Weigh in the advantages of procuring new information technology (IT) assets, and maintain an asset management system that details new IT inventory.
Washoe County’s experience implementing a comprehensive transit ITS program.
- Weigh in the advantages of procuring new hardware and software when feasible. RTC procured new servers and communications hardware as part of the implementation of transit ITS. The alternative would have been to resource or reuse existing equipment. However, preparing the existing hardware for RTC's comprehensive transit ITS would have required additional IT staff time. Also, RTC’s existing hardware was already partially through its lifecycle, so the legacy equipment replaced no longer had full retail value. The primary advantage of new hardware and software is that it allowed RTC to more quickly implement its transit ITS. Because it was new, the hardware was state-of-the-art and met all of the contractor's requirements. The hardware came without any potential issues such as bad components or viruses, and it did not require any reformatting or reconfiguring to prepare it for use in transit ITS.
- Plan for space and temperature management for new IT assets. With all new hardware, IT staff must plan for space and temperature management when implementing a new IT system. Rack spaces can be reduced by utilizing a special switch with integrated monitor and keyboard to manage several servers at a time. New cooling requirements may be necessary with the additional equipment. IT staff may also want to purchase workstations with small form factor casing to minimize the desktop and below-desk space of the system at dispatcher and other key personnel stations.
- Maintain an asset management system that details new IT inventory. When RTC procured its new hardware, it arrived as a single delivery with a single line item in the invoice. This complicated the tracking of the hardware and knowing where to assign each component. The issue of not being aware where each component belongs complicates future work. It is more difficult to track which components are operational and not in use, and which are due for lifecycle replacement. RTC IT staff recommend that an agency request line item descriptions of all hardware, whether they are procured through the transit ITS contractor or a third party. An asset management list is a means to identify each component, how it will be used, when it was procured and put into use, its current disposition and its lifecycle. The asset management list will help in planning the ongoing cost of hardware replacement. It also makes maintenance easier because the location and purpose of each component is known. Finally, an asset management list allows an agency to identify components that are being utilized or underutilized.
Author: Tina Wu, Matt Weatherford, Ancila Kaiparambil, Linna Zhang
Published By: Federal Transit Administration U.S. Department of Transportation
Source Date: May 2010
Other Reference Number: FTA Report FTA- NV-26-7005-2010.1URL: http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/RTC_ITS_Eval_Study_section508.pdf
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