Skip to Page Content
section image picture

About Us

EITS Strategic Directions and Priorities for 2013 – 2014

April 18, 2013

MEMORANDUM

TO: All EITS Employees

FROM: Timothy M. Chester, Vice President for Information Technology

RE: EITS Strategic Directions and Priorities for 2013 – 2014

Each year, I like to send the entire Information Technology organization an annual report highlighting our accomplishments for the past year and outlining our opportunities and challenges for the next twelve to eighteen months. Attached to this memorandum, you will find this year’s annual report. This report is comprehensive, reflecting the broad and diverse set of activities undertaken by EITS this past year as well as the initiatives to be undertaken in the future. We are a big organization with many moving parts and this report reflects the strategic significance of what we do each day to support the students, faculty, and staff of this great institution, the University of Georgia.

In the past year, we focused on 15 of the 50 goals contained in the UGA Long-term Master Plan for Information Technology (ITMP). In the coming year, we will continue working on 13 of those goals while also focusing on an additional 17. Please note that the report contains references to the master plan for each accomplishment or goal listed.

I owe each of you a debt of gratitude, as it truly has been an exceptional year. We have welcomed many new faces and many individuals have received promotions. We have undertaken very ambitious efforts to replace our core academic information systems and reprogram existing legacy systems to move away from the SSN. We have established new directions over support for research and infrastructure operations and we are dramatically maturing our current information security posture. All of these accomplishments have been for the betterment of the University of Georgia. As you review this report, I believe you will reach the same conclusion that I have – which is that these accomplishments rival anything that has been accomplished at similar institutions in one calendar year.

In the coming weeks, we will be scheduling an all EITS staff meeting to discuss this report in detail, as well as to present the results from the recent EITS staff climate survey. This will provide you with the opportunity to discuss these topics and ask questions. I look forward to seeing you then.

CC:

  • Jere W. Morehead, Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
  • Libby V. Morris, Vice Provost

Progress Report for VPIT Strategic Goals for FY13

  • Proceed with the Banner project, stewarding the governance and implementation processes so that the project proceeds on its planned timeline and remains on budget, with minimum increases in project risk (ITMP Strategic Direction 3, Goal 1, 2, 3, 4).

    Current Status: This project is both on time and on budget, and is proceeding as expected, given the complexity of introducing new systems in a large and diverse institution. Teams are engaged at all levels of the project and the consultant teams are working well with their functional counterparts. Key accomplishments include the renovation of space to bring the entire project team together, the installation of $1 million in equipment, supporting over 30+ separate instances of software that together constitute the Banner platform, the selection of a common reporting tool for use across the University, and establishment of a thoughtful and deliberate communications program for stakeholders across UGA.

  • Reorganize services to support faculty research, particularly those services provided by the Georgia Advance Computing Resource Center (GACRC), with an eye towards stabilizing service delivery, identifying and selecting new GACRC leadership, and encouraging better collaboration between EITS services (network, data center) and the GACRC (ITMP Strategic Direction 4, Goal 1, 2, 3).

    Current Status: Support for faculty research has been reorganized and is now combined with Units supporting data center, network, and server engineering operations to ensure a more holistic approach to supporting research under one leadership. In the past twelve months, an extensive nation-wide search was conducted to identify the next director of the GACRC and a candidate was appointed whose strengths align closely with key research areas (Bioinformatics) that are strategic for UGA. This director has been appointed at an associate research scientist rank, in order to support better collaboration with faculty on research grants. From an infrastructure standpoint, numerous improvements have been made, resulting in more capable and more reliable GACRC services, including a tenfold upgrade of campus bandwidth (to 20gb) that now provides connectivity rivaling key aspirational institutions, a new high-speed storage service to support data storage needs of faculty, and an upgraded fiber optic network that supports GACRC HPC clusters. A deliberate communications and outreach program directed at faculty has been initiated, culminating in the first “Big Data” seminars, which were attended by over 100 researchers.

  • Continue the focus on improved information security, particularly in regards to sensitive and confidential data, by taking a holistic approach that encompasses people, processes, and technology (ITMP Strategic Direction 5, Goal 3a, 4a).

