Service mapping helping COT better serve customers
Commonwealth Office of Technology is using Microsoft’s service mapping methodology to better understand the relationship between the state’s IT infrastructure and business services of state agencies.
Medium and large IT shops often get caught up in the detail of managing IT assets, but lose sight of the customer’s view of simply noticing that a service is not available, according to Daniel Arnold, assistant director of COT’s Division of Technical Services.
“The service mapping exercise helps us bridge a gap between managing our infrastructure and supporting an agency’s business,” Arnold said.
Microsoft recently created a service map for Epay, the state’s online credit card payment system that processes roughly $1.8 billion in transactions annually, Arnold said. That system handles transactions for hunting and fishing licenses, pharmacy board and nursing board certificate renewals, tax and revenue fee payments, among other services.
Epay support spans several state agencies, including COT and Finance Comptrollers, as well as external providers such as Kentucky Interactive and Link2Gov.
When Epay is not working, there are many possible points of failure, and it can be difficult to resolve quickly, but every minute of delay postpones revenue coming into our state agencies, according to Janet Lile, deputy executive director of COT’s Office of Infrastructure Services.
Using the Epay service map will allow COT and the partner agencies to locate technical problems with more precision and restore services more quickly for customers.
“It is a big win for us and a lot of agencies,” Lile said.
In a bid to reduce down time for the Epay system, Arnold said service mapping will allow the organization to better plan for maintenance and upgrades during times that avoid peak business cycles of the agencies, reducing the chance for unplanned down time or interruption of services to citizens.
Representatives from Microsoft also instructed COT and partner agency officials how service mapping can be applied to other single and multi-agency services, which will enable better understanding of the correlation between other agencies’ business and the technology which supports it, Arnold said.
“They gave us a ‘fish’ with Epay, but also taught us ‘how to fish’ so that we can apply these techniques to other services we support,” Arnold said.