Connecting the dots?

Brian Kane’s thesis from ITU (this ITU) about Danish public IT strategy, Connecting The Dots – Why Danish IT architecture does not result in interoperability is a critical analysis of our work.
Download (big PDF), Executive summary.

Brian’s core findings include:

  • Both the general standards and recommendations and the specific case of the FESD project reflect an understanding of interoperability as being the exchange of business documents.
  • Guidance on how to expose systems as services following the concept of service oriented architecture is vague at best. Specifications are too broad and unspecific to be implemented in a consistent manner.
  • There is no coherent way of resolving the physical or semantic problems when two domains of control meet.
  • Most relevant standards are authorized for use, some overlapping and conflicting, but no guidelines are in place for when to use which standards and how.
  • Towards the goal of service oriented architecture, a sound underlying, perhaps publicly controlled, integration infrastructure is needed.
  • There is a need for a long-term roadmap covering IT architectural efforts in the decades to come. The roadmap should clearly describe the current IT architectural situation, and include an explicit statement of strategic goals and operationalized milestones.


While important work is being done at data model level, the task of moving data from application to application is only vaguely described. In conclusion, Danish IT architectural work can currently best be described as initial, informal and ad-hoc.

Thank you, Brian, for such an impressive contribution to the on-going dialogues and deliberations about architecture for e-government.

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