Company IT systems catalog
You can immediately answer the question, how many IT systems do you have in your company? Until recently, we also could not. Therefore, now we will talk about our approach to building a single list of the company's IT systems, which was needed to solve the following problems:
- A single dictionary for the entire company. An accurate understanding for the business and for the IT systems of the company.
- The list of responsible. In addition to obtaining a list of IT systems, it was necessary to understand the responsibility for each system, both from the IT side and from the business units.
- Classification of IT systems. On the part of IT architecture, it was necessary to classify existing IT systems according to the stage of development, according to the technologies used, etc.
- Calculation of costs for IT systems. First you need to understand what IT systems are, then come up with an algorithm for allocating costs. I have to say right away, we did a lot on this point, but more on that in another article.
Immediately answer the question from the headline - how many IT systems in the company? During the year, we tried to compile a list, and it turned out that 116 IT systems were recognized (that is, for which it was possible to find those responsible in IT and customers among the business).
Whether it is a lot or a little, it will be possible to judge after a detailed description of what is considered an IT system in our country.
First of all, all IT departments were asked for lists of IT systems that they support. Further, we began to bring all these lists together and make unified names and encodings. At the first stage, they decided to divide IT systems into three groups:
- External services.
- Information Systems.
- Infrastructure services. This is the most interesting category. In the process of compiling the list of IT systems, software products were found that use only the infrastructure (for example, Active Directory (AD)), as well as software products that are installed on users' local machines. All these programs have been allocated to infrastructure services.
Let's consider each group in more detail.
External services are IT systems that do not use our server infrastructure. A third-party company is responsible for their work. These are, for the most part, cloud services and external APIs of other companies (for example, payment and fiscalization services for checks). The term is debatable, but it was not possible to come up with a better one. We recorded all borderline cases in “information systems”.
Information systems - installations of software products that the company uses. In this case, we considered only software systems that are installed on servers and provide the interaction of many users. Local programs that are installed on employee computers were not considered.
There were some subtle points:
- For many tasks, microservice architecture is used. Microservices are created on a common platform. We thought for a long time, to separate each service or group of services into separate systems. As a result, they allocated for the system, took the whole platform and called it MSP - Mvideo (micro) Service Platform.
- Many IT systems use a complex architecture of clients, server, databases, balancers, etc. We decided to combine all this into one IT system, without separately highlighting such technical parts as balancers, TOMCAT and much more.
- Technical IT systems - such as AD, monitoring systems - were allocated into a separate group of "infrastructure services".
This includes systems that are used to operate the IT infrastructure. For instance:
- Access to Internet resources.
- Data archiving service.
- Backup service.
- Instant messengers.
- Active Directory
- Email service.
All programs that are installed on users' local machines, we refer to the "Workplace".
On the set of services, the discussion is not over yet.
First step result
After all the lists received from the departments were summarized, we received a general list of the company's IT systems.
The list was single-level, i.e. we did not have subsystems. This complication of the list was postponed for the future. In total, we did:
- 152 information systems and external services.
- 25 infrastructure services.
A huge plus of this directory is the fact that in addition to the list of IT systems, a list of responsible employees for each of them was agreed.
The list had a number of disadvantages:
- It turned out to be one-level and not completely balanced. For example, the store system was presented in the list of 8 separate modules or systems, and the site as one system.
- The question was, did we get a complete list of IT systems?
- How to keep the list up to date?
Transition from a single-level list to a two-level list
The main improvement that was made in the second stage is the transition to a two-level list. Two concepts were introduced:
- IT system.
- IT system module.
To the first, we included not only individual installations, but logically connected systems. For example, previously the web reporting system (SAP BO), ETL and storage were listed as separate IT systems, and now we have combined them into one system with 10 modules.
After such transformations, 115 IT systems remained in the catalog.
Search for unaccounted IT systems
We solve the problem of finding unaccounted for IT systems by allocating the costs of IT systems. Those. the company has created a system for distributing all department payments to IT systems (more on this in the next article). Now we monthly review the list of IT payments and assign them to IT systems. At the very beginning, a number of paid systems were found that did not appear in the registry.
The next step is the introduction of a unified platform of IT architecture (EA Tool) for development planning.
IT systems classification
In addition to compiling a list of IT systems and identifying responsible employees, we are engaged in the classification of IT systems.
The first attribute of the classification that we introduced is the stage of the life cycle. So a single list of systems that are being implemented and which are planned for decommissioning appeared.
In addition, we began to track the vendor life cycle of IT systems. It is no secret that software products have different versions, and suppliers support only certain of them. After analyzing the list of IT systems, those were identified whose versions are no longer supported by the manufacturer. Now there is a big discussion of what to do with such programs.
Using the list of IT systems
What we use this list for:
- In the IT architecture, when drawing the landscape of the solution, we use the uniform names of IT systems.
- In the payment distribution system for IT systems. So we see the total cost of them.
- We are rebuilding ITSM in order to maintain information in each incident about which IT system the incident was detected and in which it was resolved.
Since the list of IT systems is confidential information, it is impossible to bring it here in full, we will show the visualization.
On the picture:
- Green indicates the modules of IT systems.
- In other colors departments DIT.
- IT systems are tied to the managers responsible for them.