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Shared IT Services Transforms WashU Campuses in 2021

The Shared Information Technology Services (SITS) Program was designed to rebalance the Information Technology (IT) delivery model at Washington University in St. Louis by establishing a shared infrastructure and end-user computing platform that enables seamless sharing of information and positions the University for strategic advancement. In January 2015, the Shared IT Services Program launched with four projects to unify and simplify consume and provide technology at WashU.

In order to achieve this objective, the SITS Project Team was created in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of WashU’s previous technological environment. Through the work of the four major pillars, the goal was achieved. First, the IT Service Management team implemented ServiceNow. As a result of consolidating onto a common service management system, WashU IT was able to establish Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) and a Service Portfolio Management process.

The WUSM Email Consolidation project migrated 21,285 mailboxes to WashU’s Office 365 service in December 2017. Consolidating email improved visibility of directory information across the Danforth Campus, WUSM, and BJC.

User Services Integration Project unified WashU’s previously decentralized IT environment by creating a single point of contact for Information Technology at (314) 933-3333. As a result of this integration, all WashU IT users now have access to WUSTL Key, the secure login experience for secure sign on (SSO). A total of 26,118 user accounts have been migrated from legacy domains to the WUSTL Key identity access system.

In addition, the WashU IT Depot now streamlines hardware requests and hardware replacements within the university by replacing commercial vendors with WashU IT, resulting in reduced prices for university users across all departments. In total, the WashU IT depot has saved the University over $1million per year and nearly $7million since its inception. The integration project also spurred WashU forward in the transition to the Remote Work environment, supporting over 26,000 remote sessions in the first 90 days of remote work for the university and deploying thousands of computing devices to support the remote workforce.

The SITS program also aimed to enhance the existing infrastructure. Collaboration with departments enabled Shared IT Services to evaluate existing infrastructure resources in order to improve their efficiency. Throughout the SITS program, decisions were made: to retire assets as part of the adoption of shared services, to retain assets due to their unique nature and value to the Approximately $3.9million in annual university savings can be attributed to the retirement of 37% of legacy servers by WashU IT. The modern WashU IT environment hosts over 1,000 servers on an enterprise-class private cloud server, which is monitored 24/7 and responds to when a server alarm occurs.

The Shared IT Services Program initiatives continue to be operational at WashU IT. The project team helped transition all 5 WUSTL campuses to the modern IT environment at WashU. During the project, 245 people contributed from the WashU IT organization, while 52 additional staff were transferred from departmental IT units to WashU IT. The project was completed on July 1st, 2021.