    Current Status: Improvements in processes, personnel, and tools continue to be made. The senior administration approved its first University-wide data access and classification policy, providing a framework for identifying, classifying, and protecting sensitive and restricted information. Additionally, working with Gartner, the institution successfully completed a benchmarking exercise so that progress can be assessed and measured. Through the processes of reallocation, EITS has added four additional staff members to the Information Security team, allowing the University Information Security Office to expand their services into new technical areas and improved support for information security analysis and assessment. Other teams continue to make significant progress reprogramming legacy HR and finance systems so that they no longer depend upon the SSN as a key identifier – work that is expected to be completed by January 2014. New tools such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP) software and multi-factor authentication (ArchPass) move UGA from a more reactive stance to a more proactive construction of technical infrastructure that dramatically reduces information security risks. More importantly, there is a growing collaboration between EITS and business units across the University, focusing on better protection of information assets and the reduction of information security risks. Nurturing these partnerships remains key to continued improvements in information security.

  • Continue the focus on internal reallocation, making steady progress towards the four-year goal of reallocating $3.2 million (base) into strategic priorities, including information security, data center and networking, the GACRC, professional development, and organizational transformation (ITMP Strategic Direction 8, Goal 1, 6).

    Current Status: As we have commenced with new projects and initiatives, the process of reallocation has been key. Three new programmers have been appointed to the administrative information systems team, adding new resources as the institution begins to plan for new finance and HR systems. Four staff members have been added to the information security teams, providing new resources to support additional technical and business oriented services. Three percent of state funds have been reapportioned to support professional development by IT staff, and an additional 2% were reapportioned to the University in support of a recent state budget cut. Reallocation has also been critical for purchasing new University-wide site licenses to support cloud-based virtual computing labs for students, tools for survey research, and resources for UGA staff training. All together, these efforts account for in excess of $1 million towards the $3.2 million four-year goal.

Other Key VPIT FY13 Accomplishments

  • Advancements in Student Computing Services. Students now benefit from improved computing services, from the installation of print kiosks that provide more reliable printing from any place and at any time. Additionally, the infrastructure providing support for student computing labs has also been upgraded, providing a foundation for anytime, anyplace access to specialized student software that previously required a trip to a physical computing lab (ITMP Strategic Direction 2, Goal 1, 2).

  • Significant Investments in Classroom Technology. Students and faculty will benefit from $1 million dollars in additional investments in classroom technologies, both for centrally supported classrooms and those supported by individual units. This includes one-time student technology fee investments and matching funds made available by UGA’s schools and colleges (ITMP Strategic Direction 2, Goal 1, 2).

  • New Campus Systems for Learning Management, Identity Management, and Document Imaging. While most are aware of ongoing efforts to overhaul student information systems, there are also significant efforts underway to replace other legacy information systems. These include efforts to replace Blackboard with Desire2Learn, significant upgrades and enhancements to the University’s identity management platform, and the implementation of a University standard and centrally supported system for document imaging (NOLIJ). These efforts were underway beginning in FY13 and will continue into the next year (ITMP Strategic Direction 2, Goal 3, 5, 6, 7).

  • Outreach and Improved Collaborations with UGA Satellite Campuses. Improved Internet connectivity is being realized across UGA and is being extended to distributed campuses in Gwinnett, Griffin, and Tifton, as well as the Health Sciences Campus in Athens. This includes increased bandwidth capacity for HSC, Griffin, and Tifton, and the implementation of the PAWS-Secure wireless network at the HSC and in Griffin and Gwinnett. An EITS staff member has been appointed as the liaison to these campuses, and will work to continue improving services for faculty and students at these campuses (ITMP Strategic Direction 2, Goal 2).

  • Telephone Upgrade Project Nears Completion. The multi-year project to procure and install a new state-of-the-art digital telephone system for the University of Georgia is nearing completion, with the final rollout of switches and desktop phone units on the Athens campuses. This project has been brought in significantly under budget, providing additional resources to support capital improvements in network infrastructure on UGA campuses (ITMP Strategic Direction 6, Goal 3, 4).

Progress Report for EITS Organizational Priorities for FY13

  • Put in place an updated annual planning process – centered around TechQual+ data on what student, faculty, and staff think about UGA technology effectiveness – that operates from the grassroots level within EITS and is inclusive of the broader community across campus. The long-term desired outcome is to build a culture of assessment and planning which will promote collaboration between EITS and distributed IT leaders so that they will assume ownership over continuous improvement of IT at UGA (ITMP Strategic Direction 1, Goal 1a, 1b, 2a, 3b). Assigned to Lynn Wilson.

