What other resources will it need?
Themes: Supporting non-ITS resources; Back-office; Human Capacity
The need for complementary non-ITS resources
ITS Systems will normally be supplied with all of the technical resources needed to perform their core functions (either from the supplier or otherwise obtained in the procurement process).
Nonetheless, it is inevitable that other technology resources must also be specified and procured or otherwise assigned. This is necessary for four main reasons:
- The ITS system may need to use or share some of the platform services of the entity/ies (e.g. servers, communications, operating systems). This could be because it is more efficient for multiple ITS applications to share platforms; or because the scope and user-base is broader than the ITS
- The ITS interfaces and exchanges information with the other IT, administrative and management systems of the entity/ies
- Many of the end-users have little or no direct interface with the ITS system itself, and use the ITS-generated data through IT or administrative applications
- It is cheaper or gives more flexibility to purchase other devices (e.g. printers, displays) separately from the ITS procurement
Additional technology resources
The requirements for these other technology resources need to analysed and specified. In some cases, new procurements are required, in some cases existing resources need to be augmented (in number, capacity, processing power), while in other cases some or all of the resources are found to be sufficient for purpose without further acquisition or enhancement.
In many cases the additional resources are standard and can be readily procured and installed if the need arises. However, the deployment and commissioning phase of an ITS system is a tense time requiring all expert resource available, so it is good practice to ensure that all platform and peripheral resource issues are already resolved.
The additional technology resources are likely to consist of:
- Communications (excluding the core ITS data/voice platform) including Control Centre and back-office telephones, Local Area Networks (LANs), Wide Area Networks (WANs).
- Servers (excluding those provided exclusively for the ITS) and other data storage, processing and back-up devices, either for the entire entity, or supporting individual IT, administrative and management applications
- Peripheral Devices such as PCs, display, printers, plotters, scanners,
- UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) units and other system protection devices
- Office software including commercial word processing, spreadsheets, database packages, report generators, e-mail
- Security software including access control and anti-virus
Additional Human Capacity requirements
It should always be borne in mind that additional technical resources will require additional human capacity (although not necessarily additional people) at four layers:
- End-users of the applications and data
- Software management and system integrity
- Maintenance, support and problem-solving
These requirements should always be assessed in parallel to the technology requirements assessment, and not as an afterthought.