University of Wisconsin–Madison

IT Governance

Engaging faculty and staff in decisions that affect them is an important part of how UW‑Madison works. The Madison campus has a structure and process to address Information Technology decision making—setting priorities, determining policy, setting and spending the budget, evaluating effectiveness. The new IT Governance Initiative ensures that the people who pay for and benefit from campus IT have a role in making decisions.

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IT Governance devised a new way of proposing IT projects. The Project Intake & Prioritization page provides comprehensive info on that new process. 

IT Project Intake

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IT Governance evaluates a variety of work, including the project intake process, services, policies and reports. The appropriate advisory group gathers information, considers alternatives and makes recommendations to executives.

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The Policy Planning and Analysis Team is a subcommittee of the Information Technology Committee, assisting in the development, review and revision of IT policies.

IT Policies under development or revision

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Over 200 significant campus IT projects are in the works at one stage or another at any given time. The priorities of the IT Governance Initiative are based on overall campus priorities, audience, scope, impact and other factors.

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IT Governance Structure


Core Principles

  • Cohesive IT governance, management, decision-making, investment, prioritization, assessment & funding

    Current state

    Fragmented governance, decision-making, and management. Works against cohesive IT strategy, prioritization of investments, identifying opportunities for improvements, cost savings and more.

    Future state

    • More effective decision-making processes through teamwork (IT Steering Committee; ITC; Technology Advisory Groups)
    • Decisions focused on core IT infrastructure, strategic IT projects, initiatives, services
    • Better support for the core missions of teaching, learning, research
    • Effective and efficient support for the operations and management of divisions.
  • Holistic view of IT services & their delivery across campus

    Current state

    Fragmented governance, decision-making, and management. Works against cohesive IT strategy, prioritization of investments, identifying opportunities for improvements, cost savings and more.

    Future state

    IT decisions, priorities and investments will be grounded in an integrative, holistic view of all IT services and their delivery across campus.

  • Inclusive, participatory, transparent governance & decision-making

    Who’s involved in the process?

    The process will be characterized by broad representation and engagement of all stakeholders in IT investments and strategic decisions.

    • 4 end-user Technology Advisory Groups: Divisional Technology Advisory Group, Teaching & Learning Technology Advisory Group, Research Technology Advisory Group, Infrastructure Advisory Group
      • Representation and advocacy of technology needs of faculty, students, staff in colleges, schools, administrative units (“voice of the customer”)
      • 10 out of the 15 members of the ITSC are representatives from the Technology Advisory Groups
    • Faculty
      • ITC, University Committee (UC): Commitment to shared governance. Continuous engagement of the UC.
      • Strong representation of faculty (more on faculty below)
    • Central and divisional campus leadership
      • Central leadership: Broad executive oversight from the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, deans
      • Divisional leadership: Divisional officials participate in the Technology Advisory Groups
    • Central and divisional IT leadership
      • Divisional Technology Advisory Group: divisional CIOs/IT leaders
      • Central IT leaders: CIO, COO, others
  • Collaboration & teamwork

    The governance process will entail close coordination and communication between ITSC, ITC, Technology Advisory Groups, IT service providers.

    Decision-making & assessment processes

    • Initiation
      • Initiatives, projects, proposed decisions and policies may be initiated by any committee, advisory group, service-provider group
    • Analysis
      • Iterative evaluation and analysis involving the ITSC, ITC, and the appropriate Technology Advisory Group(s), service-provider group(s)
    • Decision-making
      • Strategic decisions: ITSC
      • Tactical decisions: Technology Advisory Groups
    • Approval
      • Decisions with policy and strategic implications will be discussed and approved by the ITC, sent to the UC and Faculty Senate
      • Assessment of outcomes will be performed by advisory groups, ITSC, ITC
  • Strong representation of faculty

    The number of faculty has been increased significantly. Faculty have significant experience in governance. About 40% of ITSC members are faculty. The Teaching & Learning Advisory Group and the Research Technology Advisory Group comprise mostly faculty.

    Faculty on the ITC

    • Murray Clayton
    • Christina Kendziorski Newton
    • Michael Kissick
    • Rafael Lazimy
    • Robert Nowak
    • Joe Salmons
    • Jordan Schmidt
    • Linsey Steege
    • Rand Valentine
    • Philip Barak
    • Dane Morgan
    • Grant Petty
    • Catherine Arnott Smith
    • Bill Tracy
    • Dee Warmath
  • Comprehensive IT strategy

    New business model/culture

    • Service-centric focus
      • Focusing on the value that IT services provide and that allow close alignment with the University mission and objectives
      • Goal: Increase value
      • A shift in thinking: Away from managing applications and technologies and toward managing services, increasing value

    Bottom-up strategic planning process

    • Each group/area will develop its strategy and priorities
    • These will be incorporated in an overall and cohesive strategy
  • Commitment to innovation, continuous improvement

    Strategic initiatives to achieve goals

    • Service catalog
      • Opportunities for efficiencies, consolidation, economies of scale (cost savings)
      • Evaluate services: centrally delivered, locally (distributed)
      • Focus on value
    • Cloud infrastructure group
      • Progress toward a service-centric focus requires the development of a cloud services strategy
      • Cloud services and technologies offer opportunities for value-adding features such as scalability, flexibility, reliability, and uptime that are hard to provide on premises
      • Work with IT service providers and with users and business leaders toevaluate cloud-based solutions, design and implement a cloud-based strategy
    • IT center of excellence & quality assurance
      • Envisioned as playing a leading role in creating and implementing a service-centric focus
      • Integrative, holistic approach to evaluating customers’ IT needs
      • Quality and value: To ensure that IT services meet customer needs and are delivered in a cost-effective way

Keep informed of IT Governance

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