It Strategy Case Study

Customer: Defense Commissary Agency

Engagement: IT Transformation and Strategic Plan

Background: The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) supports the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) to achieve its business goals with the necessary systems, infrastructure and support personnel. OCIO has also identified a critical need to develop a comprehensive IT Strategic Plan that will enable the realization of its strategic goals and objectives, strong alignment of the business with effective and efficient IT support, align with the ongoing Business Transformation Initiatives, adheres to Federal and Department of Defense (DoD) Information Technology (IT) regulations, policies, and guidance and also integrates best practices into the environment.

As an extension, OCIO identified the need to define a staffing model that better aligns IT services with the transformation and an information technology (IT) portfolio analysis to review and identify the IT investment needs to support the transformation. DeCA engaged Peridot Solutions thru their BTA contract to assist with this strategic initiative.

Solution: Peridot Solutions has successfully performed the following tasks related to IT Strategic Plan, Portfolio Analysis and Organization Model for the CIO:

  • Performed an application portfolio analysis to understand the baseline information on technologies used, staff, user base, service requirements, budget, functionality supported and mission alignment for all the business applications
  • Conducted a stakeholder workshop to develop key initiatives based on the latest research, trends and best practices found in industry today.
  • Conducted an analysis to identify opportunities for integration and harmonization of IT products, platforms and services.
  • Established a baseline understanding of the products, services, service levels and quality of service provided by the OCIO.
  • Developed an IT Strategic Plan (ITSP) with a set of initiatives that are needed to align OCIO services with the business strategy.
  • Developed an actionable Implementation plan that takes the ITSP and translates it into reality.
  • Reviewed the current CIO organization to define a staffing model that supports the new acquisition strategy as well as aligns closely with business
  • Recommended an organizational structure for IT as a “center of excellence”, with strong management capabilities, increased business knowledge and best practices for managing performance-based contracts
  • Developed an implementation plan with actionable steps, timelines and transition activities
  • Developed and deliver an executive briefing that summarizes the engagement findings and recommendations.

Results:  An IT strategic plan with a roadmap that is actionable and aligned with the business mission. It is approved by the business and IT stakeholders and currently being executed.

Coca-Cola Enterprises is aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of its IT. Kevin Sirjuesingh, the company's director of IT strategic initiatives, speaks to Computer Weekly about the company's energy reduction strategy.

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In September, Coca Cola Enterprises released a report, co-authored by the Economist Intelligence Unit, discussing the benefits of sustainability.

At the time, John Brock, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, said: "We are proud of the progress we have made on our own sustainability journey, but the next era of sustainable business will be led by more meaningful collaboration."

Kevin Sirjuesingh, director of IT strategic initiatives at Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), is looking at IT’s role in the company’s sustainability strategy. 

He says CCE already works across its supply chain to focus on energy efficiency and sustainability, but believes IT needs to step up and focus on how it can contribute to the overall sustainability agenda.

Targeting technology's energy consumption

With 15% of the UK's total energy bill related to office equipment such as PCs, photocopiers, multifunction devices, servers and racks, IT equipment is a major contributor to CCE's carbon footprint.

"We need to monitor and understand our current energy consumption and figure out the top initiatives to reduce that," says Sirjuesingh.

From an IT perspective, he says energy efficiency involves everything from the front office to the back office.

And the small things matter, he says: "People are now turning off their computer monitors when they take the laptop out of the docking station."

Given the strong focus to make datacentres more efficient, in Sirjuesingh’s experience finding out actual power consumption data can be extremely difficult in a hosted environment. 

"Datacentres are somewhat streamlined in terms of their consumption," he says. "But when I look at the figures for datacentre hosting with our supplier, CCE's energy footprint is based on square footage in the datacentre, which is a nonsense figure."

Sirjuesingh says some of CCE’s suppliers have a floor space charge and do not measure the energy consumption by device. "They look at the equipment in the square footage and build that into the hosting cost, which does not seem accurate in terms of the power usage."

CCE plans to work out the energy consumption of its in-house systems, and will also work with its hosting providers to drill down to get energy data, which is important for the company to meet its Carbon Reduction Commitment.

Energy metering and management

Once CCE's IT department understands the energy required to provide IT services, Sirjuesingh says the company will focus on targeting energy reduction. 

"We will also look at further staff training and awareness, server consolidation/virtualisation and retirement of legacy applications," he says.

But CCE plans to go further, according to Sirjuesingh. 

We need to monitor and understand our current energy consumption and figure out initiatives to reduce it

Kevin Sirjuesingh, Coca Cola Enterprises

"For our workstation strategy we will look at the people in our salesforce and ask whether they need a laptop or a low-powered device like an iPad," he says. Trials are already underway.

Some of the basics to manage power on the desktop include configuring power management to turn off laptops and desktops after a period of inactivity and using "wake on LAN" to switch on the PC if software needs updating.

Reducing technology's carbon footprint

Coca-Cola Enterprises is taking a two-pronged approach to improving IT's carbon footprint. 

"We will put [energy] metering in our IT environment to start pulling energy consumption data from devices," says Sirjuesingh. "The software works a bit like a network sniffer. It will be able to look for and identify devices connected to the company's IP network by interrogating the device's firmware. He says the tool will work both on endpoint devices and within CCE's datacentres where required.

At the back end, he says CCE will use a hardware asset database that will contain data such as manufacturer specifications for the device, which will include the manufacturer’s stated energy data. "We could identify that a particular iPad 3, which is connected to the company's network, has been powered on for X number of hours and it will have a [known] energy consumption rate."

The Energy Manager Association (EMA) will also provide data to CCE to help it determine the energy consumption of devices that are not on the network. 

Raising energy efficiency awareness among staff

CCE is starting a programme this quarter to train its IT staff in energy efficiency. It is the first IT department to sign up to the Low Energy Company initiative, which was launched at the start of October.

"Broadly speaking we want to achieve an awareness of energy consumption," says Sirjuesingh. "In the first quarter of 2014 we will expand training further. We at least want to be in a position where we can train the trainer and get it right throughout the IT organisation."

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