driven solution. Now a top enterprise priority, EA is leading the solution architecture development for the Enterprise Case Management (ECM) solution. Also broadly, EA is driving IRS cost savings and technology currency across its 2,000+ technology product portfolio by rationalizing to within product “Version N/N-1” to significantly reduce costs (e.g., software licenses, maintenance, and training) and performance risk during the critical IRS filing season. 

Improved Mission Delivery: EA has extended the reach of its architecture work from the enterprise-level vision and strategy down through the development of solution architectures, designs, and requirements for critical IRS transformation programs and associated projects, including: Affordable Care Act (ACA), Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Customer Account Data Engine 2 (CADE 2) modernization, Web Applications, Taxpayer Digital Communications, Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) Act, Information Return System Modernization (IRSM), and Enterprise Case Management (ECM). For ACA, our solution architectures have led to 15 new systems and updates to 150 legacy systems. One ACA solution eliminated the overhead costs of a manual process by automating post-filing and compliance actions related to Premium Tax Credit (PTC) returns from 10 million taxpayers. One FATCA solution delivered “Dropbox-like” capabilities using secure web services, resulting in taxpayer savings and significantly reduced delivery time. 

Cost Savings, Reuse and Efficiency: The EA program has placed a primary importance on using architecture as a means of achieving cost savings, reuse, and efficiencies. Key examples include:

SOA/Common Services and Open Source Technologies: EA has driven the IRS evolution toward SOA and open source technologies, spanning strategy, governance, and implementation. We established and facilitate the SOA center of excellence, implemented centralized service and open source registries, and identified and registered 84 new common services, with six services deployed for reuse across solutions (e.g., taxpayer identification number validation).

Please explain how the EA discipline is being applied and how the appropriate stakeholders and business/mission staff were engaged?

The development of a Technology Roadmap was envisioned as an agile enterprise architecture effort. A core team, led by the EA Director and with oversight from the ACIO for Enterprise Services, developed a concise set of inter-related visualizations that would collectively characterize the future state business and IT environment, and the transition path for achieving it. The team started by synthesizing and translating key elements of the business vision emerging from the IRS “Future State” (i.e., enterprise CONOPS) initiative into a set of architectural themes: real-time enterprise; security in depth; data centricity; anywhere / any time interaction; on-demand infrastructure; and IT the right way (i.e., Agile, DevOps, standards driven). From these themes, a conceptual view of the future state was developed that depicts the six major IRS business areas and included the key coarse-grain IT services required for each, and the major technology constructs through which they will operate (e.g., service orchestration, configurable business processes, portal, data access, analytics and exploration, and security). Next we developed a set of views and extensions to represent relationships between business strategy, technical services, programs and applications, technology products and standards. Finally, the team developed a transition view for each business area representing three states: current (major applications); transition (programs, applications, and technologies); and future (coarse-grain services).

 

 

Zachman Reviews

An excellent seminar. John shares his keen intuition for and understanding of the nature of enterprise architecture.

Chris Partridge
29 March 2018

Excellent first hand explanation. Very powerful.

Marco van Leeuwen
29 March 2018

The Zachman framework made me understand the value of problem solving.

Akin Ayeni
29 March 2018

Finally, it all comes together’. Great examples and stories. Continue with passion – it’s really good.

Willem Van der Brink
29 March 2018

Fun, informative and eye-opening. Very educational, friendly and helpful lecturers.

Shiraz Adam
29 March 2018

It was the honor to have met and learned from the legendary John A. Zachman himself, the Father of Enterprise Architecture. True Enterprise Architecture starts with Zachman Framework; otherwise, you are just wasting time.

Amar Masoud
26 April 2017

I have been doing Enterprise architecture since 2003, mostly DoDAF and TOGAF. Until I took the Zachman EA 4 day class, I didn't realize that all I had been doing was drawing incomplete views, since I didn't truly understand the relationships and the real impact to an organization of making a change to an architecture element. This class has shown me the importance of getting down to the "brass tacks" of an EA, namely the Zachman primitives and their relationships. I now realize that I have not been truly been doing EA up to this point, since I have not been identifying the organization's primitives!

Mike Robison
26 April 2017

The Zachman Framework training enabled me to fully understand the power of this framework (the ontology). The fundamentals of this framework will help me to (re)engineer Enterprises and solve business problems in the shortest possible time. As a free-lance Enterprise Architect my customers will benefit the knowledge and Case studies John and Sunil shared with us.

Jef Bergsma
24 March 2011

If you want to synthesize your professional experiences...
If you want to expand your understanding of Enterprise Architecture...
If you want to interact with others who think and talk like you do, and learn from the very best, then the Zachman International courses are for you!

Michelle Poolet
20 October 2008

Enterprise architecture, as a formal discipline, has arguably reached its ‘tipping point.’ Organizations are howling for change. Even in the current economic down-turn, savvy companies are turning to EA and The Zachman Framework for help. Getting Zachman Certified is dollar-for-dollar the smartest investment an architect, any architect, can make. Don’t think about it too long... get certified and join the growing community of Zachman Certified professionals.

Damon Farnham
3 April 2009

An excellent and inspiring seminar - we will return to work and start immediately. I can recommend this seminar with enthusiasm.

David Harrison
2 September 2014

He designed the Framework. Nobody can deliver the same quality of lecture as John.

Kitty Hung
17 October 2013

Engaging and charismatic.

Mark Luxton
6 October 2015

Lots of energy and enthusiasm. Passionate.

Simon Bathie
25 May 2015

Once more I was able to pick-up new ideas and a couple of valuable best practices. Also the EA energy injection by John Zachman was once more a highlight for me.

Henrik Jacobsson
23 April 2016

I was anxious about my decision to take the virtual class but felt like I was in the classroom with you all. Great job!

Burak Modali
23 May 2016

Mr. Zachman is the thought leader in enterprise architecture! I am so honored to have met him at training in Colorado and then again last October at a conference in Washington D.C. Through his publications and training - his efforts to raise the bar for enterprise architecture make him the world renown professional he is today. He IS the father of enterprise architecture. His work has helped to drive strategy execution and subsequent business outcomes through his ontology, strategy mapping, matrixes and models.

Tresa Chastain
8 March 2016

An excellent course. All CEOs and CIOs should attend.

Morag Clark
13 July 2015

An excellent and inspiring seminar - we will return to work and start immediately. I can recommend this seminar with enthusiasm.

David Harrison
18 November 2015

John Zachman presents a very compelling argument, that is, every organization needs an Enterprise Architecture to survive.

Jane Stewart
18 May 2014

Many wide ranging examples to demonstrate why. Engaging and entertaining.

Andre Gauthier
18 August 2016

The explanation of the framework itself and the meaning of the components were most helpful.

Andreja Korosec Rebula
18 June 2014

An excellent seminar. John shares his keen intuition for and understanding of the nature of enterprise architecture.

Chris Partridge
10 August 2015

The enthusiasm, energy and breadth of experience remain, as ever, infectious and mesmerising. Your continued support for John over the last few years is clearly appreciated and probably instrumental in his continuing to return to the UK. Further workshop and/or seminar opportunities are eagerly anticipated. This week has been money very well spent.

Rob Austen
20 June 2016

John Zachman gave me an excellent insight into the way EA practitioners think and operate, enabling me to express an organisation (as business architecture models) in their language.

Matthew Brown
14 June 2016