Oct 09 2023

NASCIO 2023: Keys to Good Enterprise Portfolio Management

Strong IT investment management is a building block of EPM, which also requires strong enterprise architecture planning.

Members of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers frequently discuss topics such as the future of information technology, the workforce and emerging technologies, among others. But we also like to focus on the original fundamentals of state IT. 

Because of our national research, we advocate for “patterns of success” for states. One of the most important building blocks of a healthy state IT program is having a strong enterprise architecture. EA is linked closely to IT investment management and enterprise portfolio management; the three concepts complement and support each other. 

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Create a Roadmap to Success with Enterprise Architecture

NASCIO has published extensively on the subject of enterprise architecture, which we define as: 

“A management engineering discipline that presents a holistic, comprehensive view of the enterprise, including strategic planning, organization, relationships, business process, information and operations. The organization must be viewed as fluid, changing over time as necessary, based on the environment and management’s response to that environment.”

Essentially, EA in state IT is the roadmap for success: It encompasses the enterprise, its mission, vision, goals, objectives, strategies and necessary capabilities to deliver the value inherent to the CIO office’s mission. EA is the way that gaps in existing capabilities are identified so that new capabilities or modifications can be evaluated, prioritized, funded, delivered and adopted. 

As new capabilities or modifications are established, they must be maintained as enterprise assets and investments through contract management, asset management, cost accounting, budgeting, and retirement and disposal of obsolete technology. This is an ongoing and never-ending cycle where many wheels turn in concert as part of ongoing state government transformation. 

As EA continues to evolve and new methods for documenting and managing enterprise architecture are developed, new methods are also arriving for portfolio management and IT investment management. 

Eric Sweden
This is an ongoing and never-ending cycle where many wheels turn in concert as part of ongoing state government transformation.”

Eric Sweden Program Director, Enterprise Architecture and Governance, NASCIO

Support the Goals of the Enterprise with Careful IT Investment

As the Project Management Institute states, portfolio management refers to the “centralized management of one or more project portfolios to achieve strategic objectives” and is “a way to bridge the gap between strategy and implementation.”

The Commonwealth of Virginia defines IT investment management as a management process that provides for the preselection (identification), selection, control and evaluation of business need–driven IT investments across the investment lifecycle.

NASCIO’s 2023 publication, “Actively Managing the IT Investment Portfolio: A Playbook for State Government,” addresses how EA, portfolio management and IT investment management work together. 

As we note in the playbook, IT investment management is a critical part of an effective enterprise management portfolio. Essentially, state government officials must ensure they are making the right capital expenditures and acquiring appropriate services to support the goals of the enterprise. State governments should establish a framework for enterprise portfolio management that includes IT investment management. 

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Establish Enterprise Management in the Office of the CIO

States also should consider establishing an enterprise portfolio management office within their CIO office. State CIOs often have the best view of the government enterprise across the board, and they may benefit from the assistance of a chief enterprise architect. State government can’t manage anything if it doesn’t know what it has. 

And that is the case with investments in software and hardware, cloud services, the state workforce, state contracts, obligations, applications and databases, networks and projects. 

The enterprise architecture for state government will evolve over time, particularly as state governments evaluate emerging technologies and determine what is most useful for the state. Ultimately, the state CIO seeks to match business goals, objectives and strategies. Enterprise architecture is the tool to keep this on the right track.

Keep this page bookmarked for our coverage of the NASCIO 2023 Annual conference. Follow us on X, formerly known asTwitter, at @StateTech and the official conference Twitter account, @NASCIO. Join the conversation using the hashtag #NASCIO23.

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