    Current Status: The first annual cycle of this process was completed in FY13, and the TechQual+ survey was administered again in March of 2013. Proceeding forward, a University-wide assessment committee for EITS is being formed that will include faculty, students, and staff from across the University. This committee will be charged with analyzing survey data collected via TechQual+, analyzing possible responses to the data, leading efforts to be inclusive of the entire campus in formulating recommendations, and steering the development and design of next year’s TechQual+ survey.

  • Working with our partners in UGA Human Resources, commence on a project to revise and update our system for career progressions and position descriptions. The long-term desired outcome is to establish more precise structures for hiring employees, developing them, and increasing productivity and accountability, while incentivizing employees to develop competencies beyond technical skills that are critical to success (ITMP Strategic Direction 10, Goal 1a, 2a). Assigned to Alan Katz.

    Current Status: This project remains a critical goal towards the revitalization of EITS as an organization; however, the project is currently delayed at the request of UGA Human Resources as work begins to create a new broadband compensation system for all of UGA. Once they have completed this work, we will then be free to design our system for career progressions within this new compensation framework.

  • Revise the current system/forms for employee performance reviews within EITS by adopting the UGA employee performance review form and adding EITS-specific questions that focus on employee productivity and effectiveness. The long-term desired outcome of this project is to put in place better measures for regularly evaluating the productivity and quality of the work performed by EITS employees (ITMP Strategic Direction 10, Goal 2a, 4a). Assigned to Lynn Wilson.

    Current Status: This task was completed through work by the EITS staff and manager’s advisory boards. The new performance review form was used successfully for the 2012 mid-year performance review and the annual performance review completed in early 2013.

  • Through the process of internal reallocation, continue to invest in employee professional development so that our annual spending in this area is approximately equal to 3% of our state budget. The desired outcome for this project is to develop employees who are better trained and who are more exposed to best practices within higher education (ITMP Strategic Direction 10, Goal 2a, 4a). Assigned to Lynn Wilson.

    Current Status: This task was completed with the establishment of the EITS training council. A regular budget allocation each year, constituting 3% of state budgeted funds, is now earmarked for EITS professional development efforts.

  • Develop a more comprehensive methodology for application development and system implementation that provides EITS employees with better tools as they propose projects, estimate their costs, develop timelines, and manage changes to scope. The long-term desired outcome is to strengthen EITS capabilities for costing, scoping, and change management, which in turn will lead to more consistent and accurate proposals for IT services (ITMP Strategic Direction 1, Goal 1, 2 4). Assigned to Greg Topp.

    Current Status: This task has been completed with the development of new business practices for developing and delivering detailed cost estimates to EITS customers for cost-recovery projects. Additionally, the processes for developing these estimates have been enhanced to insure that internal management reviews are more rigorous.

  • Complete the review of University information security policies, bringing the final policies to approval in the fall of 2012. Redesign and re-implement the Information Security Web sites for better communication of these policies and the best practices for implementing them. The long-term desired outcome is to reduce the complexity of information security information and to improve understanding across the University (ITMP Strategic Direction 5, Goal 1a, 4a, 5a). Assigned to Brian Rivers

    Current Status: This task was completed with the approval of the University data classification policy by the senior administration in the fall of 2012 and the launch of the new information security Web site in September of 2012.

  • Invest in the University network by expanding Internet capacity, strengthening technical security and controls, and standardizing the wireless networking service across the entire University. All of these goals are critical, given the exploding growth in terms of the number of devices and Internet services consumed by students, faculty, and staff. The long-term desired outcome is to streamline services, improve information security, and ensure that the University has ample bandwidth capacity for the next five years (ITMP Strategic Direction 4, Goal 3, 3a). Assigned to Brian Rivers.

    Current Status: These tasks have been completed or are currently underway. Efforts at increasing Internet capacity were completed with the installation of two 10 GB circuits for campus bandwidth. The standardization of wireless networking continues, with the adoption of the PAWS-Secure network across UGA and the decommissioning of legacy wireless services. Additionally, a small working group of key customers has been reviewing campus costs and resource barriers limiting more central support of the campus network – and their work will provide a vehicle for moving in this direction in future years, as additional resources are identified.

