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Real estate firm mixes IT management

Lend Lease Corp. plans to go live Sept. 1 with an IT overhaul

July 5, 2004 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Lend Lease Corp., a global construction management and real estate investment firm based in Australia, plans to go live Sept. 1 with an IT overhaul that will combine its worldwide network, systems and security management operations at a data center in Atlanta.
Lend Lease is overhauling 40 core management processes, installing 16 software products from six vendors and doing nearly all the integration work in-house, according to John Miles, the company's chief security officer. The company is replacing some off-the-shelf management tools, but much of the software that's being installed will add all-new functionality, Miles said last week.
The yearlong project, which was dubbed HighRISE, was prompted by several hard realities, including a 30% reduction in Lend Lease's IT staff during recent years, said Miles. Lend Lease has also made a series of acquisitions and divestitures that have left the company with an overly complex IT infrastructure, Miles said.
In addition, Lend Lease consolidated seven North American data centers into its Atlanta IT facility two years ago -- a move that wasn't accompanied by an upgrade of its technology management capabilities.
From a business standpoint, security, network and systems management are being converged now partly because Lend Lease wants to be sure it can handle competing corporate goals: opening up online processing of bids for construction projects in order to stay competitive in that market, while making sure that financial data from its investment business is secure. The $7 billion company's presence in the financial services market also requires it to be prepared for internal and external audits of its IT security capabilities and financial records, Miles said.
Miles and Lend Lease CIO Jay Skibinski, both of whom are based at the company's Shared Technology Center in Atlanta, wouldn't divulge the cost of the project. But industry analysts said the scope is very large, with the software costs alone perhaps amounting to more than $1 million.

John Miles, CSO at Lend Lease Corp.
John Miles, CSO at Lend Lease Corp.
The project timeline also is ambitious. Lend Lease developed a blueprint last November, chose its vendors in February and started the software implementation work in March. "One principle we agreed upon at the start was the need to fire once and do it right," Skibinski said.
Lend Lease is installing management tools from BMC Software Inc.'s Remedy subsidiary, NetIQ Corp., ManageSoft Corp. and M-Tech Information Technology Inc., as well as underlying technology from Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp.
Integrating the tools will let network operations engineers and help desk staffers use one primary system based on Remedy's software to "monitor all critical events and respond to


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