Alarm clock

The Research Data Storage Service, used by University of Iowa faculty and researchers to back up, archive, and store data, was launched by ITS Research Services in 2014 and now holds 528 terabytes of data in more than 800 volumes.

Customer support is provided by the ITS Enterprise Technology Management team. With so many volumes requiring IT staff to provision and maintain them, the Research Data Storage Service was a great candidate for the OneIT strategic initiative to pursue automation when it aids efficiency and improves customer experiences.

In 2018, ITS Identity and Access Management developed a new tool called Access Management that allows non-IT staff to easily manage the membership of Active Directory groups and logs all changes. By summer 2019, the three teams had collaborated to move management of user access to Research Data Storage Service volumes in Access Management, empowering volume owners to manage access to their data around the clock.

Previously, researchers contacted IT professionals to adjust access. Weekend or holiday requests could take days. Now, with the exception of special requests, new accounts and permissions are ready within 24 hours.

“Since Research Data Storage Service shares were converted to Access Management, staff effort previously spent on this manually intensive task can be applied to new development challenges,” says Laurie Hafner Dahms, a senior IT support consultant on the Enterprise Technology Management team.