IT professionals are constantly bettering existing technologies, improving foundational infrastructure, and launching new services to meet the needs of the university and its people. Here are some of the projects completed in 2022.
Modernizing phone service: OneIT and Health Care Information Systems (HCIS) completed a multi-year project to convert traditional phone lines to Skype for Business, which uses the internet to make calls and offers users improved features and integrations with other Microsoft tools. HCIS manages the service, as part of ongoing increased collaboration across the university’s IT organizations. The change also saves money, eliminating the need to maintain infrastructure for traditional phones.
Unifying email systems: HCIS and OneIT are also nearing the end of a major project to migrate thousands of health care email accounts to Office 365, a service managed by OneIT. Having email on the same platform makes it easier for people to collaborate across health care and other university units.
Expanding multi-factor authentication: All UI students and employees are now required to enroll in Two-Step Login with Duo—the university’s multifactor authentication system—to access essential tools like the MyUI/MAUI student record system, the ICON course-management system, and Office 365 email and calendaring. Expanding Two-Step Login requirements helps keep academic and personal data secure. Multifactor authentication is one of the most powerful tools for preventing unauthorized users from accessing systems that contain sensitive information.
Managing clinical trial data: A new enterprise-wide system called I-CTMS (Iowa Clinical Trials Management System) manages clinical trial data from start to finish, including protocol details, participants, calendars, financials, and billing. The resource went live in the last quarter of 2022 and is available to clinical trials throughout the university. This project is led by the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS) Biomedical Informatics with contributions from Research Information Services in the Office of the Vice President for Research, Carver College of Medicine IT, HCIS Foundations and Clinical Applications, and ITS Administrative Information Systems.
Supporting students with disabilities: Administrative Information Systems developed a new integration within MAUI for Student Disability Services (SDS), replacing their legacy system. SDS can manage applications and accommodations, as well as utilize advising notes, document management tools, and appointment scheduling in MyUI for their students. Students can now choose which approved accommodations to use for their courses in MyUI, and share with their instructors in ICON. A new integration of the proctored exam administration tool simplifies the use of exam accommodations for both faculty and students.
Expanding high-performance computing: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences completed a $337,000 expansion to the starexec high-performance computing (HPC) cluster. StarExec harnesses the power of hundreds of computers, providing a single piece of storage and computing infrastructure to logic-solving communities. As a free, public service, it enables researchers or groups who would otherwise not have access to comparable infrastructure. The expansion added 64 HPC nodes and refreshed shared storage.
Ensuring security compliance: Office 365 Government Community Cloud Service (GCC) High was launched in 2022 to meet compliance with various federal information and cybersecurity regulations. This service makes it easier and faster for researchers to collaborate on highly sensitive work and comply with strict security and compliance terms within their research contracts.
Upgrading network infrastructure: A refresh of the campus network was completed. This included updating all 10,000 wireless access points and over 70,000 campus wired network ports. The upgrades bring increased performance, improved stability, greater availability of Power of Ethernet, and new security features that will roll out in the next two years.
Managing customer requests: UI IT professionals use a system called Cherwell to manage thousands of customer requests for support. Three non-IT groups adopted the tool this past year: the UI Service Center, University Shared Services, and the Office of Institutional Equity. A newly added customer portal allows customers to submit tickets, check the status, communicate with support staff, and receive notifications. Soon Cherwell will be used to track assets and tickets against those assets in the colleges.