  • Re-organize the EITS teams associated with supporting the University portal, Web content management, application integration, and middleware to form one integrated multidisciplinary team. The long-term desired outcome is to create a team that can deliver University-wide Web applications that provide enhanced and innovative services (ITMP Strategic Goal 1, 5, 6; Strategic Direction 2, Goal 1). Assigned to Danna Gianfote.

    Current Status: This task was completed with the hiring of the first director for mobile technology. The first fruits of this reorganization will be realized in April 2013 with the launch of the first UGA mobile application for students. This project has been completed in cooperation with the student technology committee of the SGA.

Other Key EITS FY13 Accomplishments

  • Change Management. EITS has put in place some very effective measures regarding processes, procedures, standards, and communication with respect to changes to production systems at UGA, including use of the status page. It was only a year ago that EITS was experiencing an outage of a major campus service at least once per month; today, they have reduced that to once per quarter, if not better – and this can be linked to their use of better change management practices (ITMP Strategic Direction 1, Goal 2).

  • PeopleSkills and Organizational Change. The work based on the PeopleSkills curriculum, team building, and organizational change approach has been excellent. The formation of the EITS Leadership Council and its internal team agreements mark a significant achievement in the ongoing reformation of EITS practices and are leading to improved success with the effective delivery and use of information technology at UGA. This is no insignificant accomplishment in itself (ITMP Strategic Direction 10, Goal 4).

  • GACRC/Research High Speed Network. Last summer, University researchers relying on GACRC high performance computing capabilities were significantly hampered because a University-wide power outage damaged critical equipment that burned out over time. This was taken as an opportunity to replace the failing infrastructure with a next generation solution that is now providing high speed, fiber connectivity for researchers as they utilize these resources. This solution was implemented quickly and has been performing well – a significant accomplishment for EITS this year (ITMP Strategic Direction 4, Goal 1, 3).

  • Reorganization of Information Security Unit. The VPIT has invested significantly in information security over the past 18 months, adding new positions and tools. Many have noted that they are impressed with the caliber of personnel hired or promoted – people like Christian Cummings, Chris Workman, and Will Laney– as well as how the team is working given the reorganization that has resulted. UGA is maturing towards having one of the better information security teams in higher education (ITMP Strategic Direction 5, Goal 2, 3, 4).

  • Reorganization and Development of Administrative Information Systems Units. Associate CIO Danna Gianforte has accomplished a very significant reorganization of her Units, and in doing so has achieved much. In just a little over a year, she has put together a very good leadership team and group of managers who are making very strategic contributions – from SSN legacy reprogramming to Mobile development to reducing costs. This team of capable leaders and managers includes Kim Woods, Shawn Ellis, David Crouch, Greg Topp, Kenneth Little, Russell Hatfield, Stacy Boyles, and Shannon Marable. You will not find a better administrative systems management team anywhere in higher education IT (ITMP Strategic Direction 10, Goal 1, 3, 4).

  • Social Security Remediation and Legacy Programming. This is a project that flies under the radar, but it is the most important work EITS is accomplishing right now. As EITS completes this reprogramming by January of next year, in 18 months it will have completely reduced to the degree possible this institution’s exposure to using SSN primary identifiers in core finance and HR systems. To say this is quite an accomplishment does not do it justice – this is a project that few believed EITS was capable of completing by relying on internal resources. It’s happening because of administrative information systems leadership and the hard work of their teams (ITMP Strategic Direction 3, Goal 2, 3, 4).

  • Reorganization and Development of the Student Information Services Team. Associate CIO Larry Malota has done an impressive job in the way that he has assembled his team and capitalized on key players. In this group of individuals, one would include Mike Cheek, Connie Perry, and Jenna King, among others. This is a strong team that serves the University well, and there is a tremendous opportunity to continue developing, mentoring, and leading this team and making them one of the better SIS Units across higher education (ITMP Strategic Direction 10, Goal 1, 3, 4).

  • Communications Program. In the past year, EITS has developed a very effective community engagement program, and Kerri Testament has proven to be a very good hire who is making significant contributions. This is one of the most important things EITS has accomplished since my tenure began (ITMP Strategic Direction 1, Goal 3, 4).

