Enterprise-wide Perspective At Mesa Water District Transforms IT Systems

Mesa Water District provides water service to 108,000 California residents in an 18-square-mile area that encompasses most of the city of Costa Mesa, parts of the city of Newport Beach and some areas of Orange County, including John Wayne Airport. To better serve its customers, Mesa Water is engaged in an organization-wide transformation of its operations.

Meeting The Needs Of California Residents

A safe, abundant and reliable water supply is the lifeblood of every community. And in a time of severe drought in California, proper management of water resources has become more critical than ever before. To address this challenge, Mesa Water recently reorganized its operations to employ a metrics-based system. The system quantitatively measures parameters like quality of service and efficacy of operations to see how well they meet Mesa Water’s strategic objectives. The district identified information technology (IT) as one of the key functions determining how well it can serve its customers.

By relying on T2 Tech’s expertise, Mesa Water was able to establish and operate a cutting-edge IT system without making costly investments in building a large technology support staff.

Challenges With IT Visibility

Like other utilities that have grown rapidly over time, Mesa Water faced challenges in taking advantage of the latest developments in technology. The organization’s data servers needed to be addressed, including getting them resized in order to streamline costs. Furthermore, because of the speed of technological innovation, some of the district’s equipment becoming dated Mesa Water knew that it needed to rethink its approach to IT, but the organization needed to consider how to make changes without the burden of building and maintaining a large tech department or incurring excess costs.

When selecting a partner to build an IT system that would allow them to meet their objectives, T2 Tech was the clear choice. T2 Tech was able to efficiently establish and adapt processes that worked well within Mesa Water’s existing procedures and requirements. This provided considerable value.

“For Mesa Water, ensuring the supply of clean drinking water is not just our primary strategic objective, it’s the reason we exist,” said Paul E. Shoenberger, general manager for Mesa Water. “When selecting a partner to build an IT system that would allow us to meet this objective, T2 Tech was
the clear choice. T2 Tech was able to establish and adapt processes that worked well within our existing procedures and requirements.”

Assessing The Status Quo

The project commenced in early 2014 with an evaluation of Mesa Water’s IT business strategy and a comprehensive assessment of its infrastructure. In the evaluation and assessment work, they examined all elements of the system, including the network, computers and backup. T2 Tech also performed a gap analysis that revealed the highest risk factors in the Mesa Water IT system and outlined a best-practices design and operational model for the company’s technology.

A Complete Transformation

At the start of 2015, T2 Tech was tasked with transforming Mesa Water’s IT infrastructure. T2 Tech took a four-level approach to the project. The first level involved transforming and cleaning up the data center. Second was putting in place a redundant network that could deliver the performance and reliability required to support the traffic. The third step was looking at the compute power, level of virtualization, and optimizing it in a redundant way. Fourth was reducing the amount of storage used and streamlining how it was backed up and maintained to ensure a reliable architecture.

In parallel with this work, T2 Tech provided knowledge transfer for Mesa Water’s IT staff on the changes. Major work on this project was completed in August 2016.

Gaining Greater Efficiency

Amid the current drought, water districts throughout California are facing a decline in revenue. This situation makes it critical for state water utilities to hold costs down and improve services by attaining maximum efficiency in their operations. T2 Tech’s program to update and streamline Mesa Water’s IT operations represents an important element in the district’s efforts to improve efficiency and contain expenses. Importantly, by contracting the upgrade work out to T2 Tech, Mesa Water has been able to build and operate an up-to-date IT system without making costly investments in building a sizeable IT staff.

Project Management And Governance Provide A Framework For Success

At the beginning of the project, T2 Tech Group identified certain levels of governance required to facilitate the management of Mesa Water’s IT infrastructure transformation, and they identified the governance needed to improve on some workflows in the existing operations. In order to improve operations, T2 Tech facilitated Mesa Water management’s implementation of dashboards and controls. These tools gave the organization the ability to measure the success of the transformation and subsequent procedures.

T2 Tech’s comprehensive approach to building IT systems allowed Mesa Water to view its operations from an enterprise-wide perspective, rather than narrowly focusing on specific technology segments. This enabled Mesa Water to monitor the performance of its entire IT environment and measure how well it is meeting its strategic goals. The utility now has end-to-end insight into their IT operation’s performance and results. With this information, Mesa Water is better equipped to make headway on its goal of providing the best possible water supply to customers throughout the region.

Addressing New Markets

The Mesa Water technology project illustrates T2 Tech’s ability to provide value in a wide variety of industries. When bidding for the project, T2 Tech competed against IT consulting services that had extensive backgrounds in serving utilities like Mesa Water. Although the bulk of T2 Tech’s experience is concentrated in the healthcare field, Mesa Water chose T2 Tech over alternatives because of its expertise in implementing highly-efficient end-to-end IT systems. T2 Tech’s foundational expertise in the highly complex and extensively regulated healthcare market translates well into other industries. Because of this, T2 Tech Group is poised to bring the same kind of value it delivered to Mesa Water to other utilities across the country.

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