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Serving the Research Mission: An Approach to Central IT’s Role Matthew Stock University at Buffalo.

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Presentation on theme: "Serving the Research Mission: An Approach to Central IT’s Role Matthew Stock University at Buffalo."— Presentation transcript:

1 Serving the Research Mission: An Approach to Central IT’s Role Matthew Stock University at Buffalo

2 Copyright Matthew Stock, 2008. This work is the intellectual property of the author. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission of the author.

3 For Today Overview of UB Motivation Accomplishments Key Steps Challenges What’s Next

4 University at Buffalo Comprehensive, research-intensive public university A flagship of State University of New York (SUNY) system 10,035 full-time employees 18,779 undergraduates, 9,275 grad and professional Thirteen schools including: ― Medicine, Dental, Nursing, Pharmacy ― Management, Law, Social Work ― Engineering, Architecture

5 IT at UB Distributed IT ― Primarily at the school level ― Major research centers CIO’s area composed of six service areas: ― Enterprise Infrastructure Services (EIS) ― Operational Support Services (OSS) ― Administrative Computing Services (ACS) ― Academic Services (ASCIT) ― Information Security Office (ISO) ― Enterprise Research Computing Services (ERCS)

6 History New president and provost initiated academic excellence program in 2004 ― Growth ― Quality ― Operational improvements ― IT realignment toward academic goals New research building May 2006

7 Bioinformatics Center Multidisciplinary Central IT providing client support Opportunity to evaluate alternative IT support methods Long-term faculty interactions

8 Enterprise Research Computing Services New CIO unit formalized in July 2007 Goals: ― Identify research IT gaps ― Implement, support research services ― Advocate, coordinate within campus IT Service integration Project management Consulting

9 Motivation Funding competition Costly infrastructure Multidisciplinary, multi-institutional work Cooperation between IT units

10 What We’ve Done Broad awareness campaign focused on faculty and administrators across institution Multi-unit project and service teams Developed slate of high value projects ― File storage, backup, archive (done) ― Condor compute system in public labs (done) ― Several others in progress Credibility for future activities

11 Key Components Communication ― Customer: Faculty ― Partners: CCR, VP for research, IT units ― Admin: Associate Deans, Faculty Senate, Deans/VPs Support from Senior Administration ― Strong ties to institutional goals ― Prioritization in face of limited resources Building Trust

12 Traditional distrust of central IT Start with personal trust Experience with faculty Delivering on commitments builds organizational trust

13 Research IT Survey Initiated by CCR, CIO, and VPR office Goals ― Validate individual interviews ― Prioritize research IT investments ― Identify projects Strong response rate (158 faculty) Report:

14 Six Recommendation Areas Collaboration Tools ― Help researchers communicate more effectively Research Data Storage Needs ― Data archiving, backup, disk space Programming and Staff Support ― Training and specialized staff skills Plan for Increased Computing Needs Networking Research Grant Administration ― Reduce effort spent on administrative activities

15 Storage Services for Research Leverage existing infrastructure Institutional service description Storage pool focused on “seeding” research projects Direct purchase available Free server backups Archive still a work in progress

16 Condor Collaboration between CIO area and CCR Goal to make unused computing capacity in public sites available to researchers Completed on schedule Pool currently has ~ 1.2 TFLOPS of computing capacity

17 Planning Phase Research Channel for UB portal ― Content from multiple sources Document Collaboration Tool ― Inter- and Intra-institutional, multi-platform, offline PI (Faculty) Profile ― Searchable index of faculty activities ― Tie to institutional data

18 Future Projects Research Wiki Desktop Videoconferencing Improved Accounts Management for External Collaborators Research Software Licensing Research Drop Box Database Collections

19 Governance Reuse existing standing structures ― CIO’s advisory council: policy, planning ― IT unit leaders: IT-specific issues Form ad hoc task groups for short-term needs ― Select interested faculty ― Limit scope, timetable Advisory groups for specific service issues?

20 Challenges Limited resources Existing organizational structures/silos Confusion regarding role Inconsistent priorities

21 Advice Start small Don’t look for fundamental change Gain executive support Communicate, communicate, communicate

22 Next Steps Test governance model Multi-unit services? Develop long term strategic plan

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