  • Training Council and EITS Staff Ownership over Allocation of Training Resources. An EITS strategic goal was to reallocate to this end, but present leadership has gone above and beyond in this regard by the way they have built and nurtured our training council into an effective group that deliberates consistently in the way it allocates available training and professional development budgets. Lynn Wilson’s leadership and mentoring of this group is quite commendable, and Donna Chandler’s contribution to this important work has also been impressive.

  • FY14 Budget Development Planning and Processes. For FY14, EITS has built a budget from the ground up and through that process, which has been deliberate and inclusive of its leadership team, EITS now has a better collective understanding of its revenues, resources, and how they are expended. This is the most important thing that can be done to become better stewards of existing financial resources. Impressive work by the team has made this possible, with individuals like Lynn Wilson, Pam Burkhart, Belinda Agnew, Donna Chandler, and Sohayl Moshtael playing critical roles (ITMP Strategic Direction 8, Goal 1, 4).

  • Boyd Data Center Remediation. The work remediating long-standing risks in the Boyd Data Center, whether they relate to physical access, environmental controls, or wiring, has been impressive. As EITS completes this work over the coming year, UGA will have a top flight data center resource that features appropriate structures and services necessary to best manage University information risks (ITMP Strategic Direction 7, Goal 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

  • Leadership over the GACRC. Bringing on board new leadership over the GACRC has been another significant accomplishment this year, and attracting an individual of the caliber of Guy Cormier represents a real coup on the part of the GACRC (ITMP Strategic Direction 4, Goal 1, 2, 3).

FY14 VPIT Strategic Goals

  • Successfully complete the major academic system overhauls for student information (Banner) and learning management (Desire2Learn), hitting milestones for both time and budget while minimizing to the degree possible the disruptive effects of technological and process change required by these implementations (ITMP Strategic Direction 3, Goal 1, 2, 3, 4).

  • Continue bringing student computing services into the next generation by supporting cloud-based services for accessing student computing labs, printing, and other technologies at any time, from any place, and on any device. Begin developing a set of operating principles for supporting University processes for students and employees from their individually owned computing devices (i.e., BYOD support) (ITMP Strategic Direction 2, Goal 1, 2).

  • Successfully complete two required upgrades of the campus email platform, as Microsoft migrates its systems from Live@EDU to Office 365. As the second phase completes sometime in 2014, begin implementing a shared portal and storage effort using Sharepoint and Skydrive Professional, which are aimed at reducing the need for and dependence on distributed file servers across the University supported by decentralized units. In doing so, lay the groundwork for a future initiative to consolidate servers across the University (ITMP Strategic Direction 6, Goal 1, 2, 3).

  • Continue current information security efforts related to reduced reliance on the SSN and on the adoption of multi-factor authentication to add an additional layer of protection around information systems containing sensitive information. Finish efforts to reprogram legacy systems for HR and finance, so the SSN is no longer required as a primary identifier, and begin efforts to work with decentralized units to end their dependence on the SSN as well (ITMP Strategic Direction 3, Goal 2, 3, 4; Strategic Direction 5, Goal 4).

  • Continue to focus on internal reallocation, making steady progress towards the four-year goal of reallocating $3.2 million (base) into strategic priorities, including information security, data center and networking, student computing, the GACRC, professional development, and organizational transformation (ITMP Strategic Direction 8, Goal 1, 6).

FY14 EITS Organizational Priorities

  • Continue to evangelize the PeopleSkills, Team Building, and Organizational Change approach to reforming EITS, by focusing on the inclusion of these workshops and collaborations at the mid-management level. While EITS has made great gains with this at the leadership level, it is time to focus on the mid-management level this coming year, as well as to better transmit these ideals to the operational levels of the organization (ITMP Strategic Direction 10, Goal 4). Assigned to Lynn Wilson, Danna Gianforte, Michael Lucas, Larry Malota, and Brian Rivers.

  • Begin assessing the drivers behind the excessive workload among some parts of EITS and implement strategies that provide staff with some working relief from these pressures. Given the realities of current and future resource levels, EITS is today a smaller organization than it has been traditionally and this is expected to continue. As it focuses on efficiencies, EITS cannot default to a world where it continues to ask smaller numbers of staff to do more and more. Priorities must be set, boundaries must be drawn, and demand pressures must be better managed. Otherwise, EITS is ultimately doomed to fall once again to a reactive stance driven by cycles of over commitment and underperformance. As it assesses and develops strategies for improvement, this must be developed out of the middle management layer of EITS, with leadership and direction from its Leadership Council (ITMP Strategic Direction 1, Goal 1, 2, 4; Strategic Direction 10 Goal 1, 2, 3). Assigned to Lynn Wilson, Danna Gianforte, Michael Lucas, Larry Malota, and Brian Rivers.

