APNIC Strategic Plan 2000 - Overview
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APNIC Strategic Plan 2000 - Overview Status: Draft v 1.0 Date: 1 December 1999 Author: Paul Wilson, Director General 1. Introduction During 1999, the APNIC Secretariat undertook a Strategic Planning process aimed to define our basic mission and objectives, analyse our current status, and identify major strategies for the next one to two years. This is the first such planning activity undertaken by APNIC, and work therefore started with first phase addressing the broader questions of APNIC's fundamental Mission, Values, and Objectives. Based on these results, a second phase then defined the specific Strategies which should be undertaken to meet these primary APNIC Objectives. This document provides an overview of progress made so far, primarily for review by APNIC members before the end of 1999. The contents should be considered as a draft and subject to further review. A final Strategic Plan for 2000 will be developed based on member feedback, and presented to the Membership prior to the Annual Meeting in March 2000. 2. Process Overview 2.1 Inputs The major inputs to the Strategic Planning process included the results of the APNIC Member and Stakeholder Survey, conducted by KPMG Consulting during February- April 1999 (available at http://www.apnic.net/survey/kpmg1999), the experience and expertise of APNIC Secretariat staff, consultations with the Executive Council, and other inputs gathered from the community during the course of 1999. Two consultants were used by APNIC during the early stages of the process, for a total of 4 days. Mr Kent Maddock of Sagacity Consulting was employed as a facilitator for 2 days of initial meetings, but did not make substantive inputs to the content or results of the process. Dr John Earls of KPMG Consulting, the author of the Member Survey report, provided substantial input in relation to the survey and that report. 2.2 Outputs The outputs of the process so far are given in this document, and include statements of APNIC's Mission, Values and Objectives, along with a set of Strategies which support them. These are provisional results only and the input and guidance of the APNIC Membership is sought to help finalise and adapt these for the 2000 calendar year. 2.3 Review In future, the Strategic Plan should be reviewed and updated at least annually, in order that APNIC may continue to meet the needs of its members and community. During each review, strategies should be examined in detail in terms of their success and value, and decisions made on which strategies to continue or abandon, and which to adopt in future. The inputs to each review are likely to include further surveys of APNIC's membership and broader community, as well as information about the changing environment in which APNIC operates. 3. APNIC Mission, Values, and Objectives Following are the provisional statements of APNIC Mission, Values, and Objectives, produced during the first phase of the Strategic Planning process. These statements are subject to review in later planning sessions, but it is not expected that they will require extensive reworking in future. Membership comment is welcome on these drafts. 3.1 Mission APNIC's Mission Statement has been defined as: "Addressing the challenge of responsible Internet resource distribution in the Asia Pacific region." 3.2 Values APNIC's Values Statement is proposed as the following: In pursuit of its mission, APNIC values: Fairness and equity of access to public Internet resources; Organisational openness while ensuring member confidentiality; Exercise of foresight and initiative in planning for the future; Provision of secure, stable, cost-effective, and high quality services; Courtesy and professionalism in service delivery; Technical expertise and professionalism of our staff; Language and cultural diversity of our members and staff. These values are intended to guide the way that APNIC does its work, in pursuit of the Mission described above, and towards the Objectives listed below. 3.3 Objectives APNIC's core Objectives have been defined as follows. Each objective will be supported by specific strategies and projects, and may also have a number of associated performance indicators (telling us how successful we are in each objective). APNIC objectives are: 1. To provide high-quality Internet resource management services to APNIC members, namely: a) To provide high-quality resource allocation services; b) To provide high-quality registration and database services; c) To provide high-quality membership administration and support services. 2. To support our membership in fulfilling their responsibilities as managers of Internet resources, and to promote the need for responsible management throughout our region. 3. To promote and advance technical policy development in relation to APNIC services, and to Internet resource management in general. 4. To maintain the relevance of APNIC to its membership and the Internet community of the region through responsive, open communications and support for participatory consensus-driven processes. 5. To assist Internet development activities in our region, relating to the above objectives. 