ICT Decision Matrix
While many participate in the ICT governance process, the authority to make decisions that have broad impact rests in only a few hands. Institutional authority in the areas of strategy, architecture and campus-wide infrastructure lies with the CIO; individual unit leaders have authority over local applications; and authority for major investment decisions lies with the Provost’s Committee on Integrated Planning (PCIP) and the Board of Governors. The ICT decision matrix shows both who makes decisions in each area and who provides input to these decisions.
Areas in Which ICT Decisions Are Required
Peter Weill and Jeanne W. Ross (IT Governance, Harvard Business School Press, 2004) identify five areas in which ICT decisions are required. In the context of the University of Saskatchewan these are strategy, architecture, infrastructure, business applications and major investments.
ICT Strategy: high-level statements about how ICT is used at the university. These may be articulated as a set of principles or strategic directions.
- What role does ICT play at the university? What are the goals?
- How will it be managed and how will it be funded?
ICT Architecture: the organizing framework for data, applications and technical infrastructure, captured in a set of policies, organizational structures and technology choices to achieve the effective integration of systems, processes and data to meet the university’s goals. Architectural integrity is itself a goal.
- What are the core business processes of the university? What information drives these
core processes? How must the data be integrated?
- What technical capabilities should be standardized (and/or centralized) to support ICT
efficiencies and facilitate integration of both processes and data?
- What technology choices will support an enterprise-wide approach to ICT initiatives and
maintain architectural integrity?
ICT Infrastructure: the foundation of ICT capability (both technical and human) available across the university as shared, reliable services used by multiple applications. This includes the network and the servers, and the software that runs them.
- What infrastructure services are most critical to achieving the university’s strategic
- What is the plan for keeping underlying technologies up to date?
ICT Projects and Applications: projects and software applications that leverage and extend the enterprise architecture to meet business needs, where “business” encompasses all aspects of our business (both academic and non-academic). Identifying new and more effective ways to support business objectives using ICT is important both locally and globally but cannot undermine architectural principles.
- What are the technology and business process opportunities for new applications
(including all facets of university “business” in both academic and administrative units)?
- How can local needs be addressed within architectural standards?
- Who will own the outcomes of each project and institute organizational change to ensure
Major Investments: how much we spend on ICT, and what we spend it on. Board approval is required for any investment over $500,000.
- What process changes or technology enhancements are strategically most important to
the university and what priority should be attached to them?
- How do the investments required align with the university’s strategic goals?