These overarching initiatives along with 16 project descriptions form the basis of the OneIT@Iowa initiative and address the four IT business cases approved by the Board of Regents. It is critical to ensure that TIER projects are guided by broad campus input; therefore, the project list and descriptions will be refined as implementation plans progress. 

Overarching Initiatives

  • Participate in and help develop the Board of Regents CIO Council
  • Centralize IT organization structure so that all IT reports to University Chief Information Officer
  • Expand campus-wide tracking and visibility of IT expenses, projects, staff efforts, and hiring

Projects

Develop and implement enhanced IT governance and prioritization to ensure that appropriate input is gathered for decisions about IT services and priorities. Improve visibility and management of IT projects. Develop a mechanism to continuously monitor IT services, projects, budgets, and expenses, including personnel effort. Deliver consistent reporting. 

Consolidate all server rooms on campus to centrally managed data center locations (for Production, Research, and Business Continuance). Complete an inventory, evaluation, and classification of in-scope server room spaces and servers. Assess current data center services and adapt to address gaps. Transition servers and services to consolidated data centers and decommission vacated server rooms so they can be repurposed. 

Combine distributed networking support into a single campus network service. Refine services to enable support for distributed unit needs. Standardize network technologies and infrastructure to decrease cost and increase supportability. (Project is delayed until network dependencies are resolved with other projects.)

Improve efficiency of end-user support while maintaining or improving quality. Integrate all campus IT Help Desk support into a shared service model and transition to an IT Service Desk strategy. Implement shared service model for campus end user device management and support, and for end user consultation on general IT services. Utilize campus IT Service Desk as preferred first point of contact for all general IT support and as much specialized support as is feasible. Identify areas of specialized support that are best delivered in a more customized, local manner, and those that may be shared across some organizational boundaries to improve upon current support models. 

Leverage Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions to provide more efficient and supportable campus services through consolidation, standardization, and application of best practices. Project includes identity life cycle management, access management, directory services, and physical and electronic identities, and electronic door access. 

Centralize technology support for learning and collaboration spaces, including classrooms and computer labs. Standardize learning spaces technologies and A/V infrastructure to decrease cost and increase supportability. 

This project is now complete.  Centralize web-hosting services. Achieve efficiency and cost savings through consolidation of departmentally hosted sites that use a common content management system (CMS). Migrate departmentally hosted sites to centrally managed web-hosting service. Ensure that departments have full control of their content; offer departments the option of using central service for web development and programming or retaining local control. 

Centralize standard electronic file storage services. Design a robust, sustainable, and ubiquitous model for central file storage services to accommodate greater demand and meet the diverse needs of the campus. Migrate all files and relevant data from duplicative services to the central service; retire or repurpose redundant services. 

Develop new application portfolio management processes and consolidate university’s application portfolio. Define the scope for included applications, and implement a taxonomy that enables accurate categorization and determination of business value both within the university and across Regents institutions. Use portfolio to evaluate the application landscape, identify business needs and priorities, and eliminate redundancy. 

Migrate faculty and staff to the Office 365 platform. Reduce on-premises email infrastructure. Consolidate email infrastructure and services into Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud offering. Standardize email services to reduce support variability.

Implement VoIP for off-campus connections. Reduce Public Switched Telephone Networking (PSTN) networking costs. Reduce NEC Primary Branch Exchange (PBX) infrastructure. Transition campus telephony service to Microsoft Skype for Business. 

Reduce printing costs through lower consumable costs and sharing printers where possible. Develop a project to measure and reduce total costs of campus desktop printing at the UI. Raise awareness about the cost of printing and reduce local printers across campus. (Project is delayed until Huron assessment is complete.)

The initial project vision focused on three areas:

  • Developing new services for managing high-performance computing systems by designing a service model that allowed for more efficient running of cluster-computing systems.
  • Pooling research cluster computing staffing to more efficiently manage cluster-computing systems.
  • Continuing to encourage use of standardized central cluster systems where possible, and where not possible, using standardized management practices when feasible.

Due to staffing and time constraints and the opportunities to expand use of central services, the project scope evolved to focus on deployment of a new HPC system and integration of small HPC services.

Lower the cost of procuring and managing PCs and other end-user devices such as computers, laptops, notebooks, tablets, and handheld devices. Consider use of alternative technologies, such as VDI, for specific use cases. Implement a process that gives the university CIO oversight and approval of IT equipment, software, and service purchases. Centralize the procurement aspect of software licenses to assure best pricing and terms. 

Represent the human resource needs for the current OneIT implementation effort and create a hiring framework to promote visibility and transparency for future hiring and staffing needs. Establish a process to analyze the skills and interests of affected IT staff. Develop a structure that provides an approach to review positions and consolidate and streamline IT hiring. 

Business Intelligence is a critical tool for strategic, tactical, and operational decision-making. Focus will be on implementing an initial suite of self-service BI solutions for Admissions, General Ledger, and Student Records data domains that empowers end users to do reporting and analysis. Perform a high-level needs analysis to determine what information and tools are required to make key business decisions. 

Develop a formal, centralized Information Technology Project Management Office with clearly defined standard processes for initiating, approving, managing, closing, and evaluating information technology projects at the UI.