NextGen Michigan

IT Rationalization Projects

The goal of IT Rationalization is to improve IT service delivery, reduce cost and repair the university's fractured infrastructure in addition to creating the next generation of IT for the university.

A series of projects have been identified to begin the reinvention of how IT is delivered at U-M. The projects stem from the IT Rationalization Assessment recommendations.

As projects are launching, a number of project strategy and working groups are being formed to establish project direction and provide strategic and technical input. Meet the members of the Strategy and Working Groups.

In partnership with our governance groups, NextGen Michigan has developed a strategy to design and roll-out groups of services as a bundle. Learn more about the bundling approach.

Projects


End-User Computing

The objective of the project is to create a consistent experience for how the university deploys and supports end-user computing devices such as laptops and workstations.

Benefits
  • Consistent equipment and infrastructure
  • Improved customer support through an efficient support model

Current Phase: Analyze/Design

Meet the members of the End-User Computing Steering Group

Learn more about the End-User Computing project

Network

A single service model will be created for both internal and external network infrastructure. In the past, most departments have provided their own support for internal network infrastructure (connectivity and routing/switching equipment within a building), while ITS has provided external support and infrastructure (connectivity out from a building to U-M's campus backbone and the Internet).

Benefits
  • Anyone can access the campus network anytime and from anywhere
  • Departments are provided with highly reliable network equipment, support and administration
  • Reduce network complexity
  • Unit personnel are enabled to focus on unit mission and goals

Current Phase: Analyze/Design

Meet the members of the Network Strategy and Working Groups

Email and Calendar (Collaboration)

IT Rationalization Recommendation

Unify email, calendar, and related tools.

There are currently more than 40 email and calendar services in use across campus. The lack of standards has resulted in costly repetition and duplication of essentially the same services. The university has selected Google to address this duplication by unifying email and calendar tools.

Benefits
  • Enhance the ability to carry out interdisciplinary collaborations in teaching, learning, research and patient care
  • Provide for authentication and authorization, regardless of user's location
  • Enable hardware and software license savings

Current Phase: Planning

Learn more about the Collaboration (Google) project

Cloud Computing

Many university units have found that virtualization technologies can be leveraged to gain efficiency and reduce operational costs. The university is implementing a full service environment and shared internal cloud that will include functionality such as operating systems management and database management. University data will be migrated from current servers to new virtual servers and the servers located in local IT units will be removed, leaving the physical space available for re-purposing.

Benefits
  • Faculty and staff will be able to use a simple web interface to order, configure and implement their environments
  • Provision environments in near real-time
  • Optimize facility storage
  • Reduce hardware asset costs

Current Phase: Analyze/Design

Learn more about the Cloud Computing project

Meet the members of the Cloud Computing Strategy and Working Groups

Learn about the Cloud Computing Task Force

Storage

IT Rationalization Recommendation

Rationalize ITS-managed storage.

ITS currently operates a relatively large number of storage solutions, which have emerged over time in order to meet a series of specific project and system requirements. The solutions were designed independently, resulting in minimal cross-systems integration. The university is undertaking an effort to consolidate the many storage systems into a smaller set of better coordinated offerings. The project will consist of inventorying and analyzing the current storage offerings and devising a plan to retire some solutions while expanding others. In addition, a storage roadmap will be developed for the University that addresses a wide range of storage needs, including emerging needs in the area of research data sets and long-term data storage.

Benefits
  • Better coordinate and enhance storage offerings
  • Decrease cost of ITS storage, while providing the same types of services

Current Phase: Planning

Meet the members of the Storage Strategy and Working Groups

Learn more about the Storage project

Data Centers

Following the completion of server and storage consolidation and virtualization, U-M will consolidate hosting facilities and establish tiered hosting environments across all academic and administrative units.

Benefits
  • Free up existing data center and server room space
  • Improve service quality through 24x7 operational support
  • Improve business continuity

Current Phase: Pending

Applications Rationalization

Phase 1 of the project will focus on assessing the local administration application portfolio and migrating to central administration solutions, while retiring local solutions. Phase 2 will focus on creating standard academic and research administrative services, intended to reduce local support costs and enhance decision-making authority through automated processes.

Benefits
  • Reduce application development and support costs
  • Improve business operations efficiency through automation
  • Improve decision-making effectiveness for faculty hiring

Current Phase: Pending

Information Assurance

The university will identify opportunities to improve the protection of university information and electronic assets in a cost effective and efficient manner. Specifically, a security management structure will be established, enabling the common development and enforcement of IT security policies across all academic and administrative units.

Benefits
  • Reduce integration costs with a consistent identity and access management platform
  • Continue the university's commitment to protecting the integrity of information and assets
  • Develop, disseminate and enforce common IT security policies

Current Phase: Analyze/Design

Meet the members of the Information Assurance Working Group

MCommunity

A new MCommunity Directory and Identity Management system will replace the current U-M Online Directory. The new directory will be more attractive and easier to use, in addition to offering new ways of managing information about members of the university community.

Benefits
  • Easier to skim search results
  • Easier to locate faculty and staff because names, titles, affiliations and U-M work addresses and phone numbers will be displayed in the directory for all employees
  • The University will know who is and is not a member of the U-M community so that central offices—as well as departments, schools, colleges and campuses—can grant and remove access to online resources as needed and appropriate

Current Phase: Integration with NextGen Program is underway.

Watch a short video to learn more about MCommunity

IT Funding and Chargeback Model

The university is developing simple and fair IT chargeback principles that will decrease the administrative support it takes to manage IT across campus. The future IT chargeback and funding model aims to leverage financial incentives and disincentives to drive IT usage and provisioning behavior in ways that will encourage U-M and its units to better align IT expenditures with strategy and mission.

Benefits
  • Decrease administrative support required to manage IT across campus
  • Increase alignment of IT expenditures with strategy and mission
  • Improve decision making by removing cost distortions and increasing cost transparency

Current Phase: Planning