tidBiTS
Informs and engages the UNB community on IT developments and news

Management Briefing - ITS Strategy Update Part 1

Author: ITS

Posted on Feb 7, 2014

Category: Management Briefings

Management Briefing – ITS Strategy Update Part 1: 2013 in Review Introduction ITS’ strategic plan was revised by stakeholders and approved by UMC early last year, and UNB’s first‐ever mobility strategy was also launched. Progress towards our objectives has been steady, with several key projects completed and new ones started. This is the first of 2 briefings on UNB’s IT strategy, and looks back on 2013; the second report will preview many initiatives now underway and scheduled for completion in 2014. Quality reviews inform strategies to ensure an exceptional student experience The revised IT strategy was developed to respond quickly and definitively to many recommendations arising from extensive reviews of IT performance and services. For example, it was abundantly clear from user feedback and our own data that the wireless network was not meeting the needs and expectations of the university community. ITS led the replacement of the entire wireless network infrastructure on both the Fredericton and Saint John campuses. Through creativity, superb planning, dedicated resources, and a bit of luck, the project was completed in record time; we’ve not had a single complaint about wireless since. Other projects included migration from Microsoft’s Live@edu cloud service to Office365 for students, a quantum leap in performance and resources, all at no cost to UNB. Then, the first fully integrated UNB app was delivered, featuring course schedules, final grades, and so on. The entire UNB website was reformatted and refreshed to perform perfectly on any kind of device from smartphones to tablets, and has proved an enormous success. Focusing on innovation ITS functions in a rapidly changing technology environment; every day a new technology or way of applying existing technologies presents itself, and ITS needs to consider it for inclusion in its portfolio. To help us cope with this constant influx, ITS began restructuring itself to better serve the university by being more responsive and able to assess services and projects more effectively. An existing ITS service, the Project Management Office, won the Macaulay‐O’Sullivan Administrative Service and Innovation Award for its contributions to overall efficiency and effectiveness of the entire unit. Supporting financial responsibility while building a better university Several projects directly supported enterprise financial and operational goals. ITS delivered the VOIP project, which is on track to result in $4M in savings to the university over 10 years. In addition, work on a disaster recovery computing facility was largely completed; the site is designed take over enterprise computing operations in the event of problems with the main UNB data center in Head Hall. The DR project reduces overall risk for UNB, and ensures continuity under most circumstances. Finally, the UCard system was deployed widely, providing convenient payment services to faculty, staff, and students alike, while laying the groundwork for secure door access systems incorporating state‐of‐the‐art card technologies such as tap‐and‐go, and even contactless options. Building a better province ITS has long been the leader in building and operating provincial and regional networks in the PSE sector, and continued this tradition by working with consortium partners to define the first‐ever strategic plan for the Education Computing Network, which will see better risk management and more collaborative projects.

February 7, 2014. Terry Nikkel, AVP, ITS