The modern approach to ICT infrastructure in any business is that it must be considered in the same way as other utilities such as water and power. It is important that from the onset, sufficient attention is given to ICT infrastructure in any new mining venture. Our approach to this is summarized below:
- Systems design follows operational, functional and business process design. In other words, when scoping and specifying ICT systems – it is important to establish and confirm the business needs and requirements, before considering systems infrastructure.
- Our approach in this regard will be to identify the high-level business requirements and processes. Then determine the information flows in relation to these processes.
- We normally decompose ICT into “wares”, including UserWare, ProcessorWare, SystemsWare, NetTelWare, DataWare, DevelopWare and ManageWare.
- We develop high level designs for these “wares” and determine the total cost of ownership (TCO), total value of ownership (TVO) and total risk of ownership (TRO).
- The high level design is transformed into a Information Infrastructure blue print, which then serves as the reference frame for the detailed stage of the project.
- Critical issues are identified for further action. These may include broadband access, telecoms issues, command control communication & information (C4I), process control standards, client ICT architectural standards, skills level, automation specifications, ICT & business process sourcing, and site specifics.
- Another important aspect in our approach in large multi disciplinary projects is to establish a project information system at a very early stage that seamlessly transfers to the Mine ICT system. Of particular importance are electronic document management and project management systems.