Final | October 2018 | v1.0.0 | OFFICIAL-Public | QGCIO

Purpose

This guideline describes, at a general level, the activities required to conduct an architecture gap analysis. Any activity that involves comparing the present state of the business with a conceptual and desired future state, with the objective of ‘closing the gap’ can be considered a gap analysis. Gap analysis can also be a technique used to assess the extent to which an agency can meet its needs using its present capabilities. The capabilities include but are not limited to lines of business services, processes, staff and workforce competencies, facilities, information, applications and underpinning ICT infrastructure.

Other frameworks such as The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), provide greater detail on how to develop a gap analysis. Agencies may also have their own enterprise architecture framework.

Audience

A practitioner in the context of this guideline can include one or more of the following roles:

  • Enterprise architects
  • Digital or ICT strategic planners
  • Information managers.

Gap analysis

The development of the gap analysis should be led by an enterprise architect operating as part of an integrated planning team. By defining and analysing gaps, a planning team can create a roadmap to move the business forward and fill the potential gaps.

Completing a gap analysis requires information from two sources including:

  1. Accurate definition of the required future change. This information is available in the digital vision or ICT strategy or plan as well as the target state architecture.
  2. Identifying the current scenario and associated capability. To reach ‘where the agency wants to be’, it is necessary to assess the current capability. This information can be derived from the current state analysis.

Once the current and future expectations are known, the gaps can be identified as well as actions for closing the identified gaps. The gaps may arise from many areas and can include but are not limited to:

  • workforce gaps (e.g. skills and capability gaps, training requirements, recruitment or sourcing of new skills)
  • process and service gaps (e.g. process inefficiencies or new or improved services)
  • information gaps:
    • ­ information not of sufficient currency
    • ­ information not located or available where it is needed
    • ­ information not available when needed or not the right information
    • ­ information not yet created
    • ­ information not yet consumed
    • ­ information and data relationship gaps.
  • application gaps including applications that are impacted, eliminated or are new
  • technology gaps including technologies that are impacted, eliminated or are new
  • measurement gaps
  • financial gaps
  • facilities gaps (buildings, office accommodation, etc.).

The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) recommends a process of including the elements or domains of the current state architecture on the vertical axis of a matrix and elements or domains of the target state architecture on the horizontal axis of the same matrix. Capability matches, enhancements, new capability and exclusions can be documented as part of the matrix, forming the basis of action plans and roadmaps.

Another method of representing the gap analysis is to use the target state architecture and highlight or shade the domains that represent enhancements or new capability. These methods can be applied at the information, application and technology layers of an architecture.

Next steps

Once the Current state architecture, Target state architecture, and gap analysis have been conducted roadmaps can be developed that demonstrate the sequencing and priority of activities over the focus areas or planning horizons of the digital or ICT strategy or plan.

Resources

Resource

Link

The Open Group Architecture Framework

Link - The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF)

Gap analysis

Link - TOGAF gap analysis


Last Reviewed: 24 October 2018