ARIA - Regione Lombardia: successfully drive the digital transformation of public services
- Successfully drive the digital transformation of the Lombardia Regional Government
- Creation of a services catalog and an EA Competence Center
- Ability to solve problems and analyze incidents
- Mapping of Business processes linked to applications and infrastructure thanks to a solid EA model based on TOGAF
- Implementation of a single platform, decentralizing the entry of information concerning the application landscape
- Knowledge sharing with all stakeholders via the intranet portal: maps, reports, etc.
Successfully drive the digital transformation of public services
Established in 1981, ARIA (www.ariaspa.it) is an IT service organization managed and coordinated by the Lombardy Regional Government, which has for many years been committed to a plan to digitize all activities and services provided. ARIA deals with projects such as:
Intended for governmental organizations, private citizens, and businesses, ARIA provides digital support to multiple programs of the Lombardy Regional Government, including healthcare, agriculture, social and economic development, and administrative operations. It helps fulfill the needs of the regional government by integrating innovative technologies available on the market, contributing to the digitalization process of Lombardy.
Until 2000, ARIA had operated mainly as a software house and, subsequently, evolved into a system integrator and service provider, supporting the Region's Government in its evolutionary path to digital transformation. The outsourcing of development activities and the growing complexity and amount of business processes shed light on the need for a knowledge base to manage the catalog of services and mitigate the risk of losing control of services and their evolution.
Until then, the initiatives in this field had been sporadic and limited to the inventory of applications to manage their lifecycle. This approach, mainly focused on technologies, has never brought under the spotlight the business services, the real focal point for ARIA.
A new structure dedicated to the strategy and governance of digital transformation
To respond to this, in 2011, a new organizational structure dedicated to the governance of the Regional Information System was founded, focused on creating and governance a common knowledge base for services other than social and healthcare.
In the first months of 2017, ARIA began a new organizational transformation phase, which led to the creation of a new structure dedicated to the strategy and governance of digital transformation. Enterprise Architecture was formally recognized as a central pillar to define the digital design and the implementation of ARIA projects, extending its scope to social and healthcare services.
The starting point of the initiative was the identification of an enterprise architecture framework adequate to the business requirements, based on solid EA models, but flexible enough to meet the specific needs of ARIA. The choice was the TOGAF framework from which a customized model was derived, linking the demand, business processes, and supply, i.e., applications and infrastructure.
For this project, ARIA chose MEGA Enterprise Architecture to map and categorize the processes of the Lombardy Regional Government, a key point to bond the business and the application portfolio.
A business services catalog was created, initially limited to about 400 services of the Regional Information System, excluding the social and healthcare, later included to reach almost 700 services. This catalog, accessible on the Intranet of ARIA and the Lombardy Regional Government, comprises a series of files for each service. Each file is divided into a descriptive part, provided by the business, and an architectural function centrally managed by a dedicated team.
This tool is precious as a communication channel to share knowledge about services and applications that can be further analyzed for strategic matters. Moreover, it contains the details about the application portfolio and a Configuration Management Database for the technological infrastructure, while the mapping of the data landscape is currently being completed.
The mapping of processes and services began with the identification of the cross ones since they are more interdependent on the others (for example, document services, authentication, user profiling services, accounting services, etc.) while defining at the same time a logical baseline architecture for the services. This has enabled the organization to catalog business services and lead the change, identifying the gaps iteratively and incrementally.
Enterprise Architecture as key support to Business Strategy
One significant challenge was making the organization aware of the value the Enterprise Architecture initiative brought; it became essential to business strategy.
Over time, once the awareness of the value of Enterprise Architecture has grown through the widespread use of the information collected (impact analysis, assessment, support for contract negotiation, the direction of developmental projects, etc.), the foundations have been laid to create an Enterprise Architecture Competence Center, in which all stakeholders for the architecture development can work together through a joint and strategic roadmap for digital transformation.
This new knowledge has also allowed the new department to become more proactive, not only in meeting the demands of the business but also in solving potential problems and analyzing incidents, such as identifying business areas and impacted services in case of issues or performing immediate impact analysis due to external changes – e.g., the introduction of the Public Digital Identity System (SPID).
Since March 2017, ARIA has been working on completing the collection of data regarding social and healthcare business services and creating a detailed view of the Lombardy Regional Government IT system. It also serves as a consulting capability for regional organizations or local entities in enterprise architecture.
The future projects, in addition to the extension of the documentation both inside and outside ARIA, include:
- Extend the model to include digital strategy,
- Create a more vital link between strategic objectives, projects, and the current Enterprise Architecture knowledge base,
- Create a broader and more detailed approach to map data related to services,
- Create information models for digital ecosystems, as indicated in the strategic goals, at a national and regional level.
- HOPEX Business Process Analysis
- HOPEX Business Architecture
- HOPEX platform
- MEGA Services Team
ARIA, established in December 1981, is a services organization managed and coordinated by the Lombardy Regional Government. ARIA manages information technology to simplify the life of all citizens while offering better services to the Lombard administrations to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The Lombardy Regional Government, which has engaged in a multi-year plan to digitize all governance activities and services delivery, works with ARIA on projects related to e-Government, e-Health, and e-Procurement with a citizen-oriented perspective.