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Common Themes from Interviews: Computing Restructuring Three Years Later (R+3)

Common Themes from Interviews: Computing Restructuring Three Years Later (R+3)

In preparation for the 6/7/99 "R+3" retreat, Donna Milici, ISC Director of Planning, conducted interviews with 40+ students, faculty, staff and local support providers (LSPs) across campus. A summary of themes from those interviews is shown below to give you a broad perspective of the current state of computing support across the University. This information is also being shared with relevant advisory groups (e.g., IT Steering Committee) and with computing support providers within ISC and the Schools and Centers.

What is working well:

  1. In general the model works; local support works.
  2. Absence of complaints about the network; Network Planning Task Force has helped people understand what theyíre paying for (sense of fairness & equity).
  3. College House Computing support works well-direct support for students living in Pennís college houses.
  4. ISCís Provider Desk (ProDesk) resource for local support providers is a valuable addition.
  5. Optimism with "New Tools for Teaching" Pilot to design a common environment for the most current technology tools for teaching and learning.
  6. Successful local innovation linked with central resources-Schools developing tools and interfaces for effectively accessing and using Data Warehouse information.
  7. ISC Support on Site program provides valuable short- and long-term technology support, as needed, at competitive market rates.
  8. Optimism with Technology Distribution Redesign Project-exploring "one-stop-shopping" easy access to information for purchasing and configuring desktop systems that are optimized for Pennís environment.

What needs work:

  • Getting from good idea to implementation for large-scale University processes; requires high-level planning, process ownership, and rational funding models.
  • Building consistent "strategic" local support-the capacity to look to the future, make informed decisions, and prioritize IT investments for the School or local unit.
  • Defining decision rules for funding IT services-making sure Centralís allocated base is used for services that are strategic to the institution as a whole.
  • Defining options for supporting faculty and staff at home, and defining long-term strategy for supporting non-College House students.
  • Developing a map to IT services: "Orientation to IT at Penn."
  • Developing central "common denominator" training for LSPs and more consistent training for Information Technology Advisors (ITAs).
  • Qualifying what constitutes a Local Support Provider: what are competencies and training requirements? Need to know for staff and subcontractors what standards we expect for delivering quality support.
  • Developing a map to University systems & data to assist in understanding what data exists and how to access.
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