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/ / Business Consulting

Infrastructure and Shared Services Strategy

/ / Customer Challenge

A Middle Eastern central government office approached Synechron to help with its disaster recovery strategy. The government supported more than two million citizens and expatriates with a range of services and utilities. Dynamic population growth and rapid development in the provision of public and security services had resulted in more than 30 departments (ranging from emergency services through utilities, education and health care) creating a wide range of independent IT solutions.

Historically, departmental investment had been focused on supporting growth and new services, and not on the provision of robust disaster recovery (DR) or shared services platforms. Looking forward to its next period of growth, senior government officials recognised the need to improve disaster recovery and begin the process of standardisation to improve service levels and introduce efficiency.

/ / How Synechron Helped

Recognising the importance of securing the buy-in of stakeholders, Synechron established a structured project process to identify and engage with all the individual government departments. Each department was invited to an interdepartmental conference, followed by a questionnaire, and site visits. Through the process, Synechron reviewed existing production and DR arrangements from a qualitative, quantitative, and financial point-of-view. This information was used to assemble a view of:

  • Major gaps in DR provisioning and key areas of risk.
  • Demand planning for data centre space to service DR requirements.
  • The shared services opportunities and demand planning for these services.

From these details, we constructed a written strategy, including a demand and financial model. This was shared with key stakeholders. The strategy highlighted detailed options for the provision of the required data centre space (build vs. buy) and for the prioritisation of building platforms for shared services using a private cloud. Subsequently, Synechron has developed and issued an RFP for the procurement of the service bundles and the client expects to move to implementation later in 2014.

/ / Results
  • Stakeholder management in a federated environment
    Synechron established the right level of governance and senior management support for the project by engaging and educating stakeholders across government departments on the benefits of adopting more shared services and improving DR capability. Consolidating requirements and strategies for harmonisation Requirements between departments varied considerably on the basis of criticality, performance, security, and capacity. So previously, it was believed that consolidating was not feasible. Stakeholder engagement and education enabled the government to harmonise requirements and expectations, and clearly understand which groups of customers needed specific solutions.
  • Build vs. Buy: demand planning and financial modelling
    The projected cost of the investment over 5 years exceeded US$30m. Synechron identified more than 200 data points relating to cost, and accurately modelled these to allow the client to undertake scenario analysis and compare build vs. buy options. Of particular concern in the scenario analysis was the impact of delayed or reduced adoption by the departments. The financial analysis clearly demonstrated that the client’s initial preference to build its own data centre was more expensive and the business case would be significantly impacted by changes in both the speed and level of adoption. The same was true with the proposed shared services platforms.
  • A clear understanding of shared services
    Through a process of education, Synechron helped harmonise diverging opinions. The client also benefited from Synechron’s experience of:
    • Defining and architecting cloud-based services.
    • Incentivising adoption, and in particular the creation of cost transparency and charge-back mechanisms;
    • Real-world migration challenges.

    Synechron’s experience of working with clients to build and buy private cloud was also a great asset this informed strategic decisions relating to cost, complexity, and capability.

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