Memorandum M-97-16, Information Technology Architectures



This memorandum transmits guidance to Federal agencies on the development and implementation of Information Technology Architectures. The Information Technology Architecture (ITA) describes the relationships among the work the agency does, the information the agency uses, and the information technology that the agency needs. It includes standards that guide the design of new systems. An ITA makes it easier to share information internally (e.g., agency-wide e-mail) and to reduce the number of information systems that perform similar functions. The ITA provides the technology vision to guide resource decisions that reduce costs and improve mission performance.

OMB Memorandum 97-02, "Funding Information Systems Investments," (October 25, 1996), requires that agency investments in major information systems should be consistent with Federal, agency, and bureau ITAs. The Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-106) assigns the Chief Information Officer the responsibility of developing, maintaining, and facilitating the implementation of the information technology architecture.

As described in the attachment, a complete ITA is the documentation of the relationships among business and management processes and information technology that ensure:

  • alignment of the requirements for agency-sponsored information systems (as defined in OMB Circular A-130) with the processes that support the agency's missions and goals;
  • adequate interoperability, redundancy, and security of information systems; and,
  • the application and maintenance of a collection of standards by which the agency evaluates and acquires new systems.

Agencies should be prepared to indicate the status of the development, implementation, and maintenance of the agency ITA during the formulation of the FY 1999 President's budget.