Solution monitors IT systems for strict regulatory compliance

Regulations are there for a purpose, but that doesn't change the fact that complying with them can be a real pain. Compliance management capabilities help companies execute a regulatory process by ensuring that IT applications, systems, and security measures meet specifications. By integrating compliance management with the overall enterprise architecture, companies can determine how IT changes...

12/01/2007


Regulations are there for a purpose, but that doesn't change the fact that complying with them can be a real pain.

Compliance management capabilities help companies execute a regulatory process by ensuring that IT applications, systems, and security measures meet specifications. By integrating compliance management with the overall enterprise architecture, companies can determine how IT changes affect compliance on a current and future basis.

“Following regulations requires access to a great deal of data,” says Erik Masing, CEO of alfabet , an IT enterprise architecture supplier. “Most of this data is gathered once a year and requires an entire staff to collect it. The process is costly and time-consuming. alfabet's planningIT system provides this information automatically.”

Since government regulations change frequently, compliance is a very dynamic process, adds Masing. “Any change in IT can have far-reaching effects, particularly in sensitive areas such as financial systems. It is common for a large organization to have as many as 800 applications throughout the enterprise, and nearly two-thirds may be changed every year.”

planningIT's modeling and analysis features and “what-if?” scenarios allow companies to determine what changes must be made to be in compliance.

“The system maps out which interfaces or applications need to be addressed, or what security measures must be included,” says Masing. “The difference is all these things are determined before solutions are implemented.”



alfabet’s planningIT enterprise architecture solution enables effective management of business and technology volatility in stage gates that pave the way to IT governance.

Typically, companies are trying to comply with a legislative policy, which demands doing something a certain way or following a specific procedure, says Robert Handler, a VP with Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Research . For example, a hazardous electronics regulation requires companies to track items for the duration of their life cycles and dispose of them in an eco-friendly manner. “Compliance systems should provide an audit trail, and also detect conflicts between projects,” says Handler.

Enterprise architecture systems such as alfabet's planningIT use workflow and simulation techniques to map scenarios against current and future plans.

“The system uses metadata to perform “what-ifs?” and visualize outcomes,” says Handler. “Users can see if results will be better or worse than the current environment. They may try lean techniques or Six Sigma to see how they will affect the long-term vision.”

Originating in Germany, alfabet opened U.S. headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., in May 2007. Users are large organizations in insurance, banking, manufacturing, telecommunications, and automotive.

The German railway, Deutsche Bahn , is one alfabet client that used planningIT for portfolio management and managing strict controls from regulatory authorities. The IT landscape of such a complex organization as Deutsche Bahn means when a component needs to be changed, it's necessary to consider all of the standards and interfaces it touches. The passenger transport division uses about 400 applications in total.

Deutsche Bahn had a low level of standardization since many of its core processes were developed in-house, and there was no overview of existing IT. Instead, there were numerous decentralized documents bearing on regulatory compliance, and steps taken included the consolidation of more than 650 Powerpoint slides, all of which had to be updated.

Because the division's applications weren't standardized, the flexibility and adaptability of alfabet's planning software was a big advantage during the structured inventory process. Close alignment of IT with business goals was the result.





Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
July/Aug
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
August 2018
Choosing an automation controller, Lean manufacturing
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me