IT Guiding Principles

IT Guiding Principles

MISSION FIRST

IT exists to support and enable the mission of the university, facilitating an environment for research, teaching, learning and clinical activity. University and school strategy will drive IT strategies and initiatives. We will provide a responsive environment that serves the needs and expectations of students, faculty, staff and patients. IT service activities will be designed first to enhance the experience of our faculty, students and patients and secondarily to support staff in their administrative activities. IT services will provide information management services to meet the needs of university and school leadership.


APPROPRIATE SOLUTIONS APPROACH

The IT governance structure recognizes there are times when building applications to differentiate the university will be a strategic advantage. However our “first choice” is to acquire technology. Insource or outsource decisions will be based on a clearly defined set of criteria. Where it makes sense, we will reduce the number of vendors. Doing so improves integration, allows us to maintain a staff focused on a limited number of strategically selected IT skills, improves the support model, increases user productivity and lowers total cost of ownership. The university will practice process redesign and is open to changing processes to leverage best practice inherent in acquired software. We also acknowledge that minimal modification of acquired systems is better than complete system development. Once a need is validated, IT will work with campus constituents to identify business and architectural requirements, examine existing solutions, and consider the resource capacity needed to develop, scale and support a solution throughout its lifecycle.


DATA IS AN ASSET

The university’s data—by definition, practice, and intent—is a University asset. Data will be managed as an institutional resource. Specifically, institutional data will be identified and defined.

There should be one authoritative source for institutional data. The data resource will be safeguarded/protected. Data will be shared based on institutional policies, and federal and state laws. Information should be shared (rather than stored) in multiple secure and monitored places/silos. Information quality will be actively managed. Contingency plans will be developed and implemented. Access to data will be authorized and managed.


INTENTIONAL SERVICE DESIGN

The IT governance structure will help determine when to design for scale and when to design for innovation or mission-unique requirements. IT initiatives will engage in architecture design early in the process to ensure the university realizes the fullest value of the investment. Service components will be categorized within the IT architecture to improve the quality of service support, to allow for commodity technologies to be scaled, and to encourage innovation. All university organizations should adhere to this intentional design of the IT architecture to strengthen the ability of IT services to provide a consistent and measurable level of quality.


SECURE, SUSTAINABLE, MAINTAINABLE, RELIABLE, AVAILABLE

We will use an end-to-end project approach that considers strategy, user experience, implementation, deployment and support via the IT governance structure, including architecture review and priority setting. This will encourage technology solutions that facilitate seamless operations, collaboration and communication. This means deploying technology that: includes mobility and multi-platform access features; is agile and able to quickly respond to changing business and technical requirements; adds value to the institution; allows for efficient use of IT resources; and minimizes risk.


KEEP IT SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE CURRENT

As technology is ever-changing, a good IT service provider must be aware of new technologies, trends and issues to better serve the current and future needs of the end-user. Management will work with IT staff to develop initiatives to keep staff skills current. IT staff will be encouraged to continually gain knowledge and to gather intelligence through professional development opportunities, independent research, interaction with end-users and information sharing. This mission critical task enables IT service providers to provide optimal service and support to end-users, to proactively deploy new solutions or ‘fixes’ to solutions in use, and to prepare for emerging business and user requirements.