4. APNIC Strategies For each Objective identified during the first phase of the process, a number of specific supporting strategies or projects are proposed. These may be long term or short term activities, but all are expected to contribute strongly to one or more Objectives. In the second section below, duplicates are removed and the list condensed into a much shorter collection of specific strategies. 4.1 Proposed Strategies Objective 1a) To provide high-quality resource allocation services. Improve APNIC's internal and external documentation Expand and consolidate member training services Implement automation and auditability of allocation and registration services Develop hostmaster and training staff capacity Improve consistency of core databases and historical records Objective 1b) To provide high-quality registration and database services. Develop hardware capacity for APNIC servers Develop registration database software Develop technical staff capacity Develop APNIC certification services, for members and allocations Objective 1c) To provide high-quality membership administration and support services. Revise APNIC membership and fee structure Develop member administration systems and software Improve consistency of core databases and historical records Objective 2. To support our membership in fulfilling their responsibilities as managers of Internet resources, and to promote the need for responsible management throughout our region. Implement APNIC member training programme Develop/improve documentation of member obligations/responsibilities Develop/improve multi-lingual documentation Develop/improve APNIC Membership Agreement Provide tools to automate member processes Survey members and stakeholders to assess views and needs Objective 3. To promote and advance technical policy development in relation to APNIC services, and Internet resource management generally. Develop formalised document revision process Develop formalised policy development process Develop APNIC training programme (include relevant content) Support and participate in conferences in the region (e.g. APRICOT) Increase outreach to policy makers throughout out region Develop/improve multi-lingual documentation Increase promotion of APNIC as regional authority for resource management Provide education support activities (guides, FAQs, publications, editing etc) Objective 4. To maintain the relevance of APNIC to its membership and the region through responsive, open communications and support for participatory consensus- driven processes. Implement ongoing member and stakeholder survey Maintain frequent contact with members and others Conduct regular open review of APNIC plans and activities Maintain appropriate membership and fee structures Establish APNIC working group and advisory structures Objective 5. To assist Internet development activities in our region, relating to the above objectives. Actively support regional developmental activities (e.g. APRICOT and mini APRICOTs) Formalise links with other AP* and similar organisations (also ISOC etc) Raise funds to support development objectives of APNIC 4.2 Strategies Summary Strategies and projects identified under each of the APNIC Objectives (as listed above) are refined to produce a final condensed set of Strategies, as follows. Automation of procedures, systems and workflows (Automation) Communication and promotion (Communication) Development of documentation and related processes (Documentation) Development of organisational links (Organisations) Development of resource management policy (Policy) Education support and development (Education) Establishment of certification system/service (Certification) Internal and external database consistency (Consistency) Maintenance of online systems capacity (Systems) Member training programme (Training) Regular survey of members and stakeholders (Survey) Revision of membership agreement and fee structure (Membership) Many of these strategies have been underway for some time at APNIC, through specific projects or ongoing staff activities. The next section provides a brief description of each strategy, and commentary on recent developments within each of the strategy areas. 5. Strategy Status In this section, strategies are briefly described, and current activities are briefly listed. Strategies are listed below in order of the Objectives they serve. 5.1 Automation (Objective 1) During its initial establishment and development, APNIC had limited capacity available to automate its procedures and workflows. As a result, core services are managed by a number of different systems, with limited ability to ensure data integrity, to avoid multiple-entry, to enforce administrative controls, or to produce management information for effective decision-making. A major strategy is therefore to improve automation of both internal systems and external services. During 1999, APNIC has undertaken several substantial automation tasks, relating to both internal and external systems. External services improvements have included new systems for administration of in-addr.arpa domain requests, AS number requests, and IPv6 request forms. Internal systems have been under development for improved membership administration. At the same time, internal work has begun to develop a comprehensive kit of software tools which will allow more rapid development and deployment of automated services in future. 