GC Mandatory Procedures for Enterprise Architecture Assessment Update

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This is a DRAFT STREAMLINED COPY of the proposed updates to the GC Mandatory Procedures for Enterprise Architecture Assessment (formerly GC EA Standards)


In the past few weeks, the GC EA team has re-reviewed and streamlined all the inputs received from the various SMEs and departments and came up with the below proposed streamlined copy of the Architecture Assessment framework. The remaining input will be placed into an upcoming GC EA Playbook/Guidelines. This proposed streamlined updates will be going another iteration of reviews with the SMEs.

Changes from the previous version are marked as underlined and new additions are marked as italic and underlined

The draft list of questions associated with the new standards can be found here

The GC Enterprise Architecture standard is part of the Directive on Service and Digital. It is listed as Appendix A - Mandatory Procedures for Enterprise Architecture Assessment in the Directive.

To view more detailed info on each point listed below, you can click on the top title for each of the Architecture layer, OR any of the blue link below.

1. Business Architecture

Fulfill the Government of Canada stakeholder's needs

  • Clearly identify internal and external stakeholders and their needs for each policy, program and business service including user centric design
  • Include policy requirement applying to specific stakeholder groups, such as accessibilities, gender based+ analysis, and official languages in the creation of the service
  • Model end-to-end business service delivery to provide quality, maximize effectiveness and optimize efficiencies across all channels (e.g lean process)


Architect to be Outcome Driven and Strategically Aligned to the Department and to the Government of Canada

  • Identify which departmental/GC business services, outcomes and strategies will be addressed
  • Establish metrics for identified business outcomes throughout the lifecycle of an investment
  • Translate business outcomes and strategy into business capability implications in the GC Business Capability Model to establish a common vocabulary between business, development, and operation


Promote Horizontal Enablement of the Enterprise

  • Identify opportunities to horizontally enabled business services and provide cohesive experience to stakeholders
  • Reuse common business capabilities and processes from across government and private sector
  • Publish in the open reusable common business capabilities and processes (in the Open Government portal) for others to develop cohesive horizontal enterprise services

2. Information Architecture

Collect data to address the needs of the stakeholders

  • Assess data requirements based on stakeholder needs
  • Collect only the minimum set of data needed to support a policy, program and service
  • Reuse existing data assets and only acquire new data if required
  • Ensure data collected, including from third party sources, are of high quality


Manage data strategically and responsibly

  • Define and establish clear roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities for data management
  • Identify and document the lineage of your data assets
  • Define retention and disposition schedules and design disposition processes
  • Ensure data are managed to enable interoperability, reuse and sharing to the greatest extent possible within and across departments in government to avoid duplication and maximize utility, while respecting security and privacy requirements
  • Contribute to and align with enterprise data taxonomy and classification structures to manage, store, search and retrieve data


Use and share data openly in an ethical and secure manner

  • Data should be shared openly by default as per the Directive on Open Government and Digital Standards, while adhering to existing enterprise and international standards, including on fitness for purpose and ethics
  • Ensure data formatting aligns to existing enterprise and international standards. Where none exist, develop standards in the open with key subject matter experts, in consultation with the Enterprise Data Community of Practice
  • Ensure that combined data does not risk identification or re-identification of sensitive or personal information

3. Application Architecture

Use Open Source Solutions hosted in Public Cloud

  • Select existing solutions that can be reused over custom built
  • Contribute all improvements back to the communities
  • Register Open Source software to the Open Resource Exchange


Use Software as a Service (SaaS) hosted in Public Cloud

  • Choose SaaS that best fit for purpose based on alignment with SaaS capabilities
  • Choose a SaaS solution that is extendable
  • Configure SaaS and if customization is necessary extend as Open Source modules


Design for Interoperability

  • Design systems as highly modular and loosely coupled services
  • Expose services through APIs
  • Make the APIs discoverable to the appropriate stakeholders


Follow DevSecOps Principles

  • Use continuous integration and continuous deployments (CI/CD)
  • Ensure automated testing occurs for security and functionality
  • Include your stakeholders as part of DevSecOps process

4. Technology Architecture

Use Cloud first

  • Adopt the Use of the GC Accelerators to ensure proper Security and Access Controls
  • Enforce this order of preference: Software as a Service (SaaS) first, then Platform as a Service (PaaS), and lastly Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Fulfill Cloud Services through SSC Cloud Brokering Services
  • Enforce this order of preference: Public cloud first, then Hybrid cloud, then Private cloud, and lastly non-cloud (on-premises) solutions
  • Design for cloud mobility and develop an exit strategy to avoid vendor lock-in


Design for Performance, Availability, and Scalability

  • Ensure response times meet user needs, and critical services are highly available
  • Support zero-downtime deployments for planned and unplanned maintenance
  • Use distributed architectures, assume failure will happen, handle errors gracefully, and monitor performance and behaviour actively
  • Establish architectures that supports new technology insertion with minimal disruption to existing programs and services
  • Control Technical Diversity - design systems based on modern technologies and platforms already in use.

5. Security Architecture and Privacy

Build Security into the Full System Life Cycle, Across All Architectural Layers

  • Identify and classify risks associated to the service’s business objectives, goals, and strategy
  • Design security measures according to business and user needs, risks identified, and security categorization of the information and assets; integrate security across all architectural layers (BIAT)
  • Design systems to not be susceptible to common security vulnerabilities; resilient and can be rebuilt quickly in the event of compromise; and fail secure if the system encounters an error or crashes
  • Ensure that data received from external parties is profiled and validated prior to its use


Ensure Secure Access to Systems and Services

  • Identify and authenticate individuals, processes and/or devices to an appropriate level of assurance before granting access to information and services
  • Constrain service interfaces to authorized entities (users and devices), with clearly defined roles
  • Make use of modern password guidance, and prioritizing length over complexity, eliminating expiry, and blacklisting common passwords


Maintain Secure Operations

  • Integrate aggregate outputs from security assessment and authorization activities into security architecture lifecycle processes, to ensure reference artefacts remain relevant and valid
  • Design processes to operate and manage services securely, and continuously monitor system events and performance in order to detect, prevent, and respond to attacks
  • Establish processes to monitor security advisories, and apply security-related patches and updates to reduce exposure to vulnerabilities. Apply appropriate risk-based mitigations when patches can’t be applied


Privacy by Design

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