Cost Reduction Techniques Employed by the University

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Information Technology Inventory
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Purpose

As the University struggles to meet the constraints of significant budget reductions, various options for cost reduction are being proposed that involve information technology. In some cases these propose to make additional use of information technology, in others to develop less costly services or to leverage existing services to gain institutional benefit.

The proposals for these initiatives either make assumptions about our current technology inventory or require an inventory and assessment as their first step. The purpose of the Information Technology Inventory project is to create a comprehensive view of the UCLA campus’ information technology deployment to support individual units’ activities to reduce costs, leverage existing infrastructure and to inform future decisions about technology investment and risk mitigation.

The shutdown of HVAC or electrical power in campus buildings may have severe consequences on locally maintained data centers, rooms housing servers and network communication rooms. Understanding where those rooms are located is critical to a reassessment of campus needs for 24/7 environmental conditioning and power. Presence of such equipment prevents a number of buildings from being “closed” during weekends or other recess times.

With computers becoming an ever more integral part of all institutional activities, the need for data center space continues to grow. Making space suitable for server rooms (appropriate environmentals, power and physical security) is extremely expensive, assuming that space can be found at all, which is increasingly a problem on a campus that is essentially “full.” Strategies for optimizing the use of the limited space available and, potentially, moving equipment off-campus require an understanding of our current inventory.

Regulatory compliance is becoming an increasing burden on the University at a time that available funding is decreasing. Solutions to these and other problems require an understanding of the current technology inventory, the applications that are being supported and future plans. The inventory ultimately supports decisions on capital expenditures, including network connectivity and technology life cycle refreshes.

The Information Technology Inventory initiative will take a broad institutional view. Starting by bringing the artifacts of earlier efforts together, the initiative will create an institutional repository that can be updated and/or extended as new information becomes available.

This institutional resource will enable all campus units to leverage the work done by others. It would form a consistent, campus-wide data source for such activities as planning for our institution-wide technology needs, evaluating the outcomes of different scenarios in disaster recovery and business continuity, developing appropriate electrical power and environmental control plans, or identifying areas where risks due to technological obsolescence must be addressed.

Project Objectives

Support of Institutional Initiatives that Require an Inventory as Baseline

The activities for the Information Technology Inventory support the response by the information and communications technology communities to initiatives such as reducing power consumption and improving the alignment of expenditures with our institutional objectives:

• The Campus Network Facilities Consolidation and Service Provisioning Regionalization initiative, which consolidates physical infrastructures within buildings and, through regionalization, reduces the number of primary network management groups utilizing a layered or shared service model.

• The Data Center Consolidation initiative, which attempts to find solutions to the lack of data center space on campus, the high cost of building...
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