Governance on demand

Roseville, Calif., manages IT portfolio with a software-as-a-service model

HOW DOES A CITY get control of more than 180 information
technology projects across 17 different operational organizations,
and do it fast? IT managers in Roseville, Calif., opted for
software as a service.


Under pressure by city council members to get a governance model
in place, IT managers selected an on-demand project and portfolio
management system from Innotas that they were able to implement
quickly.


On-demand software, or software as a service, lets users take
advantage of a payby- the-user model that does not require
additional hardware and infrastructure.


Located 17 miles north of Sacramento with an estimated
population of 104,655, Roseville is a full-service city government,
meaning it owns its electric and environmental utilities and has
financial, human resources, public works, public safety and transit
departments.


'It is a complex city, especially from a technology
perspective having to deal with all of those disciplines and all
the applications,' said Thomas Freeman, Roseville's
chief information officer. 'Some of them are enterprise, some
specific to a department and may not have much of a relationship
with other organizations. So from a centralized IT perspective, it
gets quite complicated.'


In 2006, the city council identified five organizational goals
for the next year and expected the IT projects to map to these
strategic initiatives.


'The plan was to make better decisions on investing our
technology dollars,' Freeman said. 'I figured that we
would need a project portfolio tool if we were going to get into
this IT governance ' that we needed to be a little more
sophisticated in how we dealt with projects.'


The city's IT department was working toward deadline to
have the governance process in place by June 2007.


'By Jan. 1, 2007, we were able to have all of our projects
in Innotas and we allowed our staff to go in and' work on
them, Duke Arakaki, IT lead for the City of Roseville, said.


Innotas provides a project and portfolio management tool, PPM
Starter Kit, that focuses on three areas, also known as PPM
Domains: managing supply and demand, prioritizing projects, and
delivering projects and applications.


A form builder and workflow engine provides users with a single
entry point to perform request management. The systems can track
and manage who is requesting a project, estimated costs, expected
cost savings and benefits, and apply objective scoring of requests,
Innotas officials said.


After projects have begun, users can manage them individually or
as a summary of programs.


Innotas contains Web services application programming interfaces
that let users tie existing systems and other applications into the
PPM software. For example, Roseville has pulled information from
Microsoft Project Management software that the IT department
already used into Innotas PPM to get a more consolidated view of
its portfolio inventory, Freeman said.


City officials estimated that by going the on-demand route, they
have saved between $400,000 and $500,000 in hardware and setup
costs.


'We saved some dollars because we had a more realistic
look at projects we were working on,' Freeman said.



About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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