Editor’s note: This is the third installment of a six-part monthly series on information technology that highlights services, projects and ideas playing a role in the delivery of world-class computing and digital resources to all U-M campuses. This month spotlights the IT Strategic Plan, IT governance and Computer Showcase.

IT Strategic Plan

U-M’s IT Strategic Plan describes IT solutions the university should pursue to help advance its core mission, enable innovation, and provide efficient and effective administration of the university.

Version 1.0 of the IT strategy, which the IT Executive Committee and IT Council endorsed last fall, is the result of a broad, collaborative endeavor that involved members of every section of the campus community.

All the deans and executive officers provided interviews. Faculty representatives created visions and drafted their sections of the strategy. More than 200 campus community members provided input via crowdsourcing.

IT Council members and CIO Laura Patterson are presently working with deans and campus unit representatives to help set up meetings in their units to review and discuss the IT strategy. Meanwhile, all faculty and staff are encouraged to visit the Office of the CIO website, read over the materials, and provide their individual and regular input.

The intent is to determine where the IT strategy accurately reflects or exceeds needs and where there are needs specific to individual schools, colleges, units or departments that require more thought and definition.

Findings will become part of subsequent versions of the strategy. Minor updates are being made this fall, with version 2.0 scheduled for completion by the summer of 2015.

IT governance

IT governance at U-M is a means to ensure effective and efficient use of institutional resources and capabilities in order to meet the goals of the university. The governance structure at Michigan is composed of three types:

• IT strategic governance, which focuses on strategic alignment and prioritization of investments. It helps ensure IT is working on the most important projects for the university and that appropriate resources are allocated to different areas.

• IT shared service governance, which focuses on current services from a user perspective. It helps ensure services are meeting quality and cost expectations, and are achieving expected adoption levels.

• IT program or project governance, which is organized temporarily around a specific program or project to provide oversight to ensure it meets budget, schedule, scope, quality and delivery objectives. This governance also provides sponsorship for changes to a program or project and which are the escalation mechanism for issues and risks.

The overall IT governance structure is intended to better integrate IT planning efforts with campus planning efforts.

Representation on the various councils and committees allows executive officers, deans, faculty, IT staff, campus staff, administrators and students to help shape priorities and to be very involved in the oversight and engagement process.

Campus community feedback is received in multiple ways to ensure decisions made reflect the needs of the institution, units, departments and individuals.

Computer Showcase

U-M’s Computer Showcase is a not-for-profit operation that provides computer and product sales, service and support of personal technology to the campus community.

As the lines between personal and professional technology blur, this enterprise that is unique to higher education institutions offers personalized resources to explore, obtain and maintain the tools that academic work and innovation demand.

The Computer Showcase experience encourages hands-on interaction with the latest technology. Visitors can test drive products to make informed decisions or simply experiment with new tools. Consultants and guest technology experts furnish guidance and support specific to the U-M IT environment.

In two full-service locations — Michigan Union and Pierpont Commons — the Computer Showcase delivers a full range of tech support services, from walk-up consulting to certified hardware repair. This allows knowledgeable computing staff to support faculty, staff and students through the entire lifespan of their technology.

With more than 20 years of service to the U-M community, the Computer Showcase continues to adapt to meet individual needs and expectations. The operation recently accelerated changes designed to break down barriers and improve service, which included extending hours, expanding eligibility and simplifying payroll deduction.

Feedback continues to guide Computer Showcase growth as other new services — including software e-delivery and trade-in programs — are slated to roll out as the year continues.

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