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Work Continues on Delivering World-Class Technology

Efforts are underway on four initiatives that top this year's priority list
Monday, August 1, 2016

University IT (UIT) is focused on four priority initiatives this year that will continue to strengthen data protection and privacy, enable greater collaboration and communication, and streamline processes for increased efficiency across Stanford.

Efforts towards achieving these initiatives, all of which aim to support the university through delivery of world-class technology services and solutions, will continue throughout the current performance year, which extends from May 2016 through April 2017.

Our four priority initiatives are detailed below.

Information security and privacy

This initiative promulgates best practices in cybersecurity to improve protection of Stanford systems and data. This year’s focus centers on high-risk data handled by third-party systems and high-risk applications and servers managed by the university.

More specifically, we will:

  • Create an inventory of third-party systems handling high-risk data and prioritize them in terms of risk. Develop and complete mitigation plans for the top 10 prioritized systems.
  • Create an inventory of high-risk applications and servers managed by the university. Attain and maintain adoption of the Minimum Security Standards for the identified applications and servers, wherever possible.

Integrated identity and access management

This multi-year initiative aims to update and modernize Stanford’s identity and access management systems and services. Efforts will address the growing requirements of the Stanford community to secure digital assets, foster collaboration, and manage teaching, learning, and research computing environments across platforms and institutions.

The main focus this