GC Enterprise Architecture/Framework

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October 22nd 2020 revision

Enterprise Architecture Framework purpose:[edit | edit source]

The EA Framework is the criteria used by the Government of Canada enterprise architecture review board and departmental architecture review boards when reviewing digital initiatives to ensure their alignment with enterprise architectures across business, information, application, technology and security domains to support strategic outcomes. The EA Framework take effect on December 1, 2020 and is a replacement of Appendix A, Mandatory Procedures for Enterprise Architecture Assessment. from the Directive on Service and Digital.

Enterprise Architecture Framework provide details on the requirements set out in the following sections of the Policy and Directive on Service and Digital.

4.1.2.3 of the Policy on Service and Digital. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Canada is responsible for: Prescribing expectations with regard to enterprise architecture.

4.1.2.4 of the Policy on Service and Digital. The Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Canada is responsible for: Establishing and chairing an enterprise architecture review board that is mandated to define current and target architecture standards for the Government of Canada and review departmental proposals for alignment.

4.1.1.1 of the Directive on Service and Digital. The departmental Chief Information Officer (CIO) is responsible for: Chairing a departmental architecture review board that is mandated to review and approve the architecture of all departmental digital initiatives and ensure their alignment with enterprise architectures.

Enterprise Architecture definition[edit | edit source]

Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of an organization considering and aligning business, information, application, technology, and security domains to support strategic outcomes.  

Business Architecture[edit | edit source]

Business architecture is a critical aspect for the successful implementation of the GC Enterprise Ecosystem Target Architecture.  The architectural strategy advocates whole-of-government approach where IT is aligned to business services and solutions are based on re-useable components implementing business capabilities in order to deliver a cohesive user experience.   As such, it is essential that business services, stakeholder needs, opportunities to improve cohesion and opportunities for re-use across government be clearly understood.   In the past these elements have not been a priority.  It is expected that the IT culture and practices will have to change to make business architecture, in general, and these elements a primary focus.

Design services digitally from end-to-end to meet the Government of Canada users and other stakeholder's needs[edit | edit source]

  • Clearly identify internal and external users and other stakeholders and their needs for each policy, program and business service
  • Include policy requirement applying to specific users and other stakeholder groups, such as accessibilities, gender based+ analysis, and official languages in the creation of the service
  • Perform Algorithmic Impact Assessment (AIA) to support risk mitigation activities when deploying an automated decision system as per Directive on Automated Decision Making
  • 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[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

  • Identify opportunities to enable business services horizontally across the GC enterprise and to provide cohesive experience to users and other stakeholders
  • Reuse common business capabilities, processes and enterprise solutions from across government and private sector
  • Publish in the open all reusable common business capabilities, processes and enterprise solutions for others to develop and leverage cohesive horizontal enterprise services

Information Architecture[edit | edit source]

Information architecture best practices and principles aim to support the needs of a business service and business capability orientation. To facilitate effective sharing of data and information across Government, information architectures should be designed to reflect a consistent approach to data, such as the adoption of federal and international standards. Information architecture should also reflect responsible data management, information management and governance practices, including the source, quality, interoperability, and associated legal and policy obligations related to the data assets. Information architectures should also distinguish between personal and non-personal data and information, as the collection, use, sharing (disclosure), and management of personal information must respect the requirements of the Privacy Act and its related policies.

Collect data to address the needs of the users and other stakeholders[edit | edit source]

  • Assess data requirements-based program objectives, as well users, business and stakeholder needs
  • Collect only the minimum set of data needed to support a policy, program, or 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 and re-use data strategically and responsibly[edit | edit source]

  • Define and establish clear roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities for data management
  • Identify and document the lineage of data assets
  • Define retention and disposition schedules in accordance with business value as well as applicable privacy and security policy and legislation
  • 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 and international data taxonomy and classification structures to manage, store, search and retrieve data

Use and share data openly in an ethical and secure manner[edit | edit source]

  • Share data openly by default as per the Directive on Open Government and Digital Standards, while respecting security and privacy requirements. Data shared should adhere to existing enterprise and international standards, including on data quality and ethics.
  • Ensure data formatting aligns to existing enterprise and international standards on interoperability. Where none exist, develop data standards in the open with key subject matter experts.
  • Ensure that combined data does not risk identification or re-identification of sensitive or personal information

Design with privacy in mind for the collection, use and management of personal Information[edit | edit source]

