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Shared IT Services Focuses on Infrastructure in 2021

One of the goals of the Shared IT Services project is to provide an enabling IT infrastructure for innovation at WashU. Reducing duplication of services, right-sizing environments, and reducing risks associated with aging assets are key areas of focus for the project. By working towards these goals, WashU IT can deliver infrastructure services cost effectively while reducing university risk.

In collaboration with departments, the Shared IT Services program evaluated existing infrastructure resources to determine the best way to handle them. Over the course of the SITS program, decisions were made: to retire assets as part of shared service adoption, to retain assets due to their unique nature and value to the department, or to migrate assets to be managed by WashU IT. In the graph below, we summarize these decisions:

With respect to reducing institutional risk, a key area has been reducing the number of Active Directory domains across the university. Since the Active Directories manage user authentication, they are a high-profile target for malicious activity. Reducing the number of domains thereby reduces the number of potential threat targets.

In the graph below, we examine our current state of active directory domain activities in the Shared IT Services project:

Domain retirement has been a focal point of infrastructure activities since alternative operations began in March 2020. Shared IT Services has been working with units who currently host domains to plan those retirements. Since the move to the work-from-home environment, the following units have retired domains; Alumni & Development, Athletics, Bon Appetite, Career Center, Financial Services, the Office for International Students and Scholars, Student Financial Services, and Undergraduate Admissions.

Recently, WashU IT deployed a new process to remotely transition off-campus workstations from legacy domains to the Accounts domain. Off-campus remote transfers will reduce the need to physically touch legacy workstations and aid in the retirement of domains still containing a small number of legacy workstations. The migration of user accounts, workstations, and infrastructure to the unified Accounts domain provides enhanced security, stability, and flexibility to the WashU community.