We will continue to update the FAQ as new questions come up and when we have more details to add.
What is OneIT@Iowa, and why are we implementing it?
One important goal of OneIT@Iowa is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IT by transforming the way IT commodity and infrastructure services are delivered, so that resources can be reallocated toward innovation and unit-specific IT needs. In doing so, we must also identify areas where specialization and innovation are critical to meet unique needs in research and instruction, and assure that those needs are properly addressed.
In parallel to the efficiency projects, a long-term vision for OneIT was developed through a series of retreats involving leaders of each IT unit on campus. The UI IT community is evolving into a unified IT organization called OneIT. Unification is designed to create a more cohesive, easy experience for IT customers, enable us to maximize the impact of IT investment and better meet the needs of interdisciplinary activities, and allow us to learn from each other.
How will the unique needs of units be met?
OneIT projects and implementations are not one-size-fits all. As we work to achieve the objectives of OneIT, implementation teams including representatives selected by the colleges and members of the project teams will examine areas of differentiation to ensure that no gaps are created as changes are made.
The overall approach is to expand use of central offerings, wherever possible, for the more general (aka “commodity”) IT services. This allows services to be delivered more consistently and efficiently and enables units to focus attention, talent, and resources on the unique or "edge" services. It’s also important that we make central services as flexible as possible, to meet the varied needs of customers.
Who makes decisions on the direction of OneIT activities?
For the efficiency projects, some decisions were made by the Board of Regents, and we are committed to meeting the savings/efficiency targets by summer of 2018, within the 3-year timeline. The Program Office oversees the OneIT projects, and progress on the TIER initiatives is reported to the Board of Regents.
Beyond the projects and going forward, the OneIT organization is embracing a new governance structure developed through one of the projects. It aims to improve communication and visibility of IT project and services, provide clarity on IT decision-making, align investments of money and time with strategy, minimize risk, and broaden input from the campus regarding strategic direction and priorities.
The new governance structure establishes three governing groups: Councils (advisory groups with expertise in a specific domain), a Strategy Team (comprises council leaders/facilitators, sets the strategic direction for OneIT), and an Operations Team (comprises a subset of IT leaders from central and distributed units, oversees daily operations of OneIT).
What services are affected?
A list of projects and descriptions is available at http://oneit.uiowa.edu/projects
The focus is on infrastructure and commodity (general IT) services, but implementing the TIER initiatives is a transformation of the IT environment at the UI, so nearly all services will be affected in some way.
Changes in services range from minor to significant. Some will only see secondary effects, while others will change in ways that are visible to customers. As we work to improve efficiency and reduce expenses, we are committed to maintaining the quality of services UI technology users are accustomed to experiencing, and will assure this through close collaboration and dialog between IT professionals and their customers across units.
How will services look different in OneIT?
One key aspect of OneIT@Iowa is to gain more input from colleges, departments, and units to develop shared, collaborative services that better meet the needs of a larger portion of the campus, minimize duplication and reduce costs, and maintain a successful and effective support model. Some services that are specialized in nature will continue to be delivered and managed locally.
What changes will end users experience?
The CIO and the IT community are committed to maintaining the same quality of IT services for end users and to leveraging the new organization of IT to improve service quality whenever possible. End users can expect the same or at least a very similar experience.
Most changes will be in how IT staff work together to deliver IT services behind the scenes. It is key to communicate the changes, provide instructions and/or training, and be attuned to their feedback so we can make adjustments as needed. Mechanisms are in place to do this as OneIT, particularly the
End User Support Project, is implemented in each unit. Unit IT directors will be engaged throughout the process, and will be instrumental in keeping end users informed.
How are changes communicated? How can I keep up on the progress?
We use a host of communication and engagement mechanisms to share information and seek input:
- Unit IT leaders are the communication vector for OneIT implementation details specific to their unit.
- For overall OneIT updates:
- Visit the OneIT website: there are three news subscription options. On the homepage, you can subscribe to all project news and general news feeds. On each project page, under the news tab, you can subscribe to news for that specific project.
- Attend events (advertised on the UI master calendar)
- Listening posts – public forums open to anyone on campus who is interested
- Town Halls for IT professionals
- Read success stories about the impact of OneIT on the campus
- Contact OneIT representatives: Reach out to the Program Office, CIO Steve Fleagle, or project teams with ideas, questions, or concerns.
- For overall TIER updates:
- The UI TIER website provides news on all of the TIER initiatives.
How is change management being handled?
Change management is the process we use to help people get ready, willing, and able to work in new ways. Each project team incorporates change management and communication into its project plans, and we have a dedicated change-management professional working closely with project teams and OneIT leadership to help ensure smooth transitions for impacted staff.
Communication is key to effective change management. We work hard to provide regular updates about OneIT and to foster dialog with constituents. We engage regularly with IT professionals and the broader campus constituency to share information, assess needs, address concerns, and gather ideas.
What does the implementation process look like?
As we pick up steam in some of our larger OneIT initiatives, such as implementation of the End User Support Project, we will be taking a unit-by-unit approach.
Collegiate IT leaders will be actively involved, working directly with project teams. Together they will evaluate needs, develop plans and timelines, and ensure that no gaps are created as changes are made. Collegiate IT leaders will be instrumental throughout the process and play a vital role in helping prepare their staff and customers for changes that may impact them.
All OneIT projects are following project management best practices as outlined by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Each OneIT project goes through four stages: Initiation, Planning, Implementation, and Closeout. Each one has a project team, advisory group, charter and project plans.
Is health care IT affected by these changes?
The Carver College of Medicine (CCOM) and Health Care Information Systems (HCIS) are mostly out of scope because they already have their own efficiency initiatives underway. There will be some indirect impact since some technology systems and processes are inter-dependent. Health care is involved in the procurement activities, to coordinate IT purchases across the institution and negotiate the best possible pricing.