The IT Strategic Plan has been realigned to each of the IT Governance bodies as follows:
IT Council Steering Committee
Identify Campus-Wide SMEs
In conjunction with Action Item 2.1, the Division of IT should establish subject matter experts in areas of high value to unit IT support and, via the defined model, make them available to local IT to assist not only in resolving problems, but also in assessing needs for new technologies and developing support for such new technologies.
In conjunction with Action Item 2.1, Division of IT and unit IT support providers should clearly publish service catalogs and articulate offerings so that campus community members can easily determine where to get desired tools and support.
Formalize Career Paths
The university must articulate a plan for recruiting and retaining world-class IT staff while developing current resources. A clearly defined personnel development track for technology staff at the university should be treated with care equal to or greater than the maintenance and operation of the systems they support.
IT Staff Development
Those who use IT and those who support its use locally must be adequately trained so as to minimize their demand for broader support and maximize the effectiveness of their use of IT. Therefore, training and education programs should be continuously enhanced and developed, acquired, and delivered in such a way as to provide the most cost effective solution.
Garden of Architecture
The IT environment at UMD should take a flexible approach to the architectures and types of systems deployed so as to take advantage of the widest array of opportunities presented by the marketplace. UMD should adopt a philosophy of a "garden of architectures" rather than seeking singular and limited technological solutions.
Expanded Presence at Orientation & Online Information
The new faculty orientation process (for both teaching and research faculty) should include detailed, expansive, and engaging training to aid in faculty members’ familiarization with the technology tools and services deployed in learning and research environments on campus.
Recognizing that legacy university enterprise information systems are based on outdated technologies, the university should accelerate their replacement. These systems should be made more robust and functional as they are modernized and replaced by newer, more readily supportable technologies. Representative users from the community should be involved in the selection and specification of such systems, assess their usability and functionality, and take leading roles in their implementation.
Consolidated Charge Strategy
Recognizing that information technology is a strategic asset necessary for the institution and will become even more critical to the transformation of the institution, provision of fundamental IT elements must be done holistically and not via ad-hoc or charged elements. Essentially, charge-back "by the use" are generally viewed as non-productive and detrimental to the strategic provision of IT at UMD. The Division of IT should engage with governance structures to determine which aspects of IT are better delivered on a pay-per-use model and what the cost and charge mechanisms should be and which aspects are part of the expected intellectual infrastructure.
Effective Centralization Model
Funding mechanisms that incentivize balanced long-term cost cutting should be developed to encourage appropriate centralization of services and infrastructure so as to best position the institution to evaluate moves of those services and infrastructure to the cloud.
Develop Campus-Wide IT Replacement Standard
In partnership with all colleges and in concert with Action Item, a campus-wide best practice based standard for lifecycle replacement of IT elements (particularly personal computing devices) should be established and a review of current funding policies and programs should be made to ensure adequate lifecycle replacement occurs.
Campus-Wide Purchasing Arrangements
Across all aspects of IT (equipment, software, tools, training, services, etc.), in conjunction with more distributed governance structures, the university should strive for maximum efficacy and the most fiscal efficiency through the use of broad-based, centralized, holistic decision processes.
Lifecycle Management Framework
When new systems or new technology services are deployed, a thorough cost and investment analysis should be done to ensure that adequate funding is allocated to not only provide for the initial implementation but to also ensure that ongoing annual costs are addressed, that any lifecycle refresh of equipment or other infrastructure is accounted for, and that any exit costs are identified. Entities that propose or mandate enterprise information systems should be required to perform these analyses. Local entities developing and deploying systems or technology services should perform similar analyses and have control over those processes.
Organizational Effectiveness Review
The Division of IT should engage in a self-evaluation and structured introspection of its function and the application of its resources.
University Senate Recommendation for Enhanced IT Governance & Creation of New Structures to Serve as Decision Making and Guidance Body
The university community must be involved as a full-fledged partner with both authority and responsibility in the development and implementation of IT strategies and service directions taken at UMD. A long-term role for the task forces that developed this plan should evolve into a formal governance structure for IT grounded in faculty, staff, and student involvement and integrated with other forms of shared governance at UMD.
Activity Based Costing
In conjunction with Action Item, the Division of IT should initiate and manage a program of Activity Based Costing related to its service catalog. This effort should be coupled with a user satisfaction survey so that cost and quality of services can be illustrated and management decisions regarding funding and program enhancements can be informed by detailed tactical metrics.
