Information technology exists to help the College realize its mission- and values-related strategic goals through a portfolio of services, and the IT Group is accountable for responsible stewardship of a reliable and sustainable technology infrastructure.
The twin themes of this plan are the identification of essential IT initiatives and the assurance of high-quality services for the campus community.
Theme 2. Professionally manage high-quality technology services
Agile organizations respond quickly to changing conditions with adaptable IT staffing models, quality customer service, flexible technology architecture, reliable infrastructure, and disciplined project management structures. The IT Group envisions goals in four interconnected sectors of activity to accomplish changing organizational conditions:
A. Manageability, Speed, Reliability, and Security
IT services need to be secure and reliable. Network, servers, computers, and computing facilities of all kinds need to meet high standards of manageability and performance. As IT plays a larger role in teaching and learning, the importance of it being always available and reliable is essential. In our time, networked communication has been one of the most powerful enablers of improved communication. Computers and networks are the foundation for data sharing and information service delivery. Consequently, they need to be fast, reliable, and secure in order to be entrusted with the essential communications of the college. E-mail, business processes, classroom instruction, library services, and the constant exchange of many forms of information depend on excellent technical performance and support services. Network traffic needs to be monitored for threatening activities. Requirements to protect the privacy and integrity of information will drive ongoing reassessments of technologies and policies adopted by the college.
B. Training & Support
Training programs for the College community are necessary to help everyone use technology effectively and share in the benefits it brings the campus. Information technology must be used to open new ways for everyone at the college to work more effectively. It can sharpen the ability of management to see and make necessary changes. It can build connections among people through shared skills and work-not just in the use of technology, but in ways to coordinate and cooperate more effectively in all aspects of work and life at the college. New groups and teams, such as data stewards, application specialists, and librarians and guides to digital information, will be needed to make the new training and support a reality. Constant training is also key to good IT service. The IT Group must itself be a learning organization, constantly improving its competency and efficiency.
C. Tools & Infrastructure
The campus needs to continue to build a solid foundation of IT infrastructure (network, computers, and workplaces) upon which all of the capabilities and services of information technology are built. Existing equipment needs to be renewed on a regular basis. A new phase of infrastructure development needs to begin in order to consolidate computing, media, voice, and video services. All of this - infrastructure, equipment, and products - have capitalized lifetimes (ranging from three or four years to as long as ten or fifteen). Replacement cycles need to be in place to assure that the technology keeps pace with the need. More information processed technologically requires faster computers, larger storage systems, and networks of higher capacity. Technology itself changes very rapidly, resulting in growing student expectations, new products and services and the need to integrate with the technologies and services that are becoming standard for the campus community, such as cell phones, wireless networks, and handheld devices.
D. Customer Service
Plans need to enable the IT Group to continuous improvement of customer service. The IT organization's performance needs to improve continuously. Thorough communication with the campus community and effective outreach programs need to be developed. Service assessments, standards, and metrics of quality will be essential to building an effective support system. Service levels need to be commitments to the campus community, setting expectations, measuring success, and indicating needed improvements. IT services provided at numerous points on campus and through different means of interaction (e.g., in-person, telephone, e-mail, web pages) need to be well harmonized and integrated. A consistently high quality of service, in all its various forms, is an objective that needs to be planned, realized, and documented.