Looking for Buy-in

Of course, none of this will come to pass if the 13 divisions at HHS don't

buy into it. But Burns believes the project has a good chance of succeeding

because Enterprise Infrastructure Management will centralize IT management

without changing the decentralized nature of HHS.

EIM essentially provides a management framework for divisions to plug

into, leaving each division in control of its day-to-day operations.

In some cases, HHS will look to install specific EIM-related technology

solutions across the department - for example, setting up a departmentwide

licensing agreement for a specific management package. Where divisions may

have existing solutions, HHS will require that those solutions be capable

of feeding information to the integrated monitor.

Burns hopes that individual divisions will drive some of the departmentwide

solutions. For example, if one division comes up with a good public-key

infrastructure solution, HHS may set it up as a model for other divisions

to follow.

Ultimately, EIM should free up the divisions to focus more on their

particular business and less on the support infrastructure. That's why some

people prefer to rent an apartment rather than buy a house: They would rather

have someone else worry about the plumbing so they can have time for other

things.

Burns believes EIM, by taking care of the support infrastructure, will

make it easier for HHS to move services to the Internet. EIM "is moving

us from being a systems-centric organization to a customer service organization,"

he said.

HHS aims to put EIM in place in all 13 operating divisions by 2003.

It will cost tens of millions of dollars to launch a full-scale version

of EIM, but, until that funding comes through, "we are starting now with

what we have," he said.

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