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Information Technology Restructuring Three Years Later (R+3)

Information Technology Restructuring Three Years Later (R+3)

Summary, 6/7/99 Retreat



We successfully generated necessary and useful participant interest and enthusiasm for the assessment of IT restructuring. Many individuals contributed vital feedback what's working and what's not to inform future IT planning. IT Steering Committee members, Retreat participants, interview subjects, and ISC staff consistently echoed a series of common concerns, perceptions of change, and recommendations. The computing support model works. Now we need to refocus attention on areas that the model doesn't address or couldn't anticipate. There is still much work to do, and the high-level recommendations coming out of the retreat provide a clear starting point. We look forward to your support in addressing the collective concerns and recommendations, and in helping us to successfully integrate strategic IT planning in support of broader University goals and direction.

Recommendations for Penn:

  • Link IT priorities with University priorities and identify IT funding as part of overall process funding. "The technology tail cannot wag the academic dog."
  • Need process for high-level priority setting
  • Need buy-in from Schools & centers *before* point of implementation

  • Create a strategic vision for IT at Penn that is clearly integrated with University mission a collaborative effort including:

  • Schools
  • Central Administration
  • Trustees (small Trustee Committee on Technology)
  • IT Steering & ISC leadership
  • Support & leverage innovation at the School and local unit level
  • Establish venture capital fund and/or identify other sources of revenue to support innovation and cross-organizational processes
  • Continue using the pilot approach to test innovation (this model has proved successful with original restructuring projects)

  • Specific Outcomes Retreat Participants Would Like to See:

  • A set of institutional priorities for IT
  • 3-4 funded processes underway
  • Lower barriers to move more quickly from good idea to implementation
  • A clear University statement about distributed learning direction and scope
  • Strong link between University leadership and IT Steering
  • Improved link among IT, deans, faculty & funding

  • Issues for IT Steering & ISC:

  • Authentication, Authorization and Accounting needs assessment mapped to potential technology solutions
  • "Orientation to Information Technology at Penn" for Local Support Providers (LSPs)
  • "Common denominator" training for LSPs
  • Support for non-College House students
  • Support for faculty & staff at remote locations
  • Consistent baseline primary support (to address "have's" and "have nots")
  • strategic local support (links to central & each other for planning & direction setting)
  • Outstanding Issues beyond IT Steering:

  • Scope/charge for IT Steering Committee: 4 of 5 Retreat workgroups handed issues back to IT Steering. What is the role of IT Steering? How should it be constituted?
  • Support & framework for high-level, well-connected IT strategic planning process:
  • Integrates IT strategic plan with University mission
  • Coordinates IT plans across Schools & centers
  • Incorporates Agenda for Excellence 2000 and other institutional goals into IT plan
  • Provides a framework for IT decision making
  • Venture capital fund:
  • How best to establish?
  • Who manages?
  • What qualifies & how?
  • What is the associated accountability/responsibility?
  • Distributed learning commitment, scope & direction:
  • Who will lead on academic side?
  • What about facilitation role (infrastructure, point of integration/leverage)?
  • Rational decision rules for determining how services are funded

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