  • Continue providing senior leadership over technical architectures and implementation planning. Until recently, it was observable that as an organization, far too often the EITS leadership tended to focus more on planning and business issues while important strategic technical decisions were left to the operational levels of the organization, to individuals who were not always afforded the leadership and direction they deserved. As one looks at EITS today, you see an organization that is much flatter in terms of its internal collaborations, less likely to work in silos and isolation, and much more likely to deliver stronger technical solutions. EITS leaders need to continue these efforts as it moves into the future by resisting the urge to retreat behind the borders of internal siloes (ITMP Strategic Direction 1, Goal 5; Strategic Direction 10, Goal 4). Assigned to Lynn Wilson, Danna Gianforte, Michael Lucas, Larry Malota, and Brian Rivers.

  • Make significant progress on the multi-factor ArchPass implementation, using this new approach to user authentication to safeguard information systems containing sensitive information. If possible, most if not the entire database driven systems on the ASAC short list should be brought behind this secured network over the next 12 months (ITMP Strategic Direction 3, Goal 1; Strategic Goal 5, Goal 1, 4). Assigned to Brian Rivers.

  • Continue to evolve the current campus approach for decentralized network segmentation, offering a viable approach to departmental firewalls. Use the opportunity afforded EITS at the HSC to build a solution that is attractive to departments while respecting central needs for network transparency and authoritative control. Over the next 12 months, work to bring more departments into this new service (ITMP Strategic Direction 6, Goal 2, 3). Assigned to Brian Rivers.

  • Continue with the next phase of UGA’s campus building network refresh, beginning to focus on those facilities that require upgrades in order to provide enhanced service to faculty and research groups. Engage groups such as the GACRC advisory committee and others to assess those opportunities and focus on them in the next 12 months (ITMP Strategic Direction 6, Goal 2, 3; Strategic Direction 7, Goal 5). Assigned to Brian Rivers and Michael Lucas.

  • Continue to develop an alternative to the original plans to implement the campus network solution from Bradford networks, given reallocation of funds from this initiative to other information security initiatives deemed more critical. Develop a plan to ensure that every connection to the University network – wired or wireless – requires end user authentication for network access. Be ready to implement this plan beginning in FY15 (ITMP Strategic Direction 5, Goal 1, 2; Strategic Direction 6, Goal 2). Assigned to Brian Rivers.

  • Develop a viable cloud service offering for storage, database, and application hosting. EITS has made significant progress with this over the past year, with the signing of a system level contract for Amazon Web Services. This next year, EITS should develop a services and support model, built on a cost recovery basis, for making these services available internally as well as to the broader university. In doing so, UGA will begin experimenting with a model that allows it to procure infrastructure services and support services on demand, so that its own staff and capital resources can be deployed internally to more pressing University demands (ITMP Strategic Direction 6, Goal 1, 2, 3; Strategic Direction 7, Goal 1, 4). Assigned to Danna Gianforte.

  • Complete SSN remediation programs, and reposition staff to work on a new project directed at the phasing out of the University mainframe by summer 2019. This will require the development of new Web systems for mainframe systems such as the campaign for charities (among many others) as well as a data archive solution for mainframe data that is not migrated to new administrative and student information systems. With the phasing out of the SSN remediation programs, EITS leadership should work with its colleagues in Finance and Administration to apportion some of this freed up effort at these tasks – which will reduce dependence upon the mainframe and generate savings that can be redirected to supporting future administrative systems (ITMP Strategic Direction 3, Goal 2, 3, 4; Strategic Direction 5, Goal 4). Assigned to Danna Gianforte.

  • Continue with our mobile development efforts, with the next major advance coming with the integration of real-time data from Desire2Learn, Banner, or both. The focus should be to keep it simple – perhaps something as easy as importing the current student class schedule or kicking off the Desire2Learn mobile app might be just the trick – but EITS should build on the good mobile work developed this year and expand it to include important functions from new academic information systems (ITMP Strategic Direction 1, Goal 5, 6; Strategic Direction 2, Goal 1). Assigned to Danna Gianforte.

