Talking about the Mission, Vision and Values of Shared IT Services

The Shared IT Services (SITS) program continues to move forward. Unit migrations to SITS remains a top priority of the Office of the Chief Information Officer and Vice Chancellor of IT at Washington University in St. Louis. As stated in the February issue, SITS leadership is recalibrating the current migration schedule to best support concurrent initiatives, like Epic and ECV. Users can expect to see a new, complete schedule in spring 2018. As WashU IT staff, you are bound to receive questions from end users or local IT staff and you may have the opportunity to address rumors about the program. In this issue, we will address those topics by reinforcing the program’s mission and message in simple, transferable talking points.

Our Message
You may recall, the plan to move to integrated Shared IT Services for end user and infrastructure technology at the university started back in December 2014 when university leadership, including the IT Executive Committee, the Deans and Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) Executive Faculty, approved funding for this multi-year program. You can view that announcement here and the response from John Gohsman here. Since then, you’ve been a huge part of the work that’s gone in to developing Shared IT Services and rebalancing the IT delivery model for all the schools and departments in the university. As WashU IT staff, you have been there through many planned department migrations to the SITS program and will be there for those to come.

How Should I Talk about SITS?
When you encounter end users or local IT staff that are unfamiliar with SITS, it is important to let them know upfront that it is a large task with many moving parts–the university plotted an over $20 million budget to span several years for its successful completion. When talking about the program, generally, there are two main talking points to share about how the Shared IT Service Program works —1) Development (service model) of the Shared IT Services, and 2) Unit implementation of the Shared IT Services (user machine/server migrations). Upfront, these can seem like daunting terms for anyone not fully immersed in the program, like you, but we can reassure end users that the services provided through SITS consist of things they already consume, just packaged and delivered in a more universal way across the University. From a high level, these services can be described as:

1.) Shared IT Services Development:
The service model for Shared IT Services involves Shared Infrastructure and the Basic IT (BIT) Bundle. The BIT Bundle service is a grouping of features that pull from our WashU IT service catalog portfolio. Please review the Service Level Expectation (SLE) for each, below:

2.) Shared IT Services Unit Implementation:
Users have likely heard something about SITS or unit migrations. As WashU IT staff, you may get questions about unit implementations as that is the closest to the end user and/or local IT staff. To help address these questions and concerns, we can help to clarify by outlining the process, beginning with the implementation of the program which consists of a discovery period

between unit and program leadership, followed by individual user/machine migrations and shared infrastructure migrations, and a staff transition for local IT staff that is being retained in the unit or IT staff that is moving to WashU IT. It is at this point that new users become fully supported WashU IT customers, operationally.  After a stabilization period, the user is turned over to operations, referred to as TTO. Review and share the presentation on what an individual computer migration looks like to help alleviate end user confusion around the implementation process:

People Want to Know – When am I Migrating and Why?
In light of the current schedule recalibration talk, it is important to help end users understand what a ‘wave’ is as it relates to their unit implementation. We know that when a unit’s implementation is planned, it is put into a much larger plan, which is broken up into waves. This is done so that migrations can happen in smart and efficient ways. It is our job to help end users understand our four waves of implementation:

  • Wave I: Clinical units.
    • The Wave I schedule has been adjusted to finish unit migrations with Neurology and Department of Medicine unit migrations. The remaining clinical migrations will be paused until after Epic is live in June 2018.
  •  Wave II: Existing customer groups in Brown School, Law School, Central Fiscal Units at Danforth and Central Administrative Units at WUSM.
    • In the interim of the Wave I recalibration, SITS is continuing in the migration schedule with Wave II migrations.
  • Wave III: New customers.
  • Wave IV: Hard sciences, pre-clinical groups, and cleanup.

Our Mission, Vision and Value
Ensuring the success of each unit migration is of the utmost importance. CIO and Vice Chancellor of IT John Gohsman has restated the urgency and importance of this program’s success. As such, Shared IT Services implementation is one of WashU IT staff’s biggest priorities. To hear John Gohsman talk to unit leaders about this important program, log in to Box and watch his November 2015 address here.

As stated earlier, the Shared IT Services leadership team is working on releasing an updated overall schedule based on the recalibration of Wave I. That will be available in spring 2018. For a current status of unit implementations, please see the below graphic. Though we can’t give dates just yet, we can provide clarity on what SITS is to end users and how WashU IT staff play a part in that success.