Introducing Project Umcheya

Skype for Business

Umcheya is an isiXhosa name for the real yellowwood tree – South Africa's national tree. The tree is slow-growing but long lived, composed of high quality hard wood, and producing bright, edible berries which attract birds..

What is Project Umcheya?

Project Umcheya is the university’s initiative to build Enterprise Architecture (EA) into its IT governance and infrastructure planning and management capability.

This initiative –the first phase of a broader EA program managed by ICTS – seeks to ensure that the architecture assessment and design scope covers the university’s mission-critical systems, and ultimately (over time) covers all systems representing the internal and external services offered by the university.

The scope of the project will touch on key aspects of architecture, including university systems and applications, associated business processes, data and IT assets, and governance structures.  

What is Enterprise Architecture?

Enterprise Architecture (EA) represents the high-level view of different enterprise domains and the connections between them.

EA connects the dots between stakeholders, business processes, data, application systems, their integrations, and the underlying technology infrastructure. It provides a common understanding and view of the architecture of our organisational and business systems through the technology stack.

Why does the University need Enterprise Architecture?

EA promotes

  • An integrated view of the university’s services spectrum (displayed in a holistic, multi-layered, and integrated manner)
  • Effective decision-making
  • Defined governance structures 
  • Continuous improvement
  • Collaboration

EA minimises

  • Duplications of services across various departments or service areas
  • Reputational risks and cyber threats 
  • Inconsistent service standards 
  • Time to market
  • Unsuitable and unsustainable operational systems
  • Redesign, rework, and costly delays (if not cancellation)

EA increases

  • Efficiencies
  • Cost savings
  • Reusability of existing services and capabilities
  • Capacity for effective support and maintenance 
  • Innovation and retaining IP for the university where applicable  
  • Scalability

What are EA benefits for UCT?

University operations and departments

As a university, we can continue to make well-informed technology decisions. We can also be better positioned to tackle complex, integrated systems as well as future projects.

Software and hardware architectures for platforms and systems strongly influence how rapidly and effectively new capabilities can be added. From an external service offering in the education sector, UCT can continue to innovate by leveraging a range of internal capabilities and possibly co-opt new and relevant technologies and applications to meet our strategic goals and objectives captured in Vision 2030.

The project will inevitably influence decisions made by UCT governance and management structures – both inside and outside of ICTS. Effective Enterprise Architecture is particularly important to ensure that we adopt a proactive approach to ICT investments to prevent fragmented investment decisions. It enables us to develop a cohesive, aligned approach to the planning, design, and implementation of ICT solutions that deliver optimal quality, security, and value to the UCT community.


As we mature our EA practices, we aim to reduce complexity and unnecessary duplication by consolidating solutions / systems (where practically possible), to streamline the planning, design, acquisition, and integration of new technologies / systems and ideally improve cost efficiencies.