  • Continue to retire legacy system debt by upgrading systems such as IDM, systems developed by ASG, or eliminating old infrastructures, platforms, and applications. By doing so, EITS will free up valuable staff effort that can be focused on new priorities, while at the same time increasing its ability to be more effective with the delivery of IT services at the University (ITMP Strategic Direction 6, Goal 1, 3). Assigned to Danna Gianforte.

  • Extend present governance structures for Banner in regards to decision-making for work priority setting, customizations, and support to other academic information systems maintained by EITS, such as DegreeWorks. The ongoing need is to ensure that decisions made in the short-term reflect long-term needs for sustainability in regards to function, technology, and financial resources. These are collective decisions – and the present Banner governance structures afford EITS a model that can be extended to include these other systems (ITMP Strategic Direction 1, Goal 2, 3, 4). Assigned to Larry Malota.

  • Continue to evolve and mature EITS’s continuous improvement process, based on annual TechQual+ assessment, with the creation of an assessment committee who will do data analysis, formulate the first draft of recommendations, steward the review of those recommendations across ITMF, UGANET, and other groups, and then prepare questions for the next year’s survey (ITMP Strategic Direction 1, Goal 1, 2, 3, 4; Strategic Direction 9 Goal 2). Assigned to Lynn Wilson.

  • In the next year, take the next step forward in the development of a new employee development and performance model by developing a consistent and clear set of competencies and performance rubrics and engage EITS staff to map those to career paths within the organization. This will allow EITS to tie more closely organizational needs, individual employee performance development, and the allocation of training council resources. This work should be completed within the next year (ITMP Strategic Direction 10, Goal 1, 2, 3, 4). Assigned to Lynn Wilson.

  • Work to make our internal finance and business affairs processes, procedures, and standards more efficient, more productive, and less costly in terms of time, expense, and effort. While there has been great progress this year with a zero based budgeting model, there are significant opportunities to continue this good work (ITMP Strategic Direction 8, Goal 1, 4). Assigned to Lynn Wilson.

  • Develop a new global organizational effort and project tracking model, working closely in conjunction with the VPIT, to more fully understand the staff resources in EITS, what those resources focus on, and mechanisms to more fully understand the opportunities to redeploy those resources to focus on strategic priorities as they develop. This, properly developed, will become a framework for engaging critical stakeholders across the University in the allocation of these resources (ITMP Strategic Direction 1 Goal 1, 2, 4; Strategic Direction 8, Goal 4). Assigned to Lynn Wilson.

  • Completing the Boyd Data Center upgrades – including upgrades related to environmental systems – is critical in the next 12 months. Given the significance of these investments, EITS should envision a campus-wide open house to celebrate the accomplishment of these important objectives sometime after the start of the next calendar year (ITMP Strategic Direction 7, Goal 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Assigned to Michael Lucas.

  • Successfully complete two required upgrades of the campus email platform, as Microsoft migrates its systems from Live@EDU to Office 365. As the second phase completes in the spring of 2014, begin implementing a shared portal and storage effort using Sharepoint and Skydrive Professional, which are aimed at reducing the need for and dependence on distributed file servers across the University supported by decentralized units. In doing so, lay the groundwork for a future initiative to consolidate servers across the University (ITMP Strategic Direction 6, Goal 1, 2, 3). Assigned to Michael Lucas.

  • Continue the development of all technical infrastructure and operations teams, providing them with the leadership and supervision necessary to make their work more productive, more reliable, less reactive, and more strategic. Develop the leadership necessary to instill better processes to this end (ITMP Strategic Direction 10, Goal 1, 3). Assigned to Michael Lucas.

  • Continue to focus on internal reallocation, making steady progress towards the four-year goal of reallocating $3.2 million (base) into strategic priorities, including information security, data center and networking, student computing, the GACRC, professional development, and organizational transformation. It is imperative that all of our cost recovery operations meet or exceed their revenue targets this next year given the fiscal impact of the recent budget cuts (ITMP Strategic Direction 8, Goal 1, 6). Assigned to Lynn Wilson, Danna Gianforte, Michael Lucas, Larry Malota, and Brian Rivers.