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UK Agency Achieves Public Sector Compliance in Just Six Months

  • Met internal audit deadline for GIAA and Freedom of Information Act in just six months
  • Clear and complete overview of their IT repository and application owners
  • Achieved speedy public sector compliance with a lean EA team

Miles of Motorway

For the first time, we have a data-driven chain between the business activities and the applications. We now understand how our IT service supports the business services.

Lead Digital Architect
Push Factors

Audited by the Government Internal Audit Agency

In March 2023, this agency was audited by the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) and therefore had the urgent need to analyze its data internally to meet public sector compliance. Audits are a routine activity for all government departments, but the IT department lacked answers to certain questions about risk due to an internal lack of understanding and knowledge gaps in their IT repository. The organization brought Ardoq on board to help them organize requests. 

This included addressing the needs/requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. The Freedom of Information Act: The Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides public access to information held by public authorities. It does this in two ways:

  • Public authorities are required to publish certain information about their activities
  • Members of the public can request information from public authorities

Poor Productivity and Lack of Control Over Data

The audit meant the team needed to gather a lot of data in a very short amount of time. They needed a platform to drive organizational change—something that would not only address the immediate issues but also lay the foundation for long-term goals and strategic planning.

The EA team knew that they had to speak the language of the wider business and use their concepts. The team knew that enterprise architecture teams all too often lack coherence. The design of a data model has to be meticulous, but abstraction adds a level of complexity and more isolation from the wider organization.

Therefore, data models also have to be accessible to different organizational audiences. They were pragmatic and wanted to ensure their approach was agile and valuable for the wider organization.


Achieve Public Sector Compliance with Ardoq

1. Automation with Enterprise Architecture 

Automation made the audit much more effective with key collaborative features such as Broadcasts and Surveys enabling them to get input from multiple stakeholders in a short amount of time. Although the team was small, Ardoq’s suite of integrations meant they could keep track of updates automatically and could finish the audit on time while simultaneously setting up the foundations for continuous, always-on change. The team stayed committed to only putting in data that they planned on keeping up to date. Even though Enterprise Architecture teams are often under pressure to collect as much as possible, the team knew that the best approach was to handle only data that could be kept fresh and reliable. 

2. Quick Time to Value to Achieve Public Sector Compliance 

With a tight deadline looming, the Enterprise Architects did not have much time to meet their public sector compliance requirements. The process had to be done effectively. Within six months, the EA team had made huge gains: the organization achieved compliance with the requirements of the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA), and every application now had a documented owner. The internal audit of data was something that seemed at first like a setback that ended up being the fuel needed to supercharge their Enterprise Architecture practice. The pressure to deliver was made easier since it was able to be done without reliance on manual data input, collection, or in-person surveys.

3. Strategic Planning with Business Continuity 

Business continuity, or the ability to deliver key services, is a business-critical focus in organizations. Now that the audit is complete, the EA team is currently registering all of their critical business capabilities that are essential for doing business. They have also registered the supporting or non-essential ones that they can do without. By assessing the impact of eliminating non-essential capabilities, the team can make a business-critical model register.

The agency has always maintained records of analytical models that they used for making decisions on a spreadsheet, but their documentation of capabilities ended there. In Ardoq, however, the team gets a dynamic visualization to show how data is flowing between the models. By simply importing data into Ardoq, the EA team could already create a visualization that speaks to people, setting a foundation for transparency and conversations across IT and business.


“Their EA team is an impressive example of how a pragmatic approach and a mandate to enact change can have a huge impact in an organization in an incredibly short space of time.”

- Amrik Soar, Customer Success Manager at Ardoq



Key Outcomes With Ardoq: Reducing Risk

For the IT organization:
  • Clear and complete overview of their IT repository in just six months, meeting their internal audit deadline
  • Speedy and effective data collection using automation and collaborative features that keep the data fresh and reliable
  • Flexibility to design a data model that would make sense to different organizational stakeholders 

For the rest of the organization:

  • Public sector compliance needs swiftly and within the deadline, including addressing the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act
  • Foundation for better strategic planning with the newfound understanding of their critical business capabilities
  • Dynamic visualizations that can be customized to different stakeholders for improved  transparency and collaboration between business and IT

Looking Forward

We asked their Lead Digital Architect for his top tips for organizations starting an Enterprise Architecture practice, especially those that want to achieve public sector compliance.

1. Get out of the ivory tower: Speak to the people doing the work. Use Ardoq’s visualization platform to give your audience something they recognize; then you can build rich data directly from them. 

2. Embrace graph database: It’s powerful and suited for this kind of data. For non-technical people, do the training and learn how to get the most out of it as a non-tech person.

3. Integrations can make or break the system: Think early on about what kind of data you want to integrate and its source. This saves you time and resources.

4. Keep data fresh: Don’t put data into Enterprise Architecture software that you don’t plan to keep up to date, even if you’re under pressure to collect as much as possible. You don't want to put in data just for the sake of putting in data. Make sure there is a plan to keep it fresh.

5. Involve the business: IT needs to embrace the strategic business goals. Genuine Digital Transformation is one that doesn’t need to be called digital. The IT department is a multiplier for every individual in the organization while the other departments are merely enablers. Good tools and interfaces can squeeze more percentage points.
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