Treating IT like an internal business unit

Providing IT services for an organization with more than 50,000 employees is no simple task.

Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) manages to juggle its extensive IT needs through best practices, processes and organization, according to Donna May, director of the CCRA’s Development Centre in Ottawa.

Not only does the IT department – of approximately 2,500 – have to look after each of the 50,000 employees’ desktop devices, but it is also responsible for developing many applications used by the organization.

This requires the IT staff to be on top of the business challenges and requirements of the CCRA.

“Our IT developers have to get close to the business to really understand what’s happening. They need to have a good sense of what those people who will end up using these systems need,” May said.

These systems range from internal applications for departments such as human resources, as well as business critical applications for customs officers and auditors.