Yorkshire NHS IT buys into asset management

The IT organisation serving much of Yorkshire's National Health Service (NHS) has bought new asset management software (SAM) to give an accurate, compliant view of its diverse, distributed IT infrastructure.

The Health Informatics Service (HIS) provides IT services to 12 healthcare organisations across the South Yorkshire and Humber regions. It has purchased 6,000 seats of Centennial SAM.Suite from application and service management vendor FrontRange.

Formed from the merger of the two former services of Calderdale and Huddersfield HIS and Wakefield HIS in 2006, the service is established largely on a community-wide basis, leading it to struggle in knowing the number of devices its various networks support, their configuration and the software installed.

Hosted by the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation, the HIS also provides IT support and consultancy to the Yorkshire Deanery, Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Health Authority (SHA), Yorkshire Collaboration Agency and a number of Primary Care, Acute and Mental Health Trusts.

Previously, an engineer would have to be sent out to these varying locations to conduct a manual audit every time there was an asset report request. But this exercise would take weeks, by which time Neil Asling, The Health Informatics Service information management and technology (IM&T) portfolio manager said the information could be out of date.

"Often the work would be duplicated for different projects, as the previously collected data needed to be double checked or sometimes the data collector previously omitted the data required at this point in time," he said.

The HIS is now working with

SAMpartners, part of the Trustmarque Group, to use the SAM software to finally obtain a clear view of all activity on the numerous networks it serves.

Asling said: "We can now tell organisations exactly what is on their network from our headquarters, rather than spending unnecessary time and money on sending an engineer to a site to audit the IM&T estate. This has massive implications on our current expenditure, as it allows us to make much more informed and efficient decisions on all aspects of the IT infrastructure."

The software has also helped to solve the problem for NHS network support teams of obtaining and supplying information to GPs and has since been deployed to a large number of GP practices in the area.

It will also be used to help drive the adoption of IT information library (ITIL) processes within the HIS's service desk. And it has already helped avoid the issue of over-licensing, while the visibility it provides the HIS will assist in future investment and project decisions.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.