The Information Technology Services department strives to be a catalyst for excellence through the deployment of well-integrated, strategic, and secure technology solutions, coupled with exceptional service and support.
The ITS department is restructuring to meet the above goals. We are strengthening our team and our offerings so that we can hit our potential, which will enable us to help other areas of the College achieve their potential in turn. We recently concluded a strategic review conducted by Deloitte Consulting’s Information Technology group where they assessed our current state and helped us develop a plan for the future. That review has guided this transformation.
We are creating a new Information Technology Governance structure. The new structure will consist of five committees:
- Executive Steering Committee: Oversees and makes decisions on College-wide IT strategy, enabling executive-level sponsorship of IT initiatives, deciding on projects above certain thresholds, determining exceptions from approved standards, and providing oversight of IT investments and their impact.
- Academic Technology Committee: Provide oversight of teaching and learning technologies at the College, inclusive of projects, policies and standards related to classroom and lab technologies, the learning management system, and collaboration tools available to students and faculty.
- Administrative Technology Committee: Provide oversight of College-wide applications at the College inclusive of projects, policies, or standards related to finance, human capital management, customer relationship management, student, or other business systems and applications supporting the shared administrative functions across the organization.
- Data Governance Committee: Reviews and approves data management strategy, standards, policies, and promotes cross-campus departmental data sets and sharing opportunities.
- IT Risk Management Committee: Align technology security practices with the College’s tolerance for risk. Establish accountability, authority, and responsibility for information protection, and identify, prioritize and develop IT security standards and enforcement mechanisms to be implemented across the College.
New Positions, New Structure
To meet new, increasing demands, we will be adding a number of roles in ITS, and redefining some existing roles and vacancies. These new roles significantly increase direct and indirect academic support, with an appropriate increase in administrative support.
We’ll be adding academic and administrative software developers under a new software development team. These roles will assist us in building automations to modernize processes quickly. They will also help us tackle the increasing demand for creative pedagogical uses of technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality.
We are adding a new team focused around data. Critical for informed decision making across the College, this team will work to strengthen data integrity and data integration, keeping our systems talking to each other, and ensuring that we use data in a consistent manner across the organization.
We are adding academic and administrative relationship managers to integrate into the campus to better understand the user experience. These roles will work closely with departments to identify and prioritize technology needs. They’ll know our catalog of solutions, and have a keen ear to listen to departmental challenges, but also a keen eye to help find opportunities where technology solutions can make improvements. Those relationship managers will be supported by a new project management office to facilitate the effective and efficient implementation of those opportunities.
We are bolstering our support team with additional technical resources to make sure students and our departments have the best support possible, and we’re bolstering our information security team as well in response to ever increasing cyber security threats and challenges.
Lastly, we’re adding more resources in the form of an additional instructional designer in Educational Technology to further strengthen and support that already highly effective team.
See our new organizational chart for further information.
New Service Offerings
Augmented 24x7x365 Help Desk
We will be augmenting our Help Desk with a third party service provider that will seamlessly take over our phone calls and email queues after hours, during holidays and on weekends. This new service will ensure that our students, faculty and staff have access to high quality help 24x7x365. It also provides for a better work/life balance for our support staff, reducing the need for coverage during off-hours.
In partnership with Human Resources, we are adding LinkedIn Learning to our portfolio of services. LinkedIn Learning provides a comprehensive catalog of high quality training materials on a broad variety of topics. This will be accessible to all faculty, students and staff, and can help us hone skills and knowledge across the institution, while providing practical learning experiences for all.
More details on this to come as we release it but an example of an academic application is that faculty could use it to assign an Excel training curriculum, for instance, and require students to take it as foundational training for a particular course. Managers could use it to create unifying training by building and assigning a customer service curriculum to their employees, ensuring that their staff all have the same baseline skills. Staff could link their LinkedIn Learning account optionally to their LinkedIn account, which would enable them to showcase their achievements on their LinkedIn profiles. We’ll also be able to integrate it into our learning management system for further use.
Enhanced Highly Available Network
ITS, working with our managed network services team, will be strengthening the core of our network, adding significant speed, redundancy, and availability in the process. We’ll be adding a second fiber connection to the internet, doubling our bandwidth. We have also identified multiple single points of failure on the network, and some significant flaws in our overall topology that will be repaired and enhanced in order to reduce outages and minimize impact when they do occur. We are also planning for a significant wireless upgrade to the campus, replacing outdated wireless equipment with the latest technology to enhance coverage and speeds.
Modernization of our Telecommunications
We will be replacing our legacy voice system with a modern, robust telecommunications system that will enable and empower use from anywhere. Faculty and staff will be able to bring their extension with them anywhere on their mobile device or laptop, able to take and make calls from anywhere using their College phone number.
Integration Services & Automation Tools
ITS will be investing in technology to help us more effectively integrate large applications together in a real-time way, so that our data is universally accessible across applications and is consistently updated to reflect changes. We will be acquiring automation tools and technologies to help us automate manual processes, enabling our community to focus less on repetitive tasks, and more on creatively serving our students, families, and alumni.
There were more recommendations around refining our service management, implementing more rigor and industry standard practices around our service management and technical support offerings, much of those are things we can quietly implement internally, but which should translate into more efficient and professional services to our community.
Other recommendations around software solutions were also brought up, and we’ll be working with departments to address those over time.
The question of a new, cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform to replace our PeopleSoft environments was also addressed, with a decision to defer for some time while we restructure ITS. We are likely to open dialogue on that topic again in a year or two.
Thank you for taking the time to read through our transformation plans. The ITS Deloitte review took a great deal of work from many on campus. That work and assistance from faculty, staff, and student contributors was invaluable in helping us understand where we are, define where we should be, and build the bridge to get there. Special gratitude to the numerous faculty members who provided feedback through interviews and other channels; you showed how important we are to you, and we’re honored to be a valued partner to you in service to our students. Special thanks also to Human Resources, the Finance office, and the Executive Team for assistance throughout the process; your professionalism and expertise were inspiring and instrumental.