Shared IT Services Transitions Campuses Virtually in Summer 2020

Shared IT Services (SITS) continues to innovate amid the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 order to limit on-campus operations and embrace social distancing meant transitioning much of WashU’s workforce to work from home, creating logistical and technical challenges for the team. For migrated departments, WashU IT was able to deploy laptops quickly, users had a single point of contact for support, and university-wide software roll-outs allowed staff and faculty to continue serving customers, students, and patients during this time.

SITS previously reported on the success of the creation of the WashU IT End User Services Assistance team, a COVID-19 response team for the influx of service tickets created by users. Since March 16th, the queue comprised of SITS, Enterprise Applications, and other WashU IT divisions, completed more than 1,800 tickets, and helped to expedite countless others to the appropriate IT team. Following the successful shut-down of the Service Desk Assistance queue, 4 members of the Shared IT Services team remained with the Service Desk to provide supplemental support during COVID-19 WFH mandates.

In June, the SITS team reported on innovating IT for WashU this summer. In the current modern technology environment, our IT tools are evolving to include virtual migrations of machines. To complete these domain transfers remotely, we will work with unit liaisons to plan and transition the remaining machines. This process is different from our standard migration process for users. By using this remote transfer process, Shared IT Services can save time and minimize physical interactions.

A deeper dive into this process shows how SITS can transfer users into the modern technology environment without physically touching a user’s machine. The Remote Transfer process includes moving users from their local department domain to the WashU IT accounts domain. Changes will mainly take place updating the SCCM client, introducing anti-virus, Beyond Trust, and advanced cybersecurity tools. Since March 16th, WashU IT and our partners have conducted over 26,396 remote support sessions using Beyond Trust, our remote support tool. This support tool is installed, by default, on all migrated computers.

SITS has continued discovery efforts in the Arts and Sciences Department on the Danforth Campus, and will approach the migration of the Department of Arts and Sciences in 5 key areas; Administration, University College, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and the Social Sciences.