Using OBASHI to understand the implications of multi- departmental and multi-location cost led restructuring
Dumfries and Galloway Council (D&GC) is responsible for local government in the third largest region in Scotland, an area covering 2,380 square miles.
The Information Services (IS) department of D&GC is responsible for all local government telephony, computing services and data networks in offices spread throughout the region. It also provides the ICT facilities and supporting services on which the effectiveness and efficiency of all Council operations depend.
The use of ICT in the Council and elsewhere had developed to the point where the delivery of many services was all but impossible without continuous access to telephony, computing services and data networks.
However, it was deemed that the existing structure of a centralised ICT team, underpinning individual departmental ICT teams, was inefficient. The structure did not enable effective management of IT, inter-team communication, nor communications between ICT and business managers.
As a result, IT services and support across the D&GC departments had evolved at differing rates; with sparse hardware and software platform standards and no single record of exactly what IT assets D&GC possessed. In addition, business managers had little understanding of the relationships and dependencies between business processes and IT resources.
The Council decided to restructure to improve operational effectiveness.
However, in order to anticipate and comprehend the impact of restructuring, IS needed to collate the software, hardware and infrastructure resources in each council department, which were often spread between offices, located across a wide geographical area. In addition they needed to know how each IT resource was used, and by whom, in each department.
D&GC ICT Department chose OBASHI to create a model to accurately portray what IT resources the Council owned, who used them, and the operational role they performed for each department.
OBASHI was chosen because it allowed them to create universally understandable Business and IT diagrams (B&ITs). The B&IT diagrams enabled the Council to clearly see how their IT resources were utilised across geographical and functional boundaries.
Using existing and newly captured electronic data, a clear picture of hardware and software elements was quickly compiled and tied to user accounts. Consequently, a ‘first pass’ of the model was quickly created and, even at this early stage, the Council could see that the infrastructure was overly complex and contained unsupported and obsolete equipment. Early benefits were immediately realised, with remediation projects being re-prioritised.
The model was then refined, through a combination of mark-ups, printed B&IT diagrams, and analysis of data already gathered. Other sources of information such as management interviews and WINS & DHCP databases were then crosschecked against the model to ensure that all key resources were captured.
When complete, the model clearly showed how each IT resource was used, not only within each department but also within each geographic location.
OBASHI provided Dumfries and Galloway Council with a clear picture of the relationships between its business and IT resources.
The OBASHI Methodology enabled D&GC to:
- quickly see what IT they owned, where
- easily communicate the complexity of ICT to business managers and the board
- strategically change the IS structure to better manage ICT
- identify critical vulnerabilities
- highlight potential areas of consolidation
- understand software licensing requirements
- accurately estimate the cost of moving to a common operating environment
The third largest local authority in Scotland used The OBASHI Methodology to clearly see and measure the impact of restructuring, across all departments and geographic locations.
The OBASHI Methodology enabled D&GC to:
- ICT recognised as critical to Council operations
- Strategic restructuring of ICT management deemed essential
- No standard approach to documenting IT assets
- Created a simple Big Picture business people could understand
- Captured and portrayed the IT assets and real estate
- Created IT Assets lists in context of ownership and business process
- Clear and simple communication