October 1993 - Volume 10:2
Themes from ISC's statement of direction
By Linda May and Randall Couch
As part of Penn's current five-year
planning effort, the Office of
Information Systems and Computing has recently released its long-term
statement of direction. The plan moves Penn toward a future in which
the University is greater than the sum of its parts. It is about making
connections--connections to each other, connections to information, and
connections among systems. The plan places ISC's vision of information
technology serving people in the context of key trends in the field. It
establishes objectives in six areas:
The strategies developed to achieve these objectives emphasize a
set of themes.
- Computing for research and instruction
- Integration of administrative data and systems
- Accurate, accessible administrative data
- Network infrastructure and services
- Computing support
- Cost reduction
Entitled Making connections: Building Penn's electronic future, the
statement of direction is circulating for feedback and comment from
the Penn community. Your suggestions are invited. For a copy,
contact Linda May, firstname.lastname@example.org, 215/898-0005.
- The network is Penn's nervous system. Tomorrow's academic and
administrative systems will depend crucially on a ubiquitous
network that is faster and more reliable than today's. All
members of the Penn community, including students, will need
access to PennNet at home, at work, and on the road.
- ISC will play a more active brokering role in academic computing,
working to bring together people with common interests and
coordinate activities that cross boundaries of School and
- The continued viability of Penn's decentralized structure depends
on administrative systems that share data and interoperate well.
Distributed, open systems and a common base of University data are
fundamental to achieving this.
- Penn is the first university to combine business process
reengineering with an information technology architecture based on
principles, models, and standards. Penn's next generation of
business systems will rise on these foundations.
- ISC will develop a wider range of methods to learn clients' needs
and evaluate quality.
- ISC will concentrate its activities in areas where it can best add
value: integration, access, technical expertise, and economies of
- ISC will expend effort where leverage is greatest, striking
partnerships and using contract resources where efficient.
Systems and services will be designed to require less support;
more effective support will be moved closer to the user.
LINDA MAY is Director of Planning for the Office of Information Systems
and Computing. RANDALL COUCH is a Senior Technical Writer for the ISC