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. IT Governance 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 way of proposing IT projects. Progress of projects through that process can be tracked in the linked SmartSheet.

Campus IT projects status dashboard


IT Governance evaluates a variety of work, including project intake, 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.

Governance & advisory groups

Information Technology Committee (ITC)

ITC is the faculty advisory body for policy and planning for information technology throughout the university. It is composed of faculty, academic staff and students.

Advisory Committee on Research Computing (ACORC)

In collaboration with the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, ACORC provides vision, leadership and advocacy in setting the direction for research computing for the university.

Core principles

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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
  • 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.

  • Advisory Groups: Teaching & Learning Technology Advisory Group, Research Technology Advisory Group
    • Representation and advocacy of technology needs of faculty, students, staff in colleges, schools, administrative units (“voice of the customer”)
  • 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 advisory groups
  • Central and divisional IT leadership
    • Divisional CIOs/IT leaders
    • Central IT leaders: CIO, Deputy CIO, 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 stakeholders
  • Decision-making
    • Strategic decisions
    • Tactical decisions
  • Approval
    • Decisions with policy and strategic implications will be discussed and approved by the ITC, sent to the UC and Faculty Senate

Strong representation of faculty

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

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