Improving Services

Like other universities and organizations, the U of S is increasingly reliant upon ICT for almost everything it does. Each year, the university adopts and uses new technologies and the uptake for ICT within the community increases. In addition to “more,” there is also an expectation that new technologies and innovations will be implemented and supported “now” (greater responsiveness). A number of projects to improve ICT efficiency are underway and new more responsive ICT processes and technologies are emerging. Improving services thorough being more effective, efficient and responsive is an ongoing priority.

Identifying Core Services

The dependence on fee-based services was raised in the ITS external review and identifying and providing core services to the institution without user fees was one of its recommendations. Work has begun to identify potential core services. The project to identify core services will need to identify ways to allow flexible use of funds to respond to changing service demands and will need to develop a mechanism for responding to new demands and their ongoing operating costs. It will also need to develop a framework to balance core services with the needs of local units.

Supporting the Strategic Development, Renewal and Evolution of our Major Systems

There are organizational, cultural and funding challenges with our approach to enterprise systems. Uncoordinated development of individual systems presents a risk that our systems won’t interoperate in the way we need them to and that the investments we make won’t be strategic. Central oversight is needed to ensure that the U of S plans and provides for the systematic development, renewal and evolution of the entire suite of administrative systems in a more integrated, organized and coordinated way. Funding to keep pace with changing conditions and requirements is also needed, as there is continuous demand from business units for enhancements to their systems, for replacement of aging systems, and for implementation of new systems. The maturation and renewal of U of S processes, combined with the maturation of the ERP industry, is increasing demand for information systems to support the U of S.

Supporting the Strategic Use of Institutional Data

As the university continues to pursue institutional and college-level initiatives, it is becoming increasingly apparent to all that the use of institutional data is essential to the progress, and/or success for the implementation and monitoring of those initiatives. To achieve this, the U of S needs to establish a data governance program to ensure that our data is accurate, reliable, accessible and well-defined and to implement “academic analytics” to provide enhanced reporting and analytics (i.e. academic analytics) about student, teaching and learning activities at the U of S.

Supporting Innovation in Teaching and Learning

Teaching and learning with technology has long been a priority for ICT, but demand continues to grow. Innovation in academic programs and services is one of the four areas of focus for the third integrated plan. For many, innovation in program delivery means technology. Increasingly, faculty and students are looking to technology to support their teaching and their learning, both in and out of the classroom and both on and off campus, but technology solutions must be developed in a broader strategic context. The traditional, on-campus, 9-5, Monday-Friday delivery model has changed and support for students taking courses at off-campus locations and for the instructors delivering them will need to be adjusted accordingly.