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March 2012 Volume 12

IT service catalog not always necessary in a shared IT environment

At Liberty Diversified International Inc., which owns businesses in places as far-flung as Taiwan that range from paper manufacturing and office supplies to advertising, every IT resource that can be virtualized is. "The goal is to share as much of the systems as we can," said Alla Johnson, CIO since June at the Minneapolis-based holding company. A Multiprotocol Label Switching, or MPLS, wide area network connects most of Liberty Diversified's company locations. ERP systems are delivered primarily via tools from Citrix Systems Inc. Windows and Linux servers are on VMware. Johnson uses IBM BladeCenter technology to support that environment, and has a Dell Inc. Compellent SAN for storage. One thing Johnson doesn't use in her shared services shop? A traditional service catalog. "There was an attempt at a catalog about five years ago. The business didn't buy into it," she said. Instead, she is developing a strategic plan that lays out the services that will be available over the next three years and when they will be implemented. ...

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