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Management Briefing - ITS completes strategic plan update

Author: ITS

Posted on May 27, 2013

Category: Management Briefings

Background After extensive surveys of UNB faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders, and with input from various assessments including an exhaustive quality assurance review, an independent IT security audit, and a study of core IT infrastructure by an expert consulting firm, ITS’ new set of goals for 2013 – 2014 is designed to further enhance IT support for the university and to enable the five major goals of the UNB Strategic Plan: Exceptional, transformative student experience; Leadership in discovery, innovation, entrepreneurship; Financial resilience and responsibility; Build a better university; Build a better province. Goals for 2013‐2014 ITS maintains a balanced portfolio of projects; requests for IT development and support from units and departments across the university, plus ITS‐sponsored initiatives make up the majority of our ‘to do’ list. During 2013‐2014, a number of strategic initiatives will be undertaken to ensure the university continues to have the IT services and resources it needs and expects. For example, a new mobile app will allow students to look up their class schedules and final grades. The connectEd project will continue to be expanded, with new functionality and resources being made available to students, alumni and retirees through Microsoft’s Office365 cloud service. And, as outlined in a previous management briefing, the entire wireless networking infrastructure on both campuses is being replaced, resulting in vastly improved capacity, speed, and reliability in our Wi‐Fi network. Faculty and staff will enjoy new and expanded services as well. The convergence of connectEd— especially Exchange email and calendar services—with the new Internet phone service (VOIP) plus new applications such as SharePoint for collaboration and Lync for internal messaging including video conferencing, will fulfill the connectEd vision for a truly unified communications system across UNB. ITS has reduced its operating budget by over 15% in the last 3 years, but has continued to provide key services and launch new ones, making UNB more efficient as we succeed at getting the most out of ITS resources. This year, the VOIP project will be completed, and early projections show the university is well on track to achieve the 50% cost‐savings predicted when the project was initiated. ITS is also working hard to mitigate IT risks; a disaster recovery facility is being designed, and the primary UNB data centre in Head Hall will be completely renovated, ensuring our crucial systems and services remain reliable and sustainable. On May 14, the University Management Committee (UMC) approved the updated ITS strategic plan, reaffirming support of our mission and vision: We, Information Technology Services, provide UNB with professional services, leadership, and expertise to ensure our community can achieve its goals with the support of the best technologies of today and advances of tomorrow. We will delight our users with solutions that work for them, reduce costs for the university, and advance UNB’s mission to create the premier university environment for our students, faculty and staff in which to learn, work and live. More information including the complete ITS strategic plan is available at www.unb.ca/its.

May 27, 2013 ‐ Terry Nikkel, AVP, ITS