SA Water embarks on three year strategic IT plan

Increased use of Web services

South Australian Water Corporation has embarked on a three year strategic IT plan to improve operations, staff productivity and customer service while minimising greenhouse emissions.

Central to the plan is the ability to monitor and manage key business applications by deploying Compuware Vantage.

This includes network management, systems management and the management of SA Water's key asset management and Web-based business applications.

SA Water's business applications communicate information which is vital to all aspects of the Corporation's operations, including identification and rectification of service outages and other faults, maintenance of assets, inventory management, human resources management, and reporting.

SA Water is responsible for supplying water and wastewater services to over 1.4 million people across the state of South Australia.

Its operations include water treatment and wastewater treatment plants in metropolitan Adelaide and regional South Australia, and managing the locks and weirs along the depleted River Murray, which supplies most of Adelaide's water.

With revenues exceeding $840 million and about 1300 staff, the corporation is committed to programs promoting water conservation, environmental flows, wastewater reuse and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

SA Water chief operating officer John Ringham said the corporation's key IT challenge was to make sure it had the right technology mix to ensure information could be shared and the right decisions could be made.

"This includes trouble free communications so we can deliver the right information at the right time and minimise disruption to our customers," Ringham said.

The new Compuware solution means SA Water can employ its skilled technical staff more efficiently, particularly when it comes to maintaining IT and communications services to SA Water's many remote offices, which has been challenging in the past.

"We have had applications where from one keystroke to the next it could be 5-20 seconds, which can be very frustrating for our staff. Now we can fix these problems without having to travel to remote locations," Ringham said.

The ability to identify and fix problems quickly increases the reliability and responsiveness of SA Water's key business applications, which are becoming even more critical as the water utility increasingly relies on IT to support the management of its infrastructure.

Through re-engineering its business, SA Water plans to manage a rapidly growing asset infrastructure with the same staff levels, conserve valuable water resources through reduced wastage, and exercise social responsibility by minimising greenhouse impact.

SA Water's greenhouse initiatives include its planned October 2008 relocation of its headquarters to Australia's first six green star energy efficient commercial building in Adelaide.

The corporation is also looking to replace its desktop computers with systems consuming as little as 4 Watts compared with the current 22 Watts, a potential saving of 16.2 kilowatts.

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