While we all know IT resources age and require governance and remediation to keep them operating at 100%, companies can be slow to reconcile this need with their management plan. This means that networks become obsolete or outgrown, but often nothing’s done about it until it’s a crisis situation.
Our financial credit reporting client ran into this problem. It was easy to put working on the network on the back burner – until it became so congested and ineffective that something had to be done. What specifically were they dealing with?
- A complex internal network had multiple areas accountable for similar functions, which was wasting staff time on redundant efforts.
- End of life equipment was hampering their ability to make corrections to network problems.
- The network would go down, stopping work and negatively impacting revenue.
- Multiple engineering and monitoring tools provided a fractured view of the network and its performance, meaning no one knew definitively what was wrong or how to fix it.
Clearly, something had to be done, so they called us in to implement a winning game plan:
- The starting point was to collect network inventory to build a federated CMDB that would help manage change across IT elements.
- Next we engaged a third party to remediate network upgrades, and another to take on remote network management.
- With the vendors we developed a network upgrade plan and then we managed the implementation.
- Lastly we created a map of current roles and responsibilities via a RACI matrix, using it to create more focused responsibility on basic functions and refine process interfaces for third parties.
Our client realized several benefits from this multi-year project, including…
- faster resolution of problems, based upon a fault-tolerant network,
- a quicker bandwidth upgrade path whenever it was called upon for new services,
- greater accountability on functional groups to perform, resulting from reduced vagary on responsibilities, and
- documented and prescriptive processes, which means fewer ad-hoc decisions – and their resulting errors – are made.
It’s like that new car smell, but for their network!