DailyPost 2067

It is widely said, homeland security as it stands today, is the past, present and future of policing globally. The realization has not seeped in, in most of the developing world even after two decades of 9/11. At the core of Homeland Security, in tangible terms is the Department of Homeland Security, DHS, of the US govt. It rose like a phoenix and was able to thwart any terrorist attack till the Boston marathon bombings on the 15th of April 2013. The security architecture of the US was completely transformed in the wake of 9/11. The well-established siloed security architecture had to give way. It was thought to be one of the reasons for the attacks to materialize.

The creation of DHS in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept 11, 2001, was a part of a determined national effort to safeguard the US against terrorism. With the passage of the Homeland Security Act by the Congress in November 2002, DHS formally came into being as a stand alone entity, with a security enterprise architecture. which had the wherewithal to face the challenge it was mandated to handle. The DHS was established combining 22 different federal departments and agencies into a unified, integrated Cabinet agency. This has been the biggest administrative integration exercise in the history of administration ever. America’s security enterprise architecture completely metamorphosed with the creation of DHS and held the country in good stead even since its creation.

DHS became the cynosure of every eye in the security establishment the world over. There were various organizations globally which incorporated various components of it. Any organization is worth its architecture, more so if the complexity and scale and also the challenge it faces is of the DHS levels. It was born out of a crisis, so the enterprise architecture created for the purpose was military grade. Simple mergers and acquisitions run haywire and also take a long to become seamless, DHS went seamless from the word go. Enterprise Architecture was meant to facilitate DHS creation in the first place, then make it robust and rock solid, while being nimble and agile in all its operations, and coming back home with least of damage. The digital enablement and use of cutting edge technology is worthy of universal acclaim. It runs through its enterprise architecture.

The DHS Enterprise Architecture continues to evolve but improvements are needed, given the fast-changing nature of challenges around. US Govt. Accountability Office designated the transformation of DHS as high risk in 2003, and it continues to do so today. It has by now been well accepted that one essential tool facilitating organizational transformation is an enterprise architecture. It is a corporate blueprint that serves as an authoritative frame of reference for information technology investment decision making.* DHS’s architectural documents are reviewed by the Accountability Office and also the action taken on its earlier recommendations. DHS’s enterprise architecture traceability matrix explicitly maps EA content to the recommendations. What a way to curate an organization? What has been our security enterprise architecture changes in the last two decades? Change, transparency and technology should to made to work hand in hand to improve effectiveness phenomenally.

Sanjay Sahay

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