IRS learns from experience

The Internal Revenue Service has a tip for agencies thinking about enterprise systems management: Don't do it on a piecemeal basis.

IRS officials tried to deploy enterprise systems management on a "decentralized fashion," said Jim Kennedy, program manager of enterprise systems management at the IRS.

For example, IRS officials approved the asset management group's installation of IBM Corp.'s Tivoli Inventory product, the transmittal control group's implementation of Tivoli Software Distribution and the telecommunications group's deployment of Tivoli NetView. That divide-and-conquer approach proved difficult to maintain.

"You can't do it that way," Kennedy said. A more unified deployment requires fewer resources to maintain the infrastructure, yielding a better return on investment.

Also, a unified approach is the "best way to ensure propagation and enforcement of enterprise standards," he said.

As a result, the IRS launched a centralized enterprise systems management organization as the focal point for management tool activity. For example, the enterprise systems management group deploys and maintains Tivoli NetView on behalf of the IRS' telecom group.

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