The VP/CIO should place within his senior staff the role of a faculty liaison designed to help the Division of IT leadership to more effectively communicate and interact with the faculty of the University of Maryland. Whether this liaison role is filled by a single individual or a small group of complimentary individuals is a matter for the VP/CIO to determine.
IT Security Advisory Committee
Advisory Committees, Expanded Policy Awareness Activities & Online Presence
The Division of IT must lead the way to define standards for device and information security and to communicate best practices and policies across the university community.
The VP/CIO working with university administration should review the current structure regarding data stewardship and determine whether that structure is appropriate to properly define and administer access to institutional data and to ensure that policies for such access are adequate and enforced.
Implementation of External Audit Recommendations
The Division of IT should complete review of the recently (2012) completed external IT Security Review and in collaboration through appropriately discreet conversation with the university community, develop an implementation strategy to address points of concern raised by that review.
IT Policy Framework & IT Policy Committee
The University Libraries and the Division of IT should lead the university to develop clear and forceful policies to address the management and protection (integrity) of sensitive and business-critical information (data), including the university’s permanent electronic records, and the security IT infrastructure resources upon which that information resides. The Division of IT should also establish an IT policy advisory team composed of a variety of faculty and staff from across the university to assist in the review and formation of appropriate IT policies.
Output of IT Policy Framework and Committee
Specific programmatic mechanisms should be reviewed and enhanced where needed to assure IT security and protection of information privacy.
Campus-Wide Physical Security Assessment
Specific physical mechanisms must be assessed and enhanced where needed to secure business-critical servers and access to sensitive information.
Security Advisory Committee
The Division of IT and Office of the Vice President of IT should establish a security advisory team comprised of a variety of department staff and faculty from across the university to assist in the review and formation of appropriate IT security practices.
Review and Revision of Existing Risk Management, Business Continuity, and Disaster Recovery Efforts
The Division of IT should review the IT Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan (DR/BCP) with input from the university community and support from senior-level leadership at the university.
Research Technology Work Group
The university must consider whether there are benefits to a holistic approach for the provision, advancement, and support of high-performance computing (HPC) and other CyberInfrastructure (CI) to include storage, networking, visualization, data sets, software, and personnel to advance research across all disciplines. The Provost, the Vice President for Research, and the VP/CIO should convene key constituent deans and others to address the fundamental question: Is UMD approaching the provision of HPC and CI appropriately given collective vision for the future? Next steps regarding this action item should logically evolve from that point, including articulation of such a vision and a plan to bring it about.
Research Tools, Services & Support
In collaboration with a broad group of researchers, the Division of IT should identify and understand the superset of tools and services used by the research community and develop a support model for those tools, including acquisition and funding of them and deployment and support for their use.
Research Social Web
The Divisions of IT and Research should work with the university research community to develop an online and interactive clearinghouse of information regarding current research areas (and listing individual researchers) to facilitate collaboration and interdisciplinary research engagement. The Division of IT should, in partnership with the university research community, develop using a social networking model, a means for researchers to connect with potential collaborators both inside and outside the university. This should be closely integrated with the existing Expertise UMD site, which is currently available to provide search tools to specific research areas by UMD researchers.
Identify & Engage Funding Partners
The Division of Research, the Division of IT, and the Division of Academic Affairs (the deans) should together – with involvement of key research faculty – examine the opportunities for increased private sector funding (or provision of needed resources) and how broadly across disciplines such partnerships advancing innovation could be developed.
The Division of Research and others in the UMD research community, the University Libraries, and the Division of IT should continue to assess the needed technical infrastructure and preservation/curation support necessary for UMD to comply with the January 2011 mandate by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for data management plans accompanying research grants.
Formation of Research Advisory Council & Creation of Strategic Plan for Research Computing
Specifically relating to scholarly enablement, an executive steering committee should be formed to be responsible for the implementation of strategic plan actions related to scholarly enablement. The committee should include the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, the Dean of the Graduate School, the Dean of Libraries, an appropriate rep from the Office of the Provost, and an appropriate representative from the Division of IT. A similar structure should be developed to coordinate and steer activities related to the implementation of strategic plan elements relating to research enablement.
Learning Technology Work Group
Blended & Online Education
Online learning, whether in a blended learning environment or completely asynchronous online, allows university IT and UMD faculty to collaboratively explore the potentials of IT tools and to together understand the exciting new ways of teaching and learning the tools enable. Formal programs that build upon these collaborations, developing IT skills and techniques, are a matter of strategic importance.
All classrooms on campus should provide a standard common and advanced IT-enabled learning environment. All classrooms should be regularly maintained and refreshed on appropriate technology lifecycles. Classrooms should be constantly monitored to ensure that the technology is functional and stable. In support of traditional classroom instruction featuring global enrollments, technology resources, advanced network connectivity, and support resources will be available to enable faculty to deliver lectures world-wide via virtual classrooms.
