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Michael Minns CASA, General Manager, IRMB. Creating an Infrastructure Strategy. Michael Minns – CASA September 7th, 2004. What is CASA and what do we do?.

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slide1
Michael Minns
  • CASA, General Manager, IRMB
creating an infrastructure strategy

Creating an Infrastructure Strategy

Michael Minns – CASA

September 7th, 2004

what is casa and what do we do
What is CASA and what do we do?
  • CASA is an independent statutory authority which conducts the safety regulation of civil air operations in Australian territory and Australian aircraft outside Australian territory
  • Main areas of work:
    • developing aviation safety standards (the regulations)
    • issuing certificates, licences, registrations and permits
    • carrying out surveillance and enforcement activities to secure compliance with aviation safety standards
    • Carrying out safety education and training programs
casa it context
CASA IT context
  • Budget $118M, aim for 12% ICT expenditure
  • 14 locations in capital and regional centres
  • 700 staff with 60% aviation technical
  • Centralised data centre
  • Outsourced infrastructure provision via a Commonwealth shared outsourcing contract
  • Core systems replacement programme in progress
what s the problem
What’s the problem?
  • No major infrastructure investment since 1996
  • Clear signs that an infrastructure refresh was required:
    • slow running remote applications
    • increasing infrastructure support costs
    • one-off solutions becoming the norm
  • Problems are so big that we have to go strategic rather than one-off
  • How big? - $11million over 18-24 months, equivalent to about 1 years ICT spend
  • Issue: How do we package it and how do we sell it in our environment?
justifying the investment
Justifying the investment
  • As technology is not our business, we needed to justify our investment by proving value for money:
    • Avoiding risk
    • Reducing cost and
    • Providing business capability.
  • We also had to prove affordability in terms of initial investment and long term viability
  • Programme of work structured to fit within the financial constraints of our organisation
  • End result is a business case for an infrastructure refresh programme
what s the benefit of having a plan
What’s the benefit of having a plan?
  • As well as being a sales document:
    • An opportunity to present a consolidated view of the ‘problem areas’ requiring attention
    • A level of comfort that IT has a considered plan aligned to business objectives and outcomes
    • A common document (with some overlapping terminology) that provides an agreed middle ground from which discussions can begin
    • A justification of the activities underway/planned and the associated resources required
what does the plan look like
What does the plan look like?
  • An $11M programme focussed on overhauling the ‘plumbing and wiring’. Comprised of 18 projects over an 18-24 month duration.
  • 7 discrete streams of activity: Hardware and Operating Systems, Web Services, Security, Network, Information Management, Operations/Development Environments and Tools, Business-as-Usual
  • Initial focus is on remediation activities around server hardware/operating system, security architecture and network infrastructure.
  • Subsequent phases consider Web Services and Information Management
what does the plan look like cont
What does the plan look like (cont.)..?
  • The plan recognises:
    • A need to undertake a significant number of infrastructure remediation activities.
    • Several key business milestone dates are critical and therefore require prioritised infrastructure support.
    • Work streams need to be allocated to and managed by a single individual.
    • Execution of a maximum of 3-4 concurrent streams of activity at any one time, in addition to business-as-usual activities.
    • Achieve the strategy in a sufficiently short time frame such that it is not obsoleted prior to completion
selling the plan
Selling the plan
  • Recognise that you need to sell to multiple layers i.e. CEO, COO, CFC
  • But, are they ready to listen?
    • Determine the most appropriate time when your organisation is ready to talk about infrastructure
    • Recognise the need for prerequisite activities
    • Get some allies: no unilateralism
  • And, then, the planets aligned
    • New CEO and CFC with a focus on long-term costs which fitted our business case
    • “Fortuitous” system failures
  • Lesson learned: Infrastructure projects on their own are VERY difficult to sell
looking backwards

Slide 10

Looking backwards
  • Work out what you want to do with your suppliers and outsourcer as early as possible
  • Be prepared to answer the business’ questions: What’s in it for me?
  • Identify your champions early and get business representation on the steering committee
  • Be prepared to educate and manage expectations: recognise not all problems can be solved
  • If possible, link the infrastructure project with a major business capability programme. Hard to sell as a programme of works (like applications) as you aretrying to justify the ‘plumbing and wiring’
  • Don’t change management in the middle of the sell
looking backwards cont
Hard to sell as a programme of works (like applications) as you are trying to justify the ‘plumbing and wiring’

Combine Tactical and Strategic Initiatives so that benefits maybe realised sooner

Formulation of the Technology plan requires multiple skill sets

Internal approval of the plan required a whole of IT strategy to be formulated (not just infrastructure) incorporated within a coherent plan and a re-confirmation that IT costs were being controlled

Looking backwards (cont.)
what are the resulting lessons learned
Recognise that sponsors, staff, organisational structures, suppliers and hardware vendors (specifically the equipment) evolves during the lifetime of the strategy (sell and implementation)

Implement Governance structures that allow for the strategy to be a living and breathing document

Whilst consolidation is possible, there are software limits and vendor reservation of co-hosting and co-locating multiple applications on same hardware

Ensure that your outsourcer's capability are acknowledged and understood prior to locking in the infrastructure strategy. Make sure the business continuity and disaster recovery implications are understood

What are the resulting lessons learned?