One ring to provision them all
Building a platform for windows applications provisioning
What’re we doing?“We’re creating a standardisation platform for the provisioning of Windows based applications for end users, as well as their user IDs and access rights. Provisioning is something organisations need to do often, and it need to be done well even though it’s fairly routine. Automating the process can save a lot of time and effort.”
Who’s involved and what do they do?
“There’s our lead architect who’s responsible for the overall IT infrastructure architecture - he’s the linking pin to the IT departments in the other organizations. Then there’s the PM, responsible for – of course –planning, budget and delivery; we also have a solution architect / designer who does precisely what it says on the tin.
Then there’s several engineers who are responsible for the detail technical design and configuration, a tester team and customer site coordination, a manager Ops as the designated executive.”
What’s in the bag?
“We’re deploying several technologies for the platform. There’s Citrix on Windows servers to create the scalable and flexible application platform itself; then Microsoft TFS/Release Manager, to automatically provision the application code; finally we use Microsoft Active Directory and Microsoft Identity Manager for user ID provisioning and authorizations.”
Sounds like a walk in the park. Is it?
“Not from the business end, no. What’s complex is everybody wants their own standard, while the organisation as a whole wants standardisation. Secondly, the solution can’t be too advanced because it has to support several legacy applications. To compromise between the different stakeholders and their different views and viewpoints can be somewhat demanding.”
"Where the project gets tough is where I start having fun: the process of reaching a common view and finding the compromise with the different stakeholders without straying too far from that view."
And how about the technical end?
“Technically the project has been quite straightforward. Once we reached consensus about identity provisioning, that is.”
What are we looking at so far?
“The Citrix platform has been built, tested and upgraded to the latest version. Done. The identity solution has been designed and built and the first connections are currently being made. Application deployment is in place. We have several clients testing the solution and expect to start migrations in several weeks.”
Which results are expected to be achieved in the coming three months?
“Connections to the identity hub should be build by then, and applications will have been tested. We'll expect around 500 concurrent users within 3 months and 1,000 by end of this year.”
What do you like most about this project?
“Where the project gets tough is where I start having fun: the process of reaching a common view and finding the compromise with the different stakeholders without straying too far from that view.”
Anything you’d do differently next time?
“Arriving at consensus takes time. So does establishing the proper conditions to begin design and implementation with. I’d probably allow ourselves to take more of that time, next time around.”
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