Next Gen ELMS Deployment
With the mid-2012 long-term procurement of a new Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS), Instructure Canvas, the Division of IT will partner with all university academic departments to deploy the new LMS in the most efficient manner possible. In so doing, the university will recover expenses from the previous LMS contract to more effectively support of the overall learning environment.
Develop Strategy for Defining & Implementing Campus Learning Environments
Even as the university moves to a new Electronic Learning Management System (ELMS) platform in 2013, a clearly articulated vision for the future for an overall campus learning environment including ELMS and the integration of associated applications and functions must be developed.
Remote Tech Assistance for Classrooms & Streamlined Pre-Class PC Setup for Instructors
Recognizing the critical need for minimal class start-up time, staff support for instructors in classrooms should be available almost instantly, whether accomplished with in-person, on-site, or remote virtual presence or some combination. A goal should be that pre-class setup should occur in three minutes or less.
Professional Networking & Conference Presentations
Initiatives that promote peer-to-peer collaborations among faculty to encourage and promote the adoption and enhancement of IT-enabled teaching techniques should be continued where they exist and further developed, not only across this campus, but in partnership with other institutions globally.
UMD should create and support facilities for testing and prototyping new technologies that would be used in instruction by faculty.
IT Infrastructure Work Group
Campus Data Centers
The university must immediately review and address the need for data center/cyberinfrastructure facilities that are appropriately sized, powered (including backup power), and cooled to meet the needs of university-wide demands for such facilities.
Address the university’s needs for equipment, infrastructure, and appropriate spaces for enhanced digital content (video, audio, graphics, etc.), including but not limited to video streaming, video capture and editing, and storage.
Digital Storage/File Sharing
Provide a variety of cost effective options (including secure campus cloud or outsourced cloud) for on-demand digital storage with daily backups centrally managed and broadly accessible. This shall also include the capability for robust file sharing among campus constituents and their off-campus collaborators. This should also be tiered, providing solutions that meet needs ranging from pervasive pedestrian applications through advanced "big data" research.
Provide tools that allow the university community to collaborate through unified communication. While particularly critical for researchers, such tools will certainly have value to broader scholarly enablement and administrative effectiveness. Universal federated presence should be evaluated as part of such solutions and, depending upon community input, made available.
Network Refresh & MAX Refresh
A high-capacity, high-capability, advanced, and robust network infrastructure being crucial to the success of all IT enablement, the university will complete the ongoing Network Refresh Project. The Division of IT will continue to maintain the UMD network, balancing the ability to support the current IT landscape with stability and also to improve it as needed in support of the recommendations and action items put forth in this plan. Likewise, the Division of IT will continue its leadership role on behalf of the university in the Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX), an innovative high-performance regional network, in support of research, education, and scientific discovery.
Wi-Fi & Cellular Coverage
Wireless connectivity will continue to grow as a critical communications infrastructure. Wi-Fi and cellular coverage must continue to be expanded and made more robust, and providers must be diversified over time. In support of this growth, the Division of IT should immediately convene a group of students, faculty, and staff to get feedback on current issues, challenges, and successes of the existing wireless network.
Guidelines for Cloud Services/Cost Reduction Through Partnerships
In recent years, the growth in network bandwidth has made it possible to take some computing burden (e.g., data storage and applications' use of CPU and memory) off of the desktop by allowing services and applications to be attained through centrally hosted means. The university must develop a strategy and approach to the deployment and support of cloud-based computing, including infrastructure and hosted third-party application solutions. The strategy must include: 1) Support of the use of such services independently by community members, providing well-documented guidance to ensure the continued security, integrity, and privacy of the university IT environment and 2) Centralized offerings (e.g., email, storage, digital media, etc.) obtained by the Division of IT on behalf of the campus and supported in such a way as to address conditions of service unique to individual units or groups as far as is practical to ensure effective and productive use of such offerings. The Division of IT and the university community should evaluate the hybridization of public/private cloud offerings across the spectrum of IT infrastructure and services and determine appropriate paths toward use of such offerings.
Recognizing that university community members need to access campus resources (files, applications and services) from anywhere on the globe, safe and secure remote access solutions and access to virtualized applications should be provided.
Broad Software Licensing
Provide needed software tools in the most effective ways possible to faculty, staff, and students. This could be achieved by developing efficient means to license software broadly for the entire university community, or through cooperative efforts of relevant units and central IT, or via virtualized desktop infrastructure (VDI). It will likely be the case that a combination of all these means will provide the best solution, and the Division of IT should lead the university in a thorough evaluation resulting in appropriate specific actions.