5.2 Certification (Objective 1) This strategy involves the implementation of certification mechanisms based on state- of-the-art digital certificate technology. Certificates issued by APNIC to members would be used to support encryption (for secure communications between APNIC and the member), and digital signature (for authentication of access to web site and database, and for applications such as electronic voting). Future uses of certificate technology include the issuing of certificates for Internet resources allocated to members, for such purposes as validation of routing registry access. APNIC has commenced an initial scoping and feasibility project to prepare for the proposed Certificate Authority project. 5.3 Consistency (Objective 1) During APNIC's history, allocation practices and policies, as well as systems for record maintenance, have been subject to changed. Furthermore, as time has passed, changes in essential databases have not been registered in many cases (particularly in the case of whois records). This has resulted in many inconsistencies in internal and external databases, and it is the goal of this strategy to resolve those inconsistencies. During 1999, APNIC has undertaken an internal database consistency project, and has identified many historical consistency problems. Resolution of these problems is underway, and when complete will result in more efficient operations, greater accuracy of management information and fewer errors in dealing with member and allocation records. 5.4 Systems (Objective 1) APNIC provides essential online services to the Internet community globally, through its DNS (in-addr.arpa) server, whois database and web site. To ensure high- availability of allocation, registration and database services, APNIC needs to maintain online systems with sufficient capacity and redundancy to cope with increasing demand. Under this strategy, APNIC will undertake ongoing monitoring, maintenance and upgrade of online systems, to ensure continuity of reliable operation of these services. During 1999, APNIC has deployed a high-reliance cluster server at its main facility, upgraded redundant servers located in Japan, and made preparations for collocation of additional servers at RIPE NCC and ARIN facilities (in Amsterdam and Washington D.C.) APNIC's primary upstream link was also been upgraded substantially. 5.5 Documentation (Objectives 1 and 2) The primary goal of this strategy is to produce and maintain a comprehensive set of APNIC documentation that is accurate, consistent, up-to-date, and stylistically cohesive across the organisation. All APNIC documentation is considered, with delivery via various means, depending on the type of documentation and the needs of its users. A second goal of this strategy is to establish and maintain a system by which documentation is developed and updated in an open and transparent manner. A third major goal is to progressively develop a multilingual documentation store, including official translations of all major APNIC documents into the major languages of the region. During 1999, APNIC has undertaken substantial revision of a number of important documents, as well as an ongoing improvement and enhancement of its web site. A webmaster position has been created and is due to be filled by the end of 1999. A draft document revision policy has been published for member review and feedback. 5.6 Membership (Objectives 1 and 2) APNIC's continued sustainability depends on a membership and fee structure which provides stability, fairness and reliable cost-recovery for activities undertaken in pursuit of our mission. As APNIC grows, it is important to ensure that the existing structures are appropriate to support that growth and not to constrain it. The current APNIC fee structure, involving optional selection of members of their membership category, is regarded as unfair and unsustainable, as many members have remained in the "small" category for extended periods, and some have even moved from larger to smaller categories. This structure is the subject of a proposal to introduce a "mandatory" structure, to be presented to members for approval at the next annual meeting. The current APNIC membership agreement has remained unchanged for some years, and is in need of revision for a number of reasons. A first redraft of this document has been developed, and was released to the membership in October 1999 for their feedback. 5.7 Communication (Objectives 1 and 4) In pursuit our objective of openness, transparency and consensus-based decision- making, APNIC recognises the need to utilise channels of communications with its membership and community, and also in some cases, to establish new channels. By pursuing this Strategy, APNIC will ensure that our services and activities remain consistent with member and community expectations, and continue to contribute strongly to Internet development in the region. APNIC also recognises the need to continue to improve our promotional outreach to the community, in order that our role be more widely known and understood. This activity is another important facet of the Communication Strategy. APNIC has recently defined a "documentation" department under management of the Technical Writer, and recruitment is underway for a dedicated webmaster staff member. During Training courses which have been held this year, APNIC has scheduled informational seminars and meetings where possible with local policy makers and media. 