The Client, a leading insurance company, needed to centralise the management of its corporate Business Intelligence technologies as part of a single IT Operation service..
Technology Reply took on this challenge and developed a service which, after only a few years, was faced with the need to manage the infrastructure of an increasing number of technologies, widely different from each other and involving the full infrastructure stack, from the back-end to the front-end.
The client soon understood that the technological diversity prevented the service from responding to common operational and governance needs quickly and consistently, regardless of the specific technology. Often, answering very simple quantitative and qualitative requests (e.g. how many objects are being managed, how many users are using the platforms) became a manual exercise closely tied to specific, in-depth knowledge of each individual technology.
The problem was exponentially amplified when faced with tasks of increasing complexity, yet normal for any technological context: platform upgrades, decomissioning of objects, impacts of any maintenance work.
Technology Reply’s strategy therefore focused on rendering the management of each technological area homogeneous, in order to reduce response times associated with operational requests on all levels, from troubleshooting to more complex service management issues.
The most tangible benefits of the solution were:
The answer involved the design of a centralised Integrated Business Intelligence Management tool, which has made it possible to rationalise and normalise the metadata harvested from each technological repository.
The tool follows a design pattern very similar to that of a canonical data warehouse: relying on specific extractors that interact with the product APIs, a single database is fed, in which the data corresponding to each technology is standardised to conform to the same structure.
The software is not just a common database, it facilitates the navigation of the data by taking advantage of the relationships and the application dependenciesexisting between them. The search for these relationships was driven so far as to enable cross-technology application analysis, typically difficult to conduct between inhomogeneous repositories.
The Integrated Business Intelligence Management solution is a living tool that continues to grow in terms of the number of objects and relationships managed and is incorporating new requirements, not only technological, which the IT Ops Service is acquiring as a result of ongoing organisational changes. The solution in fact is proving to be a strategic tool capable of providing useful information even to non-technical staff.