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Information Technology Objectives

We’ve established our Information Technology objectives for our 2009 fiscal year, which just started. Last year we used a fairly lengthy list of objectives in eight or nine categories. Although it gave us a useful view of all the things we wanted to accomplish, we found it somewhat hard to focus on a large number of goals.

This year, we are taking a simpler approach and organizing our objectives in four categories: Enable the Business, Grow Our Capabilities, Improve Process Discipline, and Deliver Financial Transparency. In each of these categories, we have a set of specific objectives. We developed measurements for the objectives at a recent IT leadership meeting.

The four high level objectives are designed to support the overall goals of Red Hat for the fiscal year. Within each, IT associates and their managers will establish goals relevant to their specific responsibilities.

Throughout the year, we will review our progress against the objectives and adjust as necessary.





Enable the Business

The specific objectives related to Enable the Business are fivefold. First we must deliver the projects we commit to the business and to our business partners. Second, we will develop target architectures for each business unit. Although we have established general architecture direction, this year we will be specific regarding our three year architectures.

We will also refine our customer data model during the fiscal year. We currently support more than one model, as instantiated by the major applications that hold customer data. This year, we will create an abstracted view of our customers that is better suited to our current and future requirements.

We will then instantiate that model as we improve and extend our data integration layer. We’re making a substantial investment in JBoss technology as a foundation for our new Enterprise Service Bus. (The architecture team has crafted a very nice conceptual architecture–more on that in a future post.)

We’ll build on our successful Zimbra deployment by consolidating mail services and adding mobile device support. And, we’ll deploy several new collaboration tools for the enterprise.

Grow our Capabilities

Continued development and career growth is important for our employees, so we will establish individual career development plans for each IT associate where they aren’t in place already.

We’ll work to further formalize our vendor management capabilities and enhance our information security policy implementation.

Finally, we will develop methods to further leverage the IT associates that work in 30 locations around the globe. This will likely involve a combination of better tools, improved communication, and better aligning work with the skills and resources available.

Improve Process Discipline

We are implementing three ITIL processes in FY09, specifically Incident Management, Change Management and Problem Management. As with many businesses, we’re also working to improve our Business Continuity Program.

Our developers have piloted Agile development techniques in the past year and we’ve experienced very positive results. As a consequence, we are going to invest in Agile in FY09 and make it a fundamental component of our development toolkit.

Finally, we’ve decided to formally designate an Application Maintenance and Support team. In addition to allowing us to better manage our application maintenance expense, this will allow us to focus on the application maintenance process and improving it independent of our development processes, although of course the two will interoperate consistently.



Deliver Financial Transparency

We are continuing to implement the financial chargeback model that we developed last year. We’ll improve the quality and the impact of the business cases for each Information Technology project and we’ll extend our project costing methodology.

Summary

FY09 will be a challenging year for Red Hat Information Technology, but we are excited about the prospects. In addition to the team goals noted above, we’ve also made commitments to Red Hat regarding Service Level Agreements and have started that work. I will keep you posted on our progress.