The Business Technology Services (BTS) group provides enterprise and custom technology solutions to Pinellas County, Florida, the sixth largest county in the state. They maintain the infrastructure comprised of data centers, which house all computing systems and support the interconnecting network running the county’s extensive application portfolio. BTS supports nearly one million citizens’ access to digital government services, and over 4,100 internal users. The group functions as the center of technology leadership and governance, providing cost-effective and innovative technology solutions that ensure success for their partners.
BTS’ technology roadmap was an isolated spreadsheet of technology components maintained by its enterprise architect, who also maintained the configuration management database (CMDB) containing configuration items (CIs) used by service management, change management, and help desk groups. The technology roadmap worksheet was updated annually and contained no visibility into the applications running or the CIs inventoried. No one knew how many applications BTS supported, how their system requirements were related, what the application and IT component lifecycles were, and what lifecycle-related security risks BTS might be facing. In short, the IT landscape was invisible and significantly outdated. In 2015, BTS decided to implement the LeanIX Enterprise Architecture Suite to streamline and optimize the processes around IT decision making.
“LeanIX provides an accessible, clear and collaborative vision supporting the IT and Business relationships for Pinellas County while simultaneously assisting in identifying IT vulnerabilities and providing relevant contextual information for building strategic IT alignment.“
Sr. Management Analyst, Enterprise Architecture/APM
BTS implemented LeanIX and embarked on its journey toward a lean technology inventory. By utilizing the CMDB and other tools (i.e., System Center Configuration Manager), conducting stakeholder interviews, and combining them with numerous spreadsheets of support groups, views of the IT landscape began to emerge. Finally, related processes, data objects, and business capabilities became visible. Access to LeanIX software was granted to all BTS stakeholders and users. Today, there are around 780 applications and 148 user groups captured in LeanIX, which are supporting more than 150 business capabilities. For the first time, these user groups enjoyed a clear overview of their IT landscape instead of encountering disconnected data silos.
BTS discovered that approximately 60% of the portfolio consisted of archaic technology infrastructure supporting obsolete applications. Not only did this represent a financial drain but also significant redundancies across business capabilities. It explained the difficulty of keeping systems patched, the security issues due to the presence of outdated Java and other legacy technologies, and why IT resources were consumed by increasingly manual efforts to keep virtualized and legacy applications running. Since 1998 BTS accumulated over 500 obsolete applications and 182 redundant IT components in its landscape. That is why BTS used Gartner's TIME (Tolerate, Invest, Migrate, Eliminate) model to measure and map the business value of applications (see Figure 1) and classify them accordingly for further actions.
Status of Application Portfolio Following the TIME Model
Source: BTS, Pinellas County
A large portion of BTS applications fell under the Migrate category in the TIME model portfolio. These applications are functionally correct i.e. they get the job done but are not technologically correct (not up to date). This is a reflection of the highly constrained budget environment in government agencies.
BTS also has an internal IT cooperative consisting of members from different IT departments who monitor external developments such as the introduction of new technologies in the market and emerging threats around cybersecurity. One of the key tasks of the cooperative is to build strategic alignment of IT across the enterprise by gathering input from all user groups. IT assets are then divided into 4 different categories based on their alignment with business services. Figure 2 shows the number of applications in 4 different categories of strategic alignment at BTS. A similar classification is also applied to the underlying IT components. This strategic alignment ensures that IT not only caters to the current needs of the enterprise but also readies itself for future challenges.
Applications by Strategic Alignment
Source: BTS, Pinellas County
BTS was able to proactively utilize LeanIX reports based on comprehensive datasets to guide their strategic planning, including the modernization of outdated infrastructure and ROI improvement of IT technology expenditures. BTS also achieved the following based upon its LeanIX implementation:
Centralized enterprise information services data repository
BTS now has a single source of truth for its developers, enterprise and solution architects, project managers, and infrastructure support for IT technology. All the stakeholders can access relevant information with a few clicks and no restrictions.
Established a structure to receive technology requests and plan roadmaps
The partners and customers of BTS now enjoy a straightforward structure to vet technology requests and assist in determining the priority and scope of projects. Reporting views within LeanIX assists IT analysis to create application and technology roadmaps. These roadmaps give technology leaders reliable information to operationalize their strategic decisions. The LeanIX portfolio views are also used by the IT finance and contracts unit to track technology product renewals, review the presence and validity of extended maintenance agreement investment, and perform analyses for streamlining software investments.
Identified vulnerabilities through technology risk management
After using LeanIX, BTS estimated it would be able to replace 45% of its end-of-life technology. The BTS team deployed an additional LeanIX workspace concentrating on application portfolio management (APM) for a refined portfolio of custom and off-the-shelf applications. For technology risk management (TRM), LeanIX has been central for the organization’s ransomware prevention project, Windows 10 device migration and application certification project, and also for uncovering 486 Windows 2003 servers for extended support.
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