IT Asset Management
An international telecom provider uses Ardoq as a central hub for their IT asset management documentation.
Due to their corporate policy, we are unable to name this company.
Telecom organizations have demanding needs for IT infrastructure and capabilities, resulting in vast, complex systems. Operational stability depends on the ability to quickly pinpoint problems and trace system dependencies to see what else is or could be affected by a change.
The company uses a CMDB tool to manage hardware assets, but found that it prevented them from adding the types of fields they needed, and generally had a naive representation of software. The tool did, however, prove to be a quality source of data with the most up-to-date information on hardware. To extend the data in the CMDB tool to be more informative about software deployments, the company runs a script nightly that pulls hardware data from the CMDB tool and software data from their continuous deployment tools, then combines them in Ardoq using our REST API. The result is a comprehensive, visual overview of their hardware and what’s deployed on it.
“We have a large dataset, and Ardoq helps us visually understand it. It’s also much easier to automate data import than in other Enterprise Architecture tools, partially because those tools enforce more rigid models.”
With the combined data now in Ardoq, their architects can get a holistic view of all current software deployments and their dependencies. If a problem is detected on a server, the following steps occur:
- Load Ardoq
- Locate the server having issues via search
- View the server in the Process Flow visualization, showing all its relationships to other objects (applications, data entities or servers)
- Visually follow the chain of relationships through their architecture to understand what systems, products and processes may also be affected.
In the interactive Ardoq presentation embedded below, you can replicate this process yourself:
In addition to asset management, the company is also using Ardoq to prepare for the new EU GDPR regulations by mapping business processes and company data to those applications from asset management. They implemented the model illustrated above in one workspace, and in another, business processes using the telecom standard eTOM hierarchy from the TM Forum Frameworx. The latter was implemented using Ardoq’s ArchiMate business layer template. By creating separate workspaces for these models, they were able to structure the data in each workspace in different ways, but still keep the data united by creating relationships between components across workspaces.
The telecom standard eTOM business process hierarchy, using an ArchiMate business layer model, as created in Ardoq. On the left are the components in hierarchy, on the right, the ArchiMate model.
To distribute this documentation to a wider audience, the company makes use of Ardoq’s Presentation Mode (as seen above previous image) to generate simplified, interactive views of the Process Flow diagrams and embeds them in Confluence – one page per system component – all automatically.
If an employee needs to find the people that are responsible for (or dependent on) a hardware or software component, that information is listed in a custom field in the data object in Ardoq. To make this information even easier to discover, the company is developing a Slack bot that will allow members in a chatroom to query Ardoq directly from the chat app and notify the responsible parties.
By using Ardoq for IT asset management, the company benefits from:
- The freedom to customize the data model to fit their specific needs, not conform to the rigid model hierarchies and rules common in other Enterprise Architecture tools
- The ability to get a visual overview of large amounts of business data, and to explore that data interactively
- The power to automate the import and export of data using Ardoq’s API, guaranteeing the information is up-to-date and eliminating the need for tedious manual documentation
- Combining disparate sources of documentation to create an up-to-date overview of their architecture from the business layers to the technology layers