Shrinking budgets, hiring challenges, and operational hurdles
Government agencies require a significant foundation of technical infrastructure to conduct their operations. From legacy solutions to citizen-facing mobile applications to sensors linked to the Internet of Things (IOT), today’s infrastructure support responsibilities require tailored methodologies, a diverse team of specialists, and supporting metrics to measure performance.
Before collaborating with CAI, our clients often have decentralized infrastructure organizations. Each area operates independently with its own objectives, workflows, methodologies, and processes. These disconnected environments lead to a lack of transparency, multiple redundancies, difficulty implementing centralized vision and leadership, and communication challenges across the enterprise.
In addition to operational hurdles, agencies are dealing with constantly shifting and shrinking budgets. In many states, the pandemic’s impact on Department of Transportation (DOT) technology budgets was unprecedented. Add the difficult task of finding and hiring qualified staff in today’s world to the pre-existing budget and operational hurdles, and the challenges multiply.
Methodologies, management, metrics, and modernization
CAI leveraged our proven four-element method when optimizing enterprise infrastructure organizations. This allows us to quickly transition responsibilities and stand up a team ready to provide optimized infrastructure support. Our approach also makes it possible to reduce risk and provide a smooth transition, with no impact on users. These processes are implemented in order and then iterated over the course of our engagements as part of our continuous improvement activities.
Element 1: Methodologies
CAI’s infrastructure support practices, policies, procedures, and tools are based on the industry’s best methods. We recognize that every client environment is unique, so we rely on our tailored methodology to achieve results. To enhance coordination and facilitate unified direction across a newly centralized structure, CAI implemented a proprietary technique that included the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), Project Management Institute (PMI), and DevOps approaches.
Element 2: Management
Our management process enabled the restructuring of an infrastructure group, realigning personnel to sub-teams and roles, removing impediments, and retrofitting best practices for key management tasks such as communication, oversight, governance, and tracking performance.
Element 3: Metrics
Properly crafted service-level agreements (SLAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) provided CAI and our clients’ leadership with valuable feedback on performance and user satisfaction. Much of technology is invisible to the naked eye; metrics provide an opportunity to visualize outcomes through numbers, graphs, and dashboards. Metrics also provide input to dedicated efforts behind continual improvement programs and problem resolution.
Element 4: Modernization
Once methodologies, management, and metrics were in place, we turned our attention to modernization. Every significant IT infrastructure operation has opportunities to yield savings and improved business service through modernization efforts such as licensing consolidation, platform convergence, and, where appropriate, migration to cloud providers and cloud-native platforms. Our approach brought these opportunities into focus to maximize the benefit to our clients.
Efficiency, satisfaction, and cost savings
At the start of our engagement, we worked closely with the DOT client’s leadership to rebadge 20 current contract staff members. This allowed CAI to focus on evaluating the current environment, identifying what needed to be improved, and implementing our approach without risking any impact to the current level of service execution. During this ramp-up time, CAI also reevaluated our client’s existing tools, teams, and technologies.
As part of the DOT infrastructure reorganization, CAI identified opportunities to consolidate platforms spread across multiple data centers and to consolidate licensing across database, web server, and middleware platforms. The outcome was cost savings, with further improvements in technology and staff alignment.
By “shifting left” and moving resources and resolutions closer to the customer, the DOT was able to drive cost reductions and customer satisfaction, as well as deliver faster results. This resulted in improved service to application and business teams. After aligning DevOps with the application maintenance and support teams, we were able to create and foster strong relationships with unified oversight across the enterprise.
Since transitioning support to CAI, the DOT’s IT infrastructure organization has experienced significant improvements and positive outcomes. Some of these are highlighted below.
If you’d like to discuss how we can do the same thing for your organization, please contact us to learn more about CAI’s infrastructure services and how we support transportation and tolling agencies.