IT Staff News Shared IT Services

Shared IT Services Lends Hands Across WashU Campuses

Shared IT Services (SITS) continues to make an impact for WashU IT, even in the midst of a global pandemic. In March, the SITS team was faced with the challenge of University building closures. During this closure, the team continues to work in areas of Discovery, Communications, File Services migrations, and revisiting previously migrated departments to identify opportunities to transition the remaining workstations to SITS.

Perhaps more importantly, as the University transitioned to alternate operations and adopted a remote work environment, the SITS team has been deployed to different WashU IT teams to support this effort. The WashU IT Service Desk has added 16 SITS team members to their team to expedite call answer times and resolution of ServiceNow tickets. Between March 16th – April 16th the team has assisted with responding to the extraordinary volume of requests, has resolved more than 1,200 ServiceNow tickets, and routing others to appropriate support teams.  In the first two weeks of transitioning to the remote work environment, WashU IT and our partners have utilized the remote support tool implemented as part of SITS, Beyond Trust, to conduct over 11,000 remote support sessions. This support tool is installed, by default, on computers migrated by SITS.

Another successful outcome due to the new modern technology environment is that WashU IT has been able to manage a rapid, large-scale deployment of items in support of the work from home transition. Prior to the SITS environment, the response could not have been implemented so quickly. WashU IT now has a standard computer imaging process, with an engineering team that is able to quickly respond to user issues. In March, the WashU IT Depot deployed 1,938 items of WashU IT equipment consisting of laptops, desktops, monitors, loaner devices, and accessories.

SITS has continued its efforts in the Arts and Sciences Department on the Danforth Campus. Amid University closures, the discovery phase continues in the first 3 units; Administration, University College and the Department of Humanities. SITS will approach the migration of the Department of Arts and Sciences in 5 key areas; Administration, University College, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences.

The SITS team will begin a new project to deploy the Folding@Home application to idle CFU computer resources.  Folding@Home is a University research project which leverages an application to runs complex simulations for COVID-19 therapy and vaccine research. With the recent transition to WFH, there are many PCs left on campus with available computing power that can be used to contribute to this effort. More information on Folding@Home can be found here.