Hardware currency policy

Policy

Final | April 2016 | v2.0.0 | PUBLIC | QGCIO

Purpose

The policy states the Queensland Government’s direction in regards to maintaining the currency of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) hardware.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure departments define and implement suitable strategies for managing the life cycle of ICT hardware assets.

Policy statement

To ensure that the delivery of government services underpinned by information technology is reliable, low risk, cost effective and agile, the Queensland Government will reduce and where possible eliminate instances of unsupported ICT hardware. Unsupported refers to the situation where there is no longer vendor or third-party maintenance available to provide replacement components or field support.

Policy benefits

The policy will assist departments in managing the balance between cost and operational risk for ICT hardware and potentially increase the ability to:

  • maintain and possibly improve capacity to integrate with up-to-date technologies and to align with changing business requirements
  • ensure better vendor support is in place for ongoing ICT hardware maintenance, particularly during incidents
  • maintain alignment with skills available in the labour market
  • increase management visibility of the business risk associated with running on old or unsupported ICT hardware
  • reduce costs associated with ICT hardware procurement, support and training through consolidation
  • reduce costs, risk and complexity through supporting fewer ICT hardware models.

Applicability

This policy applies to all Queensland Government departments.

Where a department owns the ICT hardware, regardless of the location they are responsible for ICT hardware currency management. If a managed service is outsourced to another Queensland Government agency such as CITEC’s managed services, the ICT hardware currency is the responsibility of the service provider. In the event of outsourcing to an entity external to the Queensland Government, the department is responsible for covering the ICT hardware currency risk in the associated service contracts and service level agreements

Policy requirements

Policy requirement 1:    Departments must retire or update ICT hardware with a medium or high business impact before it reaches the end of service life support unless the Chief Executive Officer has formally accepted the risk of not doing so

Departments must retire or replace any ICT hardware asset with a high or medium business impact before it reaches end-of-service-life (EOSL) support by the vendor.

EOSL refers to ICT hardware that is no longer manufactured or supported. Terminology for EOSL varies between vendors, however most vendors will have an end of life (EOL) announcement stipulating when the manufacturing or product ordering will end followed by an end of service life (EOSL) that stipulates when support for the ICT hardware will end.

Advice

Business impact is defined and calculated using the Queensland Government ICT planning methodology; High refers to a score above 3.2 and Medium refers to a score ranging between 1.6 and 3.2.

Issue and review

Version: v2.0.0
Issue date: 4 April 2016
Next review date: April 2018

This QGEA policy is published within the QGEA which is administered by the Queensland Government Chief Information Office. It was developed by the Queensland Government Chief Information Office and approved by the Queensland Government Chief Information Officer.

Guidance

Further information

The Queensland Government Enterprise Architecture (QGEA) Policy on ICT hardware currency requires agencies to retire or update ICT hardware with a medium or high business impact before it reaches end-of-service-life (EOSL) support unless the risk of not doing so has been formally accepted by the agency.

EOSL refers to ICT hardware that is no longer manufactured or supported. Terminology for EOSL varies between vendors, however, most vendors will have an end-of-life (EOL) announcement stipulating when the manufacturing or product ordering will end followed by an end of service life EOSL that stipulates when support for the ICT hardware will end. The Hardware currency policy is supported by the Queensland Government’s ICT Planning Methodology and the Procurement and disposal of ICT products and services policy (IS13) and implementation guideline.

ICT planning methodology linkages

The recommended method for planning ICT hardware is through the Queensland Government’s ICT planning methodology. Activity A5 within the ICT planning methodology collects information about each of the agencies technology assets. A recommended structure for a technology assets register is provided in the ICT planning method which includes an ‘Anticipated End-of-Life or Next Turnover’ column. This column should continue to be used for the agencies expected end of life for the asset but an additional column documenting the vendor’s EOSL should also be included in the technology asset register to help in the assessment of the asset and development of the asset management strategies. Note that the ICT Hardware currency policy only requires that this EOSL be assessed for assets having a business impact of medium or high. An agency may choose to additionally provide EOSL information for all ICT technology assets.

The ICT planning methodology technology assessment of technical condition includes three characteristics that indirectly relate to EOSL. These are protection, vendor support and maintainability. It is recommended that in addition to these characteristics, explicit attention to EOSL is given during the A5.4 Analyse Technology Portfolio step of the ICT planning methodology.

The ICT planning methodology also includes a section on asset lifecycle (refer Section 3 - appendix I). This relates to the overall phase of use of a technology within the agency and doesn’t apply to the life of the specific versions of a technology product.

Formal approval of the ICT hardware currency plan

Recommended best practice is that identification of ICT hardware replacement strategies be done within the agency’s overall ICT work plan and not as a separate document. As such, ICT assets approaching EOSL should be identified within the technology profile and within the ICT work plan, and that approval of this be within the agency’s normal ICT planning approval process.


Last Reviewed: 04 April 2016

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