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Asset Management Maturity

  • 1.  Asset Management Maturity

    Posted 12-03-2021 12:57
    Dear all,

    I have a question for you. we are currently performing an asset management maturity assessment for our City and we are including IT in it. to do so, we are utilizing the readiness scale by FCM. Has anyone gone through this assessment and have they included all IT assets ? (hardware & software)? If so, are you aware of how to answer the outcome about O&M expenditure in case the equipment is being leased and not bought? Thank you

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    Thano Christodouloulis
    City of Regina
    Corporate Asset Management Analyst
    Regina SK
    Canada
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  • 2.  RE: Asset Management Maturity

    Posted 11-04-2021 06:10
    Hi Thano, good question. The Town of Newmarket is still a few years away from tackling IT assets but I'll be following this forum to see what can be learned. One way to start might be to look at whether your department has a help desk that creates service request tickets. Anytime we ask IT for help, the first thing they say is to submit a ticket. If you're lucky, IT staff may be tracking the time spent on tickets of different categories. If they have tickets but time isn't tracked, you could probably start at a high level by counting and categorizing different kinds of tickets (e.g. password resets, software updates, etc.) and quantifying the resource need. You could then compare this to the devices you have to see if certain kinds of devices drive O&M cost, what the impact of getting more devices will be to operating, etc.

    For IT asset, you may also encounter that many of the assets are below the capitalization threshold unless pooled. If they are low cost and your lease has low renewal cycle like two or three years, I definitely see the argument for carrying this as an operating expense. You may need to look at capital budgets more suited for larger one time expenses if there is big variations in what you need to spend on them year to year with demand and condition, but if they're leased this shouldn't be the case.

    Software is definitely a big challenge as you point out, and we haven't tackled this yet because we don't have a digital strategy. Changes in ERP, office suite, etc, software will have big impacts on your plans.

    Once you start to talk to your IT department, you will probably learn about the other assets and expenditures. We have things like server rooms, back up power sources, and privately owned fiber optic lines. A quirk of the Town is that the IT department is in charge of the electrical scrolling signs that show announcements to people driving by town Hall, instead of Public Works. For operating you could also look at things like the energy consumption of all your devices.

    Good luck and kudos for making the plunge into IT AM, you'll be paving the way for others in Canada.

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    Erik Wright
    Town of Newmarket
    Asset Management Specialist
    Richmond Hill ON
    Canada
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  • 3.  RE: Asset Management Maturity

    Posted 13-04-2021 01:15

    Hi,
    Last fall I finished a corporate AMP for City of Guelph where we did include the IT assets in the plan. 

    The IT staff provided me an inventory of hardware assets - counts of PCs, servers, monitors etc. This was straightforward to analyze - each IT asset type was given a lifecycle (typically 5 years) and a total value for the group of like types. So it was relatively easy to predict a capital cost cycle for IT hardware

    We also worked on software. A couple things came to light in this exercise:
    1)  the annual licencing fees for different software products are significant, and were considered as an annual operating cost.
    2) predicting the useful lifecycle of software was difficult because of how fast changes occur in the software world. What is working today may last another few years, or it may be replaced for some reason next year, making predicting the capital costs of purchasing the software hard to do. In the end we included a rough estimate for new software per year, without specifying what specific product it would be.

    We didn't worry about tracking time spent by IT staff answering trouble calls... I think that would be far too difficult an exercise. The annual costs for staff on the helpdesk are included in their annual budgets and we did not carry those labour costs in the AMP.

    Hope this helps,

    Kevin Nelson

    Analyst, Corporate Asset Management
    City of Guelph



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    Kevin Nelson
    City of Guelph
    Guelph ON
    Canada
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