University of Wisconsin–Madison
CIO News

Fall 2017 CIO projects, initiatives & processes update

The Office of the CIO is overseeing several significant IT initiatives and processes designed to improve the operations and management of IT across the campus. These initiatives are likely to have significant impact across the campus. IT Governance is fully engaged in forming and executing these processes. Here is an early fall update on these initiatives.

Policy Planning and Analysis Team (PAT) launched

The PAT is being created to provide campus-wide representation and assistance in supporting the activities and processes that govern the creation, review and approval of IT-related policies. This group is part of the IT Governance structure and is accountable to the campus IT Committee (ITC). It will help IT governance ensure the IT policies are necessary and appropriate, that the development process is collaborative and transparent, and that the supporting procedural and technical implementation enables efficient and effective compliance.

The major roles of PAT are as follows.

(a) Evaluate proposed policies and work with sponsors during the entire review and approval process as well as with other university governance and decision-making bodies.

(b) Identify needed policies, existing policies that need revision, or policies that are no longer needed, and maintain a repository of IT policies.

(c) Analyze and comment upon policies or policy-related documents before they are submitted to IT governance for consideration.

(d) Maintain and improve the IT Policy Principles and Procedures.

(e) Identify other UW-Madison policies with significant IT components and/or implications and work with their sponsors to ensure that these policies are consistent with IT policies and support the effective implementation of the campus missions.

(f) Advise on IT policy engagement with the UW-Madison community and guide such communications.

The group is already working on several proposed policies. IT policies are found on the it.wisc.edu web.

Project Intake and Prioritization Process

IT governance has finalized the policies, processes and procedures for the submission, review, evaluation and prioritization of IT project proposals by units across the campus in the Office of the CIO and by the various IT Governance groups, and the decision-making processes by the IT Steering Committee. This process “will go live” on October 1.

Major objectives include the following.

(a) Rationalization and prioritization.

(b) Minimizing duplication and redundancy of IT services across campus.

(c) Assessing the impact of proposals on IT infrastructure/resources capacities and capabilities.

(d) Encouraging innovative services. The process is governance-driven, collaborative, transparent, and expert-based. It is mandatory:

All IT project proposals will go through this process regardless of their funding sources. This is not a “request for funding” process. The vast majority of projects are expected to have their own funding. A prioritized list of projects that seek campus funding will be taken to campus leadership three times a year: September 15, January 15, and May 30. Low Impact proposals will be approved “automatically” except when they need further governance scrutiny. Medium and High Impact proposals will be routed to IT governance for further review, analysis and decision-making. The Project Intake Process resources are found here. Details about the submission process, the Intake Form, and the status of proposals under consideration will be published, as the initial ones are received and processed starting October 1, on it.wisc.edu.

IT Services Inventory and Categorization studies

IT governance has completed two major phases in this area. In Phase I (IT Service Inventory Study) we collected information about all IT services across campus.

This was the first time that a complete mapping of IT services across the entire campus has been conducted, providing us with a centralized view of IT services across our complex IT landscape. We discovered that there are over 1500 IT services in the UW-Madison.

The second phase (Categorization and Data Re-Organization of Service Inventory Data) has just been completed. Its main objective was to categorize and represent the data in a way that will allow meaningful analysis in subsequent phases. Service offerings were categorized into 90 “generic services” and we validated the categorization with all units across campus. We developed a relational database that stores this information and that will allow reporting and analysis. As expected, we found that there are multiple service offerings in almost every generic service category, with some categories having over 80 offerings. Another finding: services within the same generic category are delivered using different deployment methods. A large portion of services are used by (provided to) a single division/department. A smaller portion are used by/provided to two of more divisions/departments, and that only a small portion of services are provided as campus-wide services. We also developed the distribution of service offerings by size (FTEs to support; annual budget; the number of users served by a service).

The findings will be presented in all IT governance groups during the fall. The groups will be asked to begin the analysis of these findings with the aim of rationalizing the campus IT service portfolio.

IT governance begins in earnest

IT governance structure was reconfigured last year. The four Technology Advisory Groups – TLTAG, DTAG, RTAG, and IAG – together with the campus IT Committee (ITC) and the IT Steering Committee (ITSC) provide support for the campus core missions of research, teaching, and learning, as well as the operations and management of divisions (colleges, schools, admin units). It is an inclusive, participatory, collaborative, and transparent governance and decision-making structure. It provides strong representation and advocacy of all stakeholders; engages campus leadership in making IT investments and strategic decisions; and enables change management processes. Governance groups serve multiple roles, including leadership, policy reviews, evaluation, analysis, advisory, recommendation, prioritization, and decision-making.

This fall governance groups are beginning to review and recommend actions on several of the strategic processes described here, including project evaluation, prioritization and decision-making; analysis of the campus IT service portfolio; evaluating, drafting and submitting IT and related policies; evaluating the campus IT spending and investments, and the like. They will seek broader campus input through sub teams and surveys. Contact your governance representative(s) if you have interest in helping.

IT Spend Report v3.0 up next

The second semiannual assessment of the campus IT spending was completed this past spring. It indicated a similar total, sources and expenditures from the previous year. The next IT Spend Study will be produced in early 2018. We will also focus on creating a more robust framework and the necessary structures and methodologies for systematically collecting IT spend data so the process is repeatable, increasing the precision of this data. We will also aim at potentially relating the IT Spend Study to the IT Service Inventory Study, providing information about IT investments/expenditures at a more granular level. Information will be used to map spending amounts to spending outcomes.

Risk Management Policy nears final approval

A campus IT Risk Management policy has been reviewed and approved by all IT governance groups. The policy addresses appropriate IT security measures to be taken by UW employees and departments, and the risks and responsibilities assumed by campus departments. It was presented to the University Committee and will be discussed, and voted on, in the Faculty Senate sometime this fall.

Stay in touch

Expect these reports of CIO-led IT projects, progress and status updates quarterly. They will also be posted on the CIO page. Info on IT governance groups, meetings, notes and works in progress is also on the site. Feedback and questions about campus IT can go to cio-assistants@cio.wisc.edu.

Michael Lehman
Interim CIO