Wednesday, September 26, 2018

OneIT has changed the UI’s landscape significantly, evolving roles and ways in which we work together.

During our strategic planning process, we heard feedback about roles of IT professionals being unclear, particularly with respect to research support. Understanding those roles and relationships facilitates collaboration and a better customer experience. A specific strategy was created to address this under the Research strategic goal.

We also created a strategic goal, IT Evolution, which focuses on clarifying roles and increasing collaboration. The goal of the IT support framework is to establish a common language to describe IT roles, and a common understanding of how those roles interact with each other, exploring both overlaps and gaps between roles.

Senior Director of Research Services Ben Rogers and Chief of Staff Rachel Napoli of the CIO Office have been seeking feedback on a draft IT support framework that defines five roles:

  • Technology leaders: Responsible for developing and implementing strategy in consultation with their stakeholders, resource allocation, prioritization, and advocating for campus needs.
  • Specialists: Recognized campus experts in a technology field. Take referrals from other areas and help solve complex user problems within their field of expertise.
  • Facilitators: Have a broad knowledge of their mission area, technology, workflows, and campus services. Can help design and execute of some projects. Frequently have a specific area of deep expertise not directly related to IT. Responsible for helping consultants and users navigate and identify technology and resources that meet their needs.
  • Consultants: Facilitate the operation, maintenance, and support of a department's IT needs. Have a primary relationship with individuals in their units and are responsible for helping those users identify resources and connect with other campus professionals when needed.
  • Help desk: Provides a first line of support for IT support questions. Identifies resources and directs users to appropriate contacts if the question cannot be answered by the help desk.

The framework also seeks to categorize types of services.

  • Foundational services: Services not typically consumed directly by non-technologists, but important components of user-facing services. Generally provided as central services and utilized by IT staff.
  • User-facing services: Typically consumed directly by non-technologists. The framework calls out three types of user-facing services:
    • Core services: Widely used across all campus areas. In many cases these are commodity services, generally provided as central services.
    • Common services:  Less widely used across campus but broadly used across collegiate or other organizational boundaries, making campus scale useful. Typically provided centrally but may be provided at the unit level.
    • Specialized services: Small user base, do not make sense to run at campus scale. Frequently run by the unit.

The development and discussion of the IT support framework is an iterative process. The feedback received to date from OneIT Leaders, ITAdmins, and Extended Technical Support team leads is informing the next steps in how this can be utilized to ensure no-gap service, and to define roles, escalation paths, and career paths in IT. For more information, contact Ben Rogers or Rachel Napoli