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Shared IT Services: A Year in Review

The Shared IT Services (SITS) program continues to move forward. Unit migrations to SITS remain a top priority of the Office of the Chief Information Officer and Vice Chancellor of IT at Washington University in St. Louis. Amidst the changing environment and operations throughout the year, SITS has adapted its approach to move forward with the remaining work. Beginning in November, SITS began the migration of desktops in the College of Arts and Sciences, the last unit remaining to complete the service delivery transformation.

The year 2020 brought many challenges to the IT landscape at Washington University making the foundation laid by the SITS program beneficial to effectively supporting the University through its transition to alternate operation while protecting its assets.  By leveraging this work

  • Remote support was seamlessly provided for staff who were transitioning their workspaces off campus. Hundreds of sessions were completed each day using Beyond Trust, a remote support tool deployed as part of the desktop technology transformation. 
  • A common desktop platform and toolset allowed for the rapid deployment of Zoom, VPN, and other tools critical to ongoing operations. 
  • Laptops and other peripherals were deployed through the depot. These were able to be delivered directly to customers with no requirement for on-campus log-in before use offsite. 
  • The consolidation of technology platforms and the removal of duplicate services resulted in the retirement of 31 Active Directory domains and nearly 900 servers so far. This greatly simplifies the environment and continues to remove risk.  
  • And most recently, anti-malware tools were deployed rapidly to over 21,000 managed endpoints both on and off-campus in response to a November security advisory noting the targeting of higher education institutions.  

Looking forward to 2021, the program is scheduled to complete its activity in June. The benefits outlined above will outlive the project itself and are just a small sample of the outcomes seen thus far from an effort that promises to continue creating a lasting impact.