  • Consult your institution’s ATIP Office, for assistance with the interpretation and application of the Privacy Act and its related policy instruments
  • Determine if the initiative will be collecting, using, disclosing, retaining sharing and disposing personal information
  • Only collect personal information if it directly relates to the operation of the programs or activities
  • Notify individuals of the purpose for collection at the point of collection by including a privacy notice
  • Personal information should be, wherever possible, collected directly from individuals but can be from other sources where permitted by the Privacy Act
  • Personal information needs to be available to facilitate Canadians’ right of access to and correction of government records
  • Design access controls into all processes and across all architectural layers from the earliest stages of design to limit the use and disclosure of personal information
  • Design processes so personal information remains accurate, up-to-date and as complete as possible and can be corrected if required
  • De-identification techniques should be considered prior to sharing personal information
  • In collaboration with your ATIP officials, determine if a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) is required to identify and mitigate privacy risks for new or substantially modified programs that impact the privacy of individuals
  • Establish procedures to identify and address privacy breaches so they can be reported quickly and responded to efficiently within your institution

Application Architecture[edit | edit source]

Application architecture practices must evolve significantly for the successful implementation of the GC Enterprise Ecosystem Target Architecture. Transitioning from legacy systems based on monolithic architectures to architectures that oriented around business services and based on re-useable components implementing business capabilities, is a major shift.   Interoperability becomes a key element, and the number of stakeholders that must be considered increases.

Use Open Source Solutions hosted in Public Cloud[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

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

Technology Architecture[edit | edit source]

Technology architecture is an important enabler of highly available and adaptable solutions that must be aligned with the chosen application architecture. Cloud adoption provides many potential advantages by mitigating the logistical constraints that often negatively impacted legacy solutions hosted “on premises”.  However, the application architecture must be able to enable these advantages.

Use Cloud first[edit | edit source]

  • 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[edit | edit source]

  • 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.

Follow DevSecOps Principles[edit | edit source]

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

Security Architecture[edit | edit source]

The GC Enterprise Security Architecture (ESA) program is a government-wide initiative to provide a standardized approach to developing IT security architecture, ensuring that basic security blocks are implemented across the enterprise as the infrastructure is being renewed.

Build Security into the System Life Cycle, Across All Architectural Layers[edit | edit source]

  • Identify and categorize information based on the degree of injury that could be expected to result from a compromise of its confidentiality, integrity and availability.
  • Implement a continuous security approach, in alignment with CCCS’s IT Security Risk Management Framework. Perform threat modelling to minimize the attack surface by limiting services exposed and information exchanged to the minimum necessary.
  • Apply proportionate security measures that address business and user needs while adequately protecting data at rest and data in transit.
  • Design systems to be resilient and available in order to support service continuity.

Ensure Secure Access to Systems and Services[edit | edit source]

  • Identify and authenticate individuals, processes and/or devices to an appropriate level of assurance, based on clearly defined roles, before granting access to information and services. Leverage enterprise services such as Government of Canada trusted digital identity solutions that are supported by the Pan-Canadian Trust Framework
  • Constrain service interfaces to authorized entities (users and devices), with clearly defined roles. Segment and separate information based on sensitivity of information, in alignment with ITSG-22 and ITSG-38. Management interfaces may require increased levels of protection.
  • Implement HTTPS for secure web connections and DMARC for enhanced email security.
  • Establish secure interconnections between systems through secure APIs or leveraging centrally managed Hybrid IT connectivity services

Maintain Secure Operations[edit | edit source]

  • Establish processes to maintain visibility of assets and ensure the prompt application of security-related patches and updates in order to reduce exposure to vulnerabilities, in accordance with GC Patch Management Guidance.
  • Enable event logging, in accordance with GC Event Logging Guidance, and perform monitoring of systems and services in order to detect, prevent, and respond to attacks.
  • Establish an incident management plan in alignment with the GC Cyber Security Event Management Plan (GC CSEMP) and report incidents to the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS).

Status[edit | edit source]

The EA Framework was presented at GC EARB on July 16th, 2020. Additional feedback has been sought from the stakeholders by August 31st, 2020, before it will return to GC EARB for an endorsement on October 22, 2020.

The EA Framework takes effect on December 1, 2020. (proposed)

The EA Framework is a replacement of Appendix A. Mandatory Procedures for Enterprise Architecture Assessment. which will be rescinded.

The EA Framework will be published on Canada.ca along with the target state architecture.

Standards and Guidelines.

https://www.canada.ca/en/government/system/digital-government/policies-standards.html

EA Framework Playbook[edit | edit source]

Here is an archived version of the playbook that was developed for the original EA assessment Criteria. It will updated to align the updated EA Framework once it is approved at GC EARB.