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Is the measure of success in the railroad industry the reliability of the systems that keep the trains operating every day?
Unfortunately, many IT managers believe that this is the sole purpose of their jobs – keeping the systems up.
This paper was developed to provide general background to assist clients in decisions related to outsourcing IT.
Please note that this paper presents professional opinions intended to apply generally and that clients must take appropriate care to evaluate them in light of their specific needs. makes no representations, warrantees or guarantees of any sort as to the applicability of the opinions presented in this paper.
The common support components of a railway system are the tracks and switches, the power (electric or diesel), the signal equipment, the “rules of the way”, the terminal and yard crews, the train crews, the repair and maintenance organizations, and scheduling, to name a few.
The railway’s infrastructure is comprised of people and equipment dedicated to insuring that passengers and freight get to where they need to go safely and quickly, regardless of purpose or destination. The common supporting systems regardless of internal or external customer business requirements are communications (all media), computers, operating systems software, peripherals, standards, connectivity, maintenance, help desks, vendor management, technology architecture, and engineering.
But it is merely a pile of junk if not leveraged to achieve the end game.But when asked to qualify and quantify specific benefits, such as optimization of the network assets, leveraging the purchase of generic hardware, i.e., PCs, servers, routers, switches, etc., leveraging the maintenance contract services, or obtaining master software license agreements rather than individual or site agreements, there is relatively little empirical information at hand.The excuse, which in some cases may be valid, is that everything in the infrastructure has to be audited, consolidated, and then optimized prior to implementing an enterprise-wide reengineering effort to create a totally integrated IT infrastructure.The suggestion here is to minimize the tendency to use cost as a measure and focus on the desired end game even if it’s at a greater cost.Namely, what is the measurable value to the business units of IT infrastructure consolidation?
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More importantly, what is the impact on the customer?