Integrated IDM System
Recognizing that many action items in this plan rely on the ability to verify a person's credentials (login/password identity) before access can be granted to university systems, an efficient process and system for identity management (IdM) must be constantly enhanced and maintained to accommodate the nuances in roles of individuals within the university and for integration with new system implementations. A unified/federated university-wide identity management framework, which allows quick and efficient moves/adds/changes within the university as well as the ability to grant limited secure access to partners outside UMD, is the foundation of security and collaboration.
In support of the university's goals for sustainability, the Division of IT, the Office of Sustainability, and local IT units will work together to pursue measures that promote more effective power management and lower operational energy use overall.
Realizing the increasing dependence upon small mobile/smartphone integrated devices, key university information and processing systems must have mobile application support. Essentially, a user should be able to securely conduct all of their university enterprise activities from any device, anywhere, at any time.
User Experience Work Group
The university must provide a top-quality IT-enabled living and learning environment, complete with ubiquitous wireless and support for the use of IT where we live, study, and gather on campus. The Division of IT and the Division of Student Affairs should be charged with working to establish a seamless, safe, and secure IT environment across all parts of campus and with ensuring that when students arrive at UMD, their IT experience equals or exceeds that of their prior educational environments. In short, there should be a “Wow!” factor associated with coming to UMD in terms of the pervasiveness and impact of the IT experience.
Student Technology Refresh
Recognizing that IT plays a key role in the student life experience beyond academic aspects, the university should continue to work closely with students to evaluate new technologies and IT-based services to improve not only the academic aspects of student technology use, but services that also support the overall student life experience at UMD.
Provisioning Student Tech Needs
The university should continue to offer programs and services which facilitate student ownership of IT devices and make possible the acquisition of technologies (hardware, software, and services) at discounts and in convenient locations or in a convenient manner.
Student Tech Proficiency
Recognizing the importance of the use of technology in learning environments, in conjunction with Action Item 2.6, the university should ensure that all students either have the necessary skills or can acquire them through non-credit, university-offered training programs so as to ensure their success in the pursuit of scholarly achievement.
Physical Computer Lab Consolidation Strategy
In 2012 with the knowledge that nearly all (if not all) students have at least one personal computing device available for their use, the Division of IT in collaboration with academic departments should engage students (and faculty) in an analysis of the value and purpose of traditional “fixed” computing facilities (such as computer labs and clusters), and determine their future at UMD.
IT Accessibility Standards & Guidance
Given the diverse set of special needs of university users, accessibility of IT systems and services must be considered thoroughly in existing and new system implementations. Standards and guidance in accessibility should be collaboratively developed to accommodate these special needs and promulgated to all university IT service providers. The standards should be guided by best practices available within the community and in accordance with existing laws and regulations. A task force destined to become a part of IT governance should be convened as a first step to consider the challenges and chart a path toward implementation of this action.
Enterprise Systems Work Group
Develop Scalable Standards
The Division of IT, in collaboration with the campus IT staff, should review the current standards where they exist and identify appropriate architectures and tools so that departmentally-based systems may integrate or scale up securely and successfully with the broader enterprise system environment.
The Division of IT, in collaboration with IRPA and other large-scale data consumers and analyst constituents on campus, should consider the current and future business intelligence needs and design and implement data analytics tools to best serve university and outside needs.
Pursue Open/Community Source Software
The Division of IT should champion the pursuit of open- or community- source software solutions for enterprise-level use and only pursue more expensive commercial offerings when there is sufficient value or functional advantages in doing so.
Document Management and Workflow
Enterprise information systems should include provision for centralized document management and facilitate online workflow. All new systems should strive wherever possible to eliminate manual/paper document handling and routing.
Task Force for Governance Model to Leverage Strengths of Distributed Structure on Campus
Within the context of a leveraged support model and the creativity that often results from individual or departmental endeavors, mechanisms should be developed to examine these creations and determine if they may be more broadly leveraged across the university.
Comprehensive Web Strategy
With increasing demand in many areas of the university for general Web content development, hosting, and administration, IT service providers on campus should collaborate on developing a strategy to readily achieve agile Web services to most broadly and effectively answer on-campus demands and those of specific departments, programs, and individuals. While not strictly a responsibility of the Division of IT, given the diverse and broad nature of this challenge, the division should provide the foundation and start-up leadership in developing such a strategy by quickly convening stakeholders.