CIO Seeks Campus IT Updates
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 02:09
The Information Technology Executive Steering Committee, a newly established group chaired by Chief Information Officer Lisa Davis, will seek to establish priorities for the development of new information technology on campus in the coming year.
Members of the committee include deans from all schools and senior administrators in the university.
“The purpose of that committee is to, for the first time, bring visibility to what our IT strategy is so we make better decisions and establish priorities for IT investments,” Davis said.
According to Davis, it is inefficient for each school to make individual decisions about investments in information technology.
“With today’s budgets … as constrained as they are, we need to do smarter business, we need to make better decisions and we need to find those efficiencies and how we use and leverage technology across the university,” she said.
According to Davis, Georgetown partnered with Dell Consulting over the summer to conduct an assessment of the university and build an IT strategy for the next three to five years.
“The assessment was both qualitative — conducting over 60 interviews with senior leadership and key stakeholders across campus — and quantitative — assessing IT infrastructure, application portfolio, security and organization and financial models,” she said.
Davis pointed out that the assessment has allowed the university to restructure the university information system to provide updated services.
Modernizing infrastructure, creating a balanced security posture and transforming the university information system are the top three priorities for the semester, Davis said.
Although network modernization, such as completing Wi-Fi coverage, will span an extensive period of time and involve a multi-million-dollar investment, Davis stressed that the project is key to the university’s future development. Davis is currently focusing on expanding Wi-Fi coverage in the Southwest Quad.
“If we want to talk about globalization, if we want to talk about online learning, if we want to talk about extending the campus the next 100 acres, all of that has to build on a solid modern foundation,” Davis said.In addition to the Information Technology Steering Committee, a Faculty Advisory Committee was created to supplement the existing Student Advisory Committee.
Davis explained that the two committees will communicate with her directly to provide both faculty and student opinions regarding technology and to appeal to the Executive Steering Committee on funding issues.
“The nice thing about having the steering committee is that you have all the leadership there. A decision can actually be made of what it is we want to do,” Davis said.
According to Chief Innovation Officer Michael Wang (MSB ’07), the Student Advisory Committee and the h.Innovation Team, another initiative under UIS, will collaborate to advise the CIO and carry out several projects.
Michael Crouch (MSB ’13), a member of both the h.Innovation Team and the Student Advisory Committee, said that the second round of the h.Innovation Summit, a hackathon, will be held in November. The event will aim to promote collaboration on IT projects.
According to Davis, the summit will bring together students, faculty, staff, alumni and representatives from various companies such as Google, Facebook and Teach For America to brainstorm solutions for two main campus issues.
“The two problems are, how do we currently use our common space? … [And] how can we reinvent the way we create and collaborate in these spaces?” Davis said. “The other target area is the classroom. How do we currently use our classroom? Can we reinvent the ways we use our classrooms to help students better learn in these spaces?”
The CIO’s office is also in the process of developing a technology student fellows program, which will allow underclassmen to work with the CIO on IT issues.
According to Crouch, the students who are selected for the fellowship will be given the resources to complete university IT projects and write theses on design and technology.
Davis expressed excitement about the impact that each project will have on the university.
“For the first time, [we are bringing] unity and synergy to what we’re doing for Georgetown IT,” Davis said.