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GEA-NZ dimension: Application and software services

The application and software services dimension is one of the 4 core dimensions that represent the operational aspects of your enterprise architecture.

Application and software services are technologies to help people achieve more than they otherwise could without technology.  These technologies can make people and organisations more efficient and effective. A key to understanding these technologies is context, that is, understanding what:

  • information they process
  • business functions and business processes are supported
  • what products and services they support.

Reference taxonomy

The Application and Software Services dimension includes a reference taxonomy that categorises software — including applications, software component services and cloud services.

To download the reference taxonomy for application and software services, see: Reference taxonomies.

Relationships to other dimensions

Table 3: How application and software services x other dimensions

Dimension Influence
Strategy, investment and policy Application and software services represents a key mechanism for realising strategic goals, through adoption of agile core business applications and industry standard corporate support functions.
Governance and performance Application and software services provides the application and software services that enables governance and performance measurement and control, and offers opportunities to improve business efficiency through sharing and reuse.

Application and software services sets the application and software service requirements that drive

  • development of specific NZ government standards.
  • adoption of appropriate international, regional, and NZ standards.
Identity, privacy and security Application and software services provides the application and software service controls needed to support identity, privacy and security requirements.
Business Application and software services provides the application and software services that support business services, processes, capabilities, information sharing, and reuse.
Data, information and analytics Application and software services provides sustainable tooling that enables capability to manage and share data, information and analytics across the government data system to achieve valuable business use cases.
Infrastructure Application and software services provides the application and software service requirements for technology and infrastructure services, and supporting applications for infrastructure management (for example, configuration management database [CMDB]).


All-of-government resources

At an AoG level, the application and software services dimension facilitates a common understanding of application assets and software services, identifying opportunities for sharing, reuse, and consolidation or renegotiation of licenses. It also helps assurance by identifying application assets that will require maintenance or renewal within the business planning horizon.

Your agency's resources

At an agency level, the application and software services dimension describes an agency’s application assets and software services. Application portfolio management (APM) is a recommended practice in this area as it provides a basis for forecasting investment in these technologies. Mapping their current and planned information systems to the application and software services reference taxonomy categories should help agencies and sectors identify opportunities for sharing, reuse, and consolidation or renegotiation of licenses.

  • Application portfolio management (APM) or Digital portfolio management (DPM)
  • Service portfolio linkages to applications and software
  • Information asset catalogue linked to applications and software
  • Asset lifecycle management plan
  • Configuration management database (CMDB)
  • As built application documentation

Cloud development

New software development models have evolved to support cloud development of application and software services. This section covers the pros and cons of various models and makes the point that these are radically different from the old waterfall approach.

There is a tension between these new models and many of the processes such as business cases which are based on large, expensive waterfall development, or procurement of capital expensive software. These may not be suited to procurement of software as a service using opex.

Agile development

Agile software development is an approach to software development where requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organising and cross-functional teams and their customer(s)/end user(s). It advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continual improvement, and it encourages rapid and flexible response to change. Souce: Wikipedia

Continuous delivery

Continuous delivery is the ability to deliver software that can be deployed at any time through manual releases.  Continuous delivery is often confused with continuous deployment, which does the same but through automated deployments. Source:

Continuous deployment

Continuous deployment is the ability to deliver software that can be deployed at any time through automated deployments. Continuous deployment is often confused with continuous delivery, which does the same but through manual releases. Source:

Continuous development

Continuous software development is an umbrella term that describes several aspects of iterative software application development, including continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous testing and continuous deployment. Source:

Continuous integration

Continuous integration (CI) is a software engineering practice in which frequent, isolated changes are immediately tested and reported on when they are added to a larger code base. Source:

Continuous testing

Continuous testing is the process of executing automated tests as part of the software delivery pipeline to obtain immediate feedback on the business risks associated with a software release candidate. Source: Wikipedia.


DevOps is a software development methodology that combines software development (Dev) with information technology operations (Ops). The goal of DevOps is to shorten the systems development life cycle while also delivering features, fixes, and updates frequently in close alignment with business objectives. Source: Wikipedia

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