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EXHIBIT 4.17 HARVESTING UNDERUTILIZED FIXED ASSETS
IT ASSET PORTFOLIO
and Intel-based systems are very low; therefore, harvesting underutilized fixed assets through the creation of an on-demand or a variable cost model is attractive and will be closely evaluated by companies.
Elements of the IT Asset Phase
Each individual gate and stage in the IT asset phase is not isolated and described in this section. Rather, an overview of the seminal elements of the IT asset phase is presented in this section.
IT asset portfolio reviews should be conducted at least on a quarterly basis. The authors recommend that all IT asset investments should be reviewed at this meeting. The reviews should incorporate:
• Status (forecast versus actual) of costs, schedule, delivery, staffing, budget, technical, change orders executed
• Ties to the current business and strategic objectives
• Impact on business performance
• Effectiveness of meeting original objectives
• Evaluation of service-level agreements and key performance indicators
• Client involvement and satisfaction
• Skill availability
• Risk and risk mitigation strategies
• Assessment of the portfolio mix
• Time required for issues to be resolved and number of issues outstanding
The capability to review the status of IT investments should be available to all interested stakeholders. A dashboard enables executives and managers to view the health of IT investments, question and challenge key areas, track metrics, and intervene where necessary. Some companies use color-coded green, yellow, and red lights to show the health of existing IT assets:
• Red indicates that the defined boundaries of acceptable performance have been breached.
• Yellow indicates risk of falling outside threshold levels.
• Green indicates the IT investment is achieving performance within acceptable ranges.
Leaders in web-enabled IT portfolio management tools provide automated alerts in the event that an asset declines in the color rating, enabling drill-down capabilities to determine the root causes, issues, and problems. IT assets such as
146 CHAPTER 4 IT PORTFOLIOS AND THEIR CONTENT IN CONTEXT
hardware, software, and infrastructure are scored against technical quality and business value. Based on how an IT investment scores against these two criteria, there are four quadrants that help decide the future of the IT investment: retire/consolidate, reengineer/modernize, reevaluate/reposition, or maintain/evolve. IT asset needs for new capabilities and identified gaps can filter into the IT discovery or IT project portfolio, thus creating a closed-loop process.
Infrastructure is a confusing term in IT. In the early years of information systems infrastructure connoted hardware. As more hardware functions become virtualized, more infrastructure is software. For IT portfolio management, consider IT infrastructure as the underlying foundation of services that enable business applications. The value of the infrastructure comes from the translation of infrastructure and applications into business value. The goal of the infrastructure portfolio is to enable performance, agility, efficiency, and cost reduction while keeping the infrastructure and applications current, aligning and balancing with the business and strategic objectives.
The infrastructure portfolio helps to organize information required for infrastructure planning and assessment. It captures real instance information (inventory) in a structured way (the template or reference manifest of components and other information) along with standards. The standards define the external and internal structure of the class of entities stored in the portfolio (which should include links to other portfolios). The infrastructure portfolio is decomposed according to:
• Components: define individual technologies and actual products, including hardware and software. Often organized by technology domains or platform layers such as network, server, security, storage, and so forth.
• Domains: group individual component technologies and actual products by technology and organizational affinity. Same as architecture domains and include common domains such as network, database, integration, and so on.
• Patterns: facilitate rapid mapping from business requirements to infrastructure designs and end-to-end component set selections. End-to-end ordered sets of components and services that match classes of applications.
• Services: represent a set of components physically implemented and reused as a single unit but not all components required for any single application (not a full pattern). Sets of infrastructure components are implemented and shared physically by applications. Common services include storage, identity management, transactional integration, and enterprise application integration.
The infrastructure portfolio determines the right mix of projects and investments, assuring that mission critical and business continuity systems remain fail-safe,