FAQ for Customers

You have questions about Shared IT Services. We have answers.

Strategic Governance Structure Creation:

• The IT governance structure works to improve the information technology environment at Washington University in St. Louis by developing a coordinated vision of IT that serves the university’s mission and strategic plan.

Creation of the OCIO:

• The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) has been created to align all IT staff to a strategic vision of information technology that advances the Washington University mission, supports operations, serves the needs of all communities across the university and enables the university to continue to excel in its increasingly competitive landscape.

Rebalance the service delivery model to provide common IT Services from the larger shared services organization while refocusing IT in the schools and departments on IT delivery that truly differentiate a unit supporting its unique mission.

To support the rebalancing effort, new large scale services have been developed. As these services are implemented, a portion of current school and department IT staff will transition into Wash U IT – the shared services provider organization.

IT at Washington University in St. Louis historically has:

• Been unusually decentralized in comparison to our peers

• Delivered varied service levels

• Been fragmented and complex for customers to provision services

• Operated with significant overlap and redundancy

John Gohsman, Vice Chancellor for IT and CIO is the sponsor for the new services. Ed Welker, Executive Director of Shared Infrastructure and John Norenberg,  Interim Executive Director of End User Services, are the executives accountable for service delivery.
The implementation of the new shared services is one program being carried out to support the strategy of rebalancing IT at the University. The shared services implementation will begin in the second quarter of fiscal 2017 and is expected to continue through the middle of fiscal 2019.
Some of the university IT staff will report to the WashU IT while some will continue to report to the schools and departments. All IT staff at the university will be joined to a single service desk provided by WashU IT. The service desk can serve as the university-wide single point of contact for IT customers.

Additionally, all university IT staff will leverage universal service management tools and processes.

There will be a new support model with a single service desk to provide support and handle service requests. The Service Desk will have instant access to your familiar desk side support professionals and to advanced engineering and application development staff.
Please be patient. Implementation of these new services is a large, complex, multi-year effort. The implementation will begin with the clinical departments in the medical school because it is important that the services be in place prior to the implementation of Epic, a new electronic medical records system.

After clinical implementation is complete, the services will be implemented for current WashU IT end user computing customers followed by the remaining schools and departments in Washington University.

The work that IT performs can be grouped into functional areas. Although the functional areas that are migrated to shared services may vary from school to school, in general, the following examples are expected to be transitioned to shared services.

• Help/Service Desk

• Desk Side Support

• Server and storage engineering

• Direct Consultation with Faculty and Staff to specify hardware and desktop software

• System Refresh

• Network Administration

In general, the following functional area examples are expected to be retained within the schools and departments or other university organizations:

• Custom application development

• Research data and informatics management

IT that is provided specifically in support of a school or department’s mission are expected to remain the responsibility of school’s and department’s IT organizations. Staff who provide services such as research analytics support, and application development specific to schools and departments are two examples.
The service delivery model to be employed by the new services includes desk side support professionals who will remain physically located within many of the schools and departments on both the Medical and Danforth Campuses. Strategically, this approach is intended to respect and protect the valuable relationships IT staff have built with the faculty. In the future it will be important that a high level of trust exist between faculty and their IT support team just as it does today.
It helps to understand that while we will be changing how we structurally organize to deliver IT service, we are doing so with faculty and staff in mind. We are changing some of the things that inhibit our ability to deliver seamless, rapidly provisioned services. Examples of the positive changes are consolidation of our identity management systems to move us closer to a single user name and password, and a single service desk who can connect faculty and staff with IT professionals who can solve their problems regardless of the source.

At the same time, we are focused on protecting the things that we are doing well today such as providing support with staff who are familiar and highly knowledgeable.

Infrastructure Services are toll services, which means the cost is directly related to how much is consumed. Determining school and departmental consumption needs generally requires an interaction with one of our engineers.
We encourage all IT staff and customers to contact us at itmigration@wustl.edu to provide us with open, candid feedback and suggestions for improvement.