5.8 Survey (Objectives 1 and 4) The goal of this strategy is to make regular assessments of APNIC's performance, by gathering data relating to member satisfaction and requirements, across the whole range of APNIC activities and services. Through analysis of this data, service improves can be made, and future directions can be set with greater relevance to the membership and community. In 1999, a survey was conducted by independent consultants to qualitatively gauge members' opinions and concerns, and a substantial report was produced. This report was released publicly, and has been used as a primary source of input to APNIC's management processes, including the current Strategic Planning. The Survey Strategy will in future seek to gather both qualitative data, and the quantitative data required for measuring progress in development APNIC services. 5.9 Policy (Objectives 2, 3, and 4) APNIC's operations are dependent on a set of resource management policies which are deemed by the community to be in the best interests of Internet development in this region. It is one of APNIC's responsibilities to ensure that its policies are developed appropriately, and also that the process is formalised in order that opportunities for input are clearly defined, fair, and well-understood. During 1999, APNIC has worked on development of a number of important policy documents, through an open and transparent document development policy. As noted above, a draft document revision policy has been developed, which will formalise this process within the APNIC community. Furthermore, we have worked actively to establish the Address Supporting Organisation within the ICANN framework, and this body will of course take responsibility for coordination of open and transparent policy development at the global level. 5.10 Education (Objectives 2 and 5) Despite changes in the Internet technologies, resource management and administration over many years, it is clear that awareness of current practices is still not widespread in this region. Students still graduate, and textbooks are still published, with incorrect information concerning (for instance) classful Internet addressing architectures, the role of Internet Registries, and the delegations of authority within the Internet administrative structure. With frequent changes to many aspects of technology and administration, the process of disseminating correct information will be ongoing into the future. While APNIC does not have the resources to tackle the educational process comprehensively, we are able to provide structured information resources which provide a guide to current technology and policy. Our major vehicles for this information would include the APNIC website, where a section would be specifically dedicated to FAQ material and resource links. To undertake this strategy in coordination with the promotional, documentation (specifically translation) and training strategies would increase its reach and impact. As an important developmental activity for the AP Internet community, this strategy may be a candidate for funding under an APNIC fund raising strategy. 5.11 Training (Objectives 2 and 5) It is clear from the experience of APNIC secretariat, and from member feedback, that APNIC members need more help in understanding many aspects of APNIC policies and procedures. These include the basic goals and policies of APNIC, the responsibilities of APNIC members, the process of requesting and receiving resources from APNIC, and the practical use of the APNIC database. The APNIC training programme is being designed to provide specific training to members which will help them to obtain resources from APNIC, and to manage them effectively and efficiently. The programme will assist members in their own activities, and will reduce APNIC's current burden in addressing problems on a case- by-case basis. It will also assist in improving APNIC's public image by providing a higher level of awareness of APNIC's role and responsibilities. During 1999, member training has been provided by APNIC in Singapore (APRICOT'99), Hong Kong, India, Australia and the Philippines. The appointment by a training manager by the end of the year will allow the programme to be deployed far more widely in the coming year. 5.12 Organisations (Objectives 3, 4 and 5) The APNIC Strategic Planning process recognised that Internet development throughout the Asia-Pacific is not APNIC's sole responsibility. By coordinating with other Internet related organisations we can maximise the benefits to APNIC and its members by contributing to the activities of other organisations that share our objectives. Formal links may involve such activities as acting in an advisory capacity, joint software development, contributing funds, training and policy development. During 1999 APNIC has established formal links with APIA and ISOC, and has made a commitment of funds to assist APNG, the founding organisation of APNIC. While we made a contribution to APRICOT'99 as a Platinum Sponsor, we are contributing to APRICOT 2000 through the coordination of a major conference content track (as well as again contributing as a major sponsor). 6. Next Steps Member feedback is sought on the elements of the APNIC Strategic Plan which are described in this document. Comments and suggestions may be sent to APNIC by email to: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Based on this document, along with further feedback received, a more complete Strategic Plan will be presented to the Membership prior to the Annual Member Meeting in March 1999.