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Dare to Change: Gmail and Why it Matters to You Jonathan Schaeffer Vice Provost and Associate Vice President (IT)

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Presentation on theme: "Dare to Change: Gmail and Why it Matters to You Jonathan Schaeffer Vice Provost and Associate Vice President (IT)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Dare to Change: Gmail and Why it Matters to You Jonathan Schaeffer Vice Provost and Associate Vice President (IT)

2 IT at WestVAC? Why should you care about IT? …under the covers …should just happen …out of sight, out of mind …someone else’s problem Wrong! IT, more than ever, requires your attention!

3 IT World is Changing Fast network connections Social networking Cloud computing Ubiquitous wireless access Software as a service Fundamental paradigm shifts that will dramatically impact how a modern university deploys IT

4 Where Are We Today? My generation Desktop computers Wired connections Telephones Local computing infrastructure New generation Laptops Wireless connections Cell phones Non-local computing infrastructure

5 Where Do We Want To Be? IT world is changing rapidly but universities are usually slow to change We run the risk of offering an antiquated IT environment to our faculty, staff and students Universities are all about change; we should embrace it, not fear it Can we change the way we think about IT, so that we can free up resources to change IT?

6 Today’s Student… …is very different from the student of even five years ago …is comfortable with and quick to adopt new IT technology There is a significant (and growing) generation gap

7 The Gap StudentsFaculty/Staff Mobile computingDesktop computing Texting & twitteringMemos & Social networkingFace-to-face meetings Google appsMicrosoft Office Real-timeAll in “good time” Open source/freewareProprietary/commercial Digital mediaPrint media OpenPrivate

8 Philosophy Core mandate of a university is research and teaching IT is an enabler Some IT components have become utility computing Where appropriate, you should consider getting out of the utility computing business

9 Typical Situation Decentralized fragmented community One large central IT department Numerous mini IT groups on campus Duplication of many services Uneven quality of service Non-uniform (even non-existent) policies

10 Dare to Change? Are we prepared to challenge the status quo? Can we think about doing things differently? Can we move towards deploying modern IT technology across the entire campus? If not, we run the risk of providing core IT that is seen as irrelevant

11 Case Study: ASU (1) Outsourced student Outsourced learning management systems Outsourced all computer networks Outsourced help desk Outsourced desktop support Outsourced PeopleSoft infrastructure Consolidating server rooms and then outsource “If a service is core, then it should be out-sourced.” Adrian Sannier (CIO, ASU)

12 Case Study: ASU (2) $15M in IT savings/year reinvested back into IT Mobile computing Application development Using IT to improve student engagement IT support for teaching IT support for research Brave new model that ASU claims reaps dividends

13 University of Alberta Our mantra: don’t waste a good crisis Over 30 independent IT groups on campus Institutional cost of IT as a percent of the operating budget is disproportionately large In general, student dissatisfaction with our IT offerings We can’t make incremental changes; we need to leapfrog forward

14 at the UofA At least 47 independent systems on campus Each has their own hardware, software, and people resources No central calendaring At least 37 Blackberry servers on campus Does this make sense?

15 Centralize Because: Simplifies IT infrastructure Enables university-wide calendaring Addresses user concerns Addresses auditor’s concerns Improves security Frees up valuable IT personnel time Simplifies emergency response Supports green computing Enables cost savings by removing duplication

16 People Centralization of is NOT an excuse to eliminate jobs IT personnel are generally overworked Let’s get out of the mundane task of Free up precious people resources to further our research, teaching, and administration agenda

17 Solutions? In-house? Too expensive Local provider? Too expensive Get out of the business entirely Google!

18 The Google Solution Gmail: provided by Google Large default box (7.4 GB) integrated with calendaring Google apps (including docs and tools) Backups and disaster recovery Cost is $0 for Google’s service, but there is a cost for increased network access We will leapfrog forward in the quality of our service and the richness of our offerings

19 Education Edition Education Gmail is not Public Gmail We own the ualberta domain: We control CCIDs and passwords on campus We own the data No advertising No data mining All this is guaranteed in a contract with Google

20 Privacy Gmail is hosted on servers around the world including the U.S. The Patriot Act applies COIPC and AOIPC have ruled that it is acceptable to have housed in the US

21 Status Gmail deployed for 250 pilot users High user satisfaction Legal contract with Google not complete 99.9% compliance with Alberta privacy laws, but nothing less than 100% is acceptable Nine Canadian institutions have indicated that if we jump, they will jump as soon as practical

22 Dare to Change? These are difficult times for the university The Google project is not about It is all about… Opening the dialogue for centralization where it makes sense Providing leading edge tools to faculty, staff and especially students Changing the way people think about IT

23 Want to Know More?


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