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Principle 21 - Infrastructure - Hardware and software choices

Hardware and software for administrative use must be limited to predetermined set of alternatives. This includes the end-user's desktop, application or software servers, communications components, applications development tools, and data management tools.

 Rationale

Penn's next generation of administrative systems, as well as personal productivity software, must exploit the power of the desktop. Penn cannot continue to limit functionality by creating systems that are forced to implement to the "lowest common denominator" of our diverse environments. Without standards to limit the number of choices, information technology costs will continue to increase. More limited choice will also enable more effective support.

 Implications

  • Organizational units that do not use standard choices will bear the costs of overcoming incompatibilities with the next generation of administrative systems.
  • Early communication of standards and education programs for both developers and end users is required.
  • Functionality, robust product interoperability, and the level and quality of support should be strong enough to serve as incentives to buy the standard products.
  • The set of supported products will be reviewed on a scheduled basis and, with consensus from the Penn community, updated as necessary.
  • Strategies and incentives, including staffing and funding, are necessary to assist departments in migrating from older hardware and software as newer standards emerge.
  • Individuals who perform academic as well as administrative functions must comply with the standards. Additional hardware or software may be required to support academic functions.
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