What comprises the IT portfolio management component area of the complete meta data model?
This column is adapted from the book "Universal Meta Data Models" by David Marco & Michael Jennings, John Wiley & Sons.
In the last installment of this series, we began taking a deeper look at the complete meta data model by focusing on the enterprise systems component. In this month's installment, we will continue our examination with the information technology (IT) portfolio management component area of the model and the various subject areas that compose this portion of the model.
IT portfolio management is the administration of an organization's IT assets. IT assets are items that are required by the organization's IT group to help run the business. These items include IT projects (maintenance and new development), software, hardware, middleware, internal staffing and external consulting. The IT portfolio management component supports management of these technology assets as a business function of the enterprise. Information technology is an ever-increasing and complex undertaking that requires its own databases and applications just as much as any other functional area of the business. In the era of e-business and electronic integration of business processes, information technology increasingly affects the success or failure of the enterprise.
At first review, the entities of the IT portfolio management component may not seem like meta data. Entities such as software, hardware, projects, vendors and others are real objects in the enterprise that are used similarly as human resources, accounts, vehicles and databases. They have a direct relationship with more recognizable categories of meta data (databases, tables, flat files, mappings, messaging) that are planned and managed together. IT portfolio management entities are a required component to the complete meta data model to understand and manage the data, messages and transactions of enterprise information systems; therefore, this component is an integral part of the MME.
The IT portfolio management component encompasses five subject areas. The service management subject area covers the overall interrelationship of hardware, software, network and database components that compose systems, the users who access those systems, user expectations for levels of service and events that affect those systems or that service. The software management subject area details the computer programs of the enterprise and their relationships to each other, data and other system components. The hardware and network management subject area details of the physical devices and communications links of IT. The project portfolio management subject area covers the major information objects of IT work initiatives and their resources. The data quality management subject area supports the definition of data quality metrics, the recording of specific measurements and the reporting of data quality exceptions to the business.
The service management subject area covers the interrelationship of hardware, software, network and database components that compose systems; the users who access those systems; their expectations for levels of service; and events that affect those systems or that service. The core of the model is a SYSTEM. A SYSTEM is a logical aggregation of multiple components that together have a distinct identity for enterprise use and management. The SYSTEM entity has defined relationships with HARDWARE UNIT, SOFTWARE MODULE, DATA PACKAGE and NETWORK entities. The components of SYSTEM can also be interrelated to one another. A SOFTWARE MODULE is deployed onto one or more HARDWARE UNIT(s) in one or more ENVIRONMENT(s) and then designated as DEPLOYED SOFTWARE MODULE(s). Systems, software, databases and networks can have identifiable physical locations residing on HARDWARE UNITs. A SYSTEM also has a few additional subsidiary objects. Information about who is authorized to access a system is recorded in SYSTEM USER, a relationship between SYSTEM and PERSON. Service management also supports the management and delivery of services by IT, using SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTs and SYSTEM SERVICE EVENTs. The interplay of human and machine is captured in SYSTEM SERVICE EVENT ROLE through the relationship between SYSTEM SERVICE EVENT and PERSON.
The software management subject area of the IT portfolio management component describes the computer programs of the enterprise and their relationships to each other, data and other system components. The center of the model is the SOFTWARE MODULE. A SOFTWARE MODULE is deployed on a HARDWARE UNIT in an ENVIRONMENT and thereby designated as a DEPLOYED SOFTWARE MODULE. A SOFTWARE MODULE can be deployed in multiple ENVIRONMENTs and on multiple HARDWARE UNITs; one SOFTWARE MODULE can have multiple instances of DEPLOYED SOFTWARE MODULE. A SOFTWARE MODULE can have a programmatic relationship with other SOFTWARE MODULEs, depicted in SOFTWARE MODULE USAGE. A SOFTWARE MODULE may be either custom-developed internally in the enterprise or purchased as commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software supplied by a VENDOR. The software management model also specifies the relationship of DEPLOYED SOFTWARE MODULE to data objects, specifically DATA GROUPs and DATA PACKAGEs. A DEPLOYED SOFTWARE MODULE may access more than one database or file (DATA PACKAGE) as reflected in the relationship of DATA PACKAGE DEPLOYMENT. Similarly, a DEPLOYED SOFTWARE MODULE has an associative entity with DATA GROUP, specifically DEPLOYED SOFTWARE MODULE-DATA GROUP.
The hardware and network management subject area provides a detailed description of the physical devices and communications links of IT. Unlike most entities in the MME, a HARDWARE UNIT is a physical item. A HARDWARE UNIT resides in a particular LOCATION within the enterprise. A HARDWARE UNIT also has a recursive relationship to itself, supporting a hierarchy of HARDWARE UNITs. A HARDWARE NETWORK CONNECTION depicts the relationship between HARDWARE UNIT and NETWORK, reflecting that a HARDWARE UNIT can connect to more than one NETWORK; conversely, more than one NETWORK can connect to a given HARDWARE UNIT. The NETWORK itself bears a variety of information items independent of it hardware components.
The project portfolio management subject area includes the major information objects of IT work initiatives and their resources. The primary entity of the subject area is, of course, PROJECT. The model is not intended to support a comprehensive project management tool. It supports project-related analysis and reporting in connection with other aspects of the IT portfolio. The MME complements the enterprise's project management tools. Such tools are used operationally at the individual project level, while the MME supports the management of projects at a portfolio level. Much of the data in the project portfolio management subject area of the MME may, in fact, be imported directly from project management tools. Other than the PROJECT itself, the other pivotal entity of the project portfolio management model is the project resource (PERSON). Fully half the entities in this subject area support the identification of staffing resources -- planned or actual -- needed in support of IT projects or their components.
The data quality management subject area supports the definition of data quality metrics, the recording of specific measurements and the reporting of data quality exceptions to the business. This subject area is designed to support data quality measurement processes that use the quality criteria recorded here. The hub of the data quality subject area is DATA QUALITY METRIC, where specific, quantifiable criteria for measuring data quality are defined. DATA QUALITY METRIC has an optional relationship to the enterprise systems component to denote the fact that the data quality criterion to be measured may apply to the DATA PACKAGE subject area.
The DATA QUALITY METRIC defines the data quality criteria to be measured. The metric criteria may involve acceptable field values or other element characteristics taken from DOMAIN or DOMAIN VALUE, or may be arithmetic functions performed on sets of data. The DATA QUALITY METRIC may define much more than valid value range checks. DATA QUALITY MEASUREMENT represents the results of performing the DATA QUALITY METRIC at a particular point in time, hence the multiple instances of measurement allowed to a single instance of metric. Measurements that meet the quantitative criteria defined in DATA QUALITY METRIC are deemed acceptable and given appropriate scoring. When a DATA QUALITY MEASUREMENT detects exception conditions, certain individuals must be notified. These individuals are specified in a NOTIFICATION GROUP, which is a set of PERSONs identified as contacts in the event exception conditions are found on a particular metric.
In next month's installment of this series, we will take a closer look at the business rules, business meta data and data stewardship component area of the complete meta data model.
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