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Assuring That Your IT Budget Provides for RAS

As the leader of an IT organization, it's up to the CIO to make sure that the budget has ample production support services to attain RAS. Many application promotions become disasters because they're created without regard for budget costs and the additional overhead for production services.

Many costs are incremental and therefore not full costs. They must be budgeted as full costs. For example, the addition of an application to the production portfolio may only add a workload equal to .5 fulltime equivalent (FTE) persons in the Database Administration support group. Unfortunately, unless the organization has an arrangement with a part-time DBA service provider, the cost of support will grow to one FTE, or the existing staff will be faced with the added burden without increased personnel. In some cases, this may be handled with a budget cycle with overtime dollars, but it's not recommended.

The CIO must oversee the budget cycle or delegate this responsibility to someone in the organization. Either way, you need to include this budget checklist:

  • Operational process design, implementation, and ongoing support.

  • Implement a production control function for infrastructure QA to preserve RAS.

  • An infrastructure development workshop for key technical staff and management from the infrastructure development and support organization, facilitated by an external consultant. The primary objective of this workshop is to identify and prioritize the issues/recommendations and to get buy-in throughout the organization with a common game plan.

  • Training costs, especially flexibility in calendar assignments so that staff can attend classes.

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