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Guiding Principles

Enterprise architecture guiding principles must be considered for all academic and administrative technology decisions for the University of Minnesota system. These principles should be considered for University research and non-enterprise technology decisions as well. Applying these principles will provide consistent IT solutions and services across the University. These guiding principles align resources and solutions with the University business needs by encouraging both stable and efficient solutions while maximizing return on investment. In addition, they foster solutions that are simple and open while promoting compliance with required standards. Although the guiding principles are not mandated policies, they are meant to be considered and applied to all collegiate and non-collegiate technology decisions.

Align Across the University

Efforts should be coordinated across IT groups to minimize redundancy and be more cost and resource efficient.

The enterprise architecture process must be driven by the University’s core missions and specific business needs. It must include the requirements for all organizational units throughout the University system. A common approach will ensure more reuse of technology, ease of integration across domains, and result in lower costs. The enterprise architecture must be broadly communicated and promoted across all business and technology units. The work of building and supporting these solutions needs to be a concerted effort of the entire University system.

Seek Stability and Efficiency

Preference toward utilizing existing resources.

Solutions should be appropriately engineered to meet the business requirements to minimize cost and maximize value. When possible, the University should reuse existing resources to support business requirements. Stability, scalability, and efficiency must be at the foundation of the design and implementation of these solutions. These principles seek to maximize the performance and consistency of provided services in all circumstances, while allowing for innovation.

Strive for Simplicity

Preference for fiscal responsibility and transparency in design.

The University prefers to buy services rather than develop solutions ourselves when the technology is well-defined and/or mature. Using the existing product enables the University to focus effort on the University's mission rather than on developing a custom solution. In-house development should be reserved for emerging technology. The proposed architecture and constituent technologies must support industry standards. The University should use strategic suppliers and leverage existing relationships. The simplicity principles promote transparency in design and process, enabling supportable systems and services.

Ensure Regulatory Compliance

Solutions or practices are compliant with regulatory requirements and industry best practices.

The compliance principles require that solutions or practices meet legal, regulatory, and safety requirements. All solutions must be risk assessed to ensure that they can be implemented and operated without introducing unacceptable risk. The security standards implemented must align with the University Security Framework. Adherence to regulations helps protect the University’s reputation and minimize legal liability.

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