IBM CIO Office

Information governance transforms and simplifies delivery of technical support services

Published on 21-Dec-2011

Validated on 07 Oct 2013

"With InfoSphere technology, we can consolidate data stores, improve data quality and build better systems, faster. With faster access to technical support, we can help our clients reduce downtime, lower costs and improve productivity worldwide." - Cindy Maurer, Chief Data Architect for Technical Support Transformation, IBM CIO Office

Customer:
IBM CIO Office

Industry:
Computer Services

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
Information Governance, Master Data Management

Overview

IBM’s CIO Office wanted to improve communications and needed a data management solution to develop consistent terminology across the enterprise. This governance initiative would also help to identify opportunities for consolidating data stores, perform impact analysis, and determine the best data sources for business intelligence and data management efforts.  

Business need:
IBM’s CIO Office needed a solution to provide consistent terminology across the enterprise; identify consolidation opportunities; perform impact analysis; and provide support for business intelligence and data management efforts.

Solution:
IBM InfoSphere technology delivers easy access to metadata, consistent business-term definitions, and “where-used” capabilities across the enterprise, using enabling technologies to manage metadata and define the governance processes.

Benefits:
Provides consistent terminology to improve communication; identifies system consolidation opportunities to reduce costs; simplifies access to technical support; supports business intelligence and impact analysis efforts.

Case Study

Delivering business value, improving service quality and simplifying IBM’s business and IT processes are the shared goals of IBM’s CIO Business Transformation and Information Technology office. The IBM® CIO office comprises several groups that collaborate to create a single enterprise integration and governance model for improving operational efficiencies across IBM.

Toward achieving these goals, the CIO office is rolling out a new Master Data Catalog Management initiative. This initiative satisfies several key objectives. First, it provides a more efficient way to identify opportunities for consolidating data stores. Next, it supports impact analysis when data changes or the need arises to migrate to new data elements. Lastly, it provides vital information to help determine the best data sources for new business intelligence and data management efforts.

Simplifying the delivery of technical support services worldwide
Every journey begins with a single step, and the first project in the Master Data Catalog Management initiative focused on simplifying the delivery of technical support services to IBM clients worldwide. IBM’s technical support domain addresses all hardware, software and services for all clients. It offers solutions to problems and self-help for planning upgrades, obtaining downloads and more.

“The value of the Technical Support Transformation project lies in many areas,” says Cindy Maurer, chief data architect for Technical Support Transformation, IBM CIO Office. “Now, we will be able to identify many brand and geo-specific technical support systems that can be consolidated, making it easier for clients to find needed support and also reduce internal costs. The vision is to simplify our business and become a globally integrated enterprise; this means that our technical support process will be consistent, regardless of where a client is in the world or what product requires support.”

Defining terms provides a common language for improved communication
“One of our primary challenges was that we don’t speak a common language across the business and especially between the business and IT,” says Cindy Maurer. “We wanted to define the terms once and then reuse common terms in all our projects.”

The initial focus was on developing governance processes for defining business terms to improve communication between the business managers and IT personnel. In addition, the Support Delivery team decided to go one step further by defining a “where-used” capability to correlate terms with a physical implementation.

Cindy Maurer explains, “We used IBM InfoSphere® Business Glossary to define a consistent set of enterprise business terms and worked with the enterprise process owners or business representatives to refine and approve those definitions. After the definitions were approved, IBM Blueworks Live™ provided the process modeling capability to clearly document our process for business-term lifecycle support.”

Next, using a divide-and-conquer approach, the project teams assigned terms to physical data objects (tables and columns). A simple command uploads the assignments to the centralized IBM InfoSphere Information Server. Says Cindy Maurer, “IBM InfoSphere Data Architect enabled us to assign business terms to the physical implementation and create a correlation between the two. This correlation provides an enterprise-wide, ‘where-used’ capability that can help identify consolidation opportunities and support impact analysis.”

This enterprise view of metadata is also visible in InfoSphere Business Glossary Anywhere, an add-on to InfoSphere Business Glossary that displays the business definition of a term or category. One click on a word within any text-based application instantly displays the Business Glossary metadata associated with the word.

Lastly, IBM Blueworks Live was used to document the governance process. “Now, if a data attribute changes, we can ask questions like ‘Where is this particular data item used?’ and leverage this information to perform impact analysis,” says Cindy Maurer. “With our Master Data Catalog, we can jump-start new analysis efforts because we know the candidate data sources and can easily delve into the scope and quality of the data in each source.”

Delivering business value through governance
“IBM’s InfoSphere technology provides many intangible benefits, like data quality improvements and improved client satisfaction,” says Cindy Maurer. “But a key measurable benefit of this type of information management and governance solution is in consolidating systems and streamlining our application portfolios to lower development and maintenance costs, as well as ongoing support costs for those platforms.”

“What drove this project was the awareness that we did not have a common business terminology across the enterprise,” Cindy Maurer notes. “We do have several business simplification initiatives in play right now and it was obvious that we needed to have this common set of business terms and definitions quickly. We will continue to grow our business glossary across the IBM enterprise and then for strategic development efforts, we will start to rollout the “where-used” capability.”

Viewing IBM as a trusted support partner
“The objective of our Technical Support Transformation project was to improve the delivery of support services, and we are moving forward on what we call a Transformation Continuum to become the trusted support partner for all of our clients,” concludes Cindy Maurer. “Consistent user interfaces and quality data are essential for achieving our goals. With InfoSphere technology, we can consolidate data stores, improve data quality and build better systems, faster. With faster access to technical support, we can help our clients reduce downtime, lower costs and improve productivity worldwide—and that is what becoming a trusted support partner is all about.”

For more information
To learn more about these IBM information integration solutions, please contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/software/data/integration

To learn more about IBM InfoSphere Business Glossary, visit: ibm.com/software/data/infosphere/business-glossary

To learn more about IBM InfoSphere Data Architect, visit: ibm.com/software/data/optim/data-architect

To learn more about IBM InfoSphere Information Server, visit:
ibm.com/software/data/integration/info_server

To learn more about IBM Blueworks Live, download: www-304.ibm.com/cpe/download0/217317/BlueworksLiveBrochure.pdf

To increase the business value of your IBM InfoSphere software, participate in an on-line community. Learn about opportunities at: ibm.com/software/data/infosphere/community

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
InfoSphere Information Server, IBM Blueworks Live, InfoSphere Data Architect, InfoSphere Business Glossary

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2011 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America December 2011 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and InfoSphere are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at "Copyright and trademark information" at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates.