EA-POL-008 Enterprise Architecture Policy – Provision of Commodity IT Capabilities


The purpose of this policy is to set out the practices for introducing new or refreshed IT capabilities within Plymouth University that could be classified as commodity IT.  Commodity IT in this context is used to describe IT services which can be purchased from a service provider as a packaged entity.  It is recognised that economy of scale and the repetitive nature of these component types will provide value to the University in keeping costs down, whist utilising highly trained, highly available personnel from any chosen service partner and freeing University staff to concentrate on high visibility, more specialist functions and therefore increasing the value of IT to the University.


This policy applies to all members and partners of Plymouth University who are directly involved in the development, creation and maintenance of the enterprise architecture and contributing component architectures.


When implementation phases for any piece of work are being considered, it is essential that not only that 3rd party managed services or the “clouding” of software, data and technology (with a managed services wrapper) be considered, it is to be the default option for commodity IT component provision going forward, when it is sensible to do so.  Only when there are significant benefits to the University should this type of service delivery be retained in house.

Any options analysis prior to the procurement of any commodity capability for the University must also include internal solutions where available; and where feasible, internal solutions should be included in costing/quotation exercises to ensure good value for the University is achieved.

Failure to comply with this policy may lead to the solution architecture being rejected during Enterprise Architecture review, returned for rework or placed on hold.

Supporting Documentation

This policy is supported by established Enterprise Architecture documents, namely:

  • Enterprise Architecture Principles – Principle 3: Maximise Benefit to the University
    • “Achieving maximum enterprise-wide benefit will require changes in the way we plan and manage information. Technology alone will not bring about this change.”
    • Enterprise Architecture Principles – Principle 15: Requirements-Based Change
      • “This principle will foster an atmosphere where the information environment changes, in a timely and controlled manner, in response to the needs of the business, rather than having the business change in response to IT changes.”
      • “Changes in implementation will follow full examination of the proposed changes using the enterprise architecture.”
    • Enterprise Architecture Principles – Principle 16: Control Technical Diversity
      • “Limiting the number of supported components will simplify maintainability and reduce costs.”
    • Enterprise Architecture Policy
      • “All Plymouth University information management and technology development, modernisation, enhancement, and acquisitions shall conform to the enterprise architecture and comply with applicable Capital Planning and University budgeting processes. “


Author: Craig Douglas Date: 09/06/2014 Version: 1.0
Document Security Level: PUBLIC
Document Approvals: Technical Architecture Group

Enterprise Architecture Practice

Enterprise Architecture Board

IT Director


June 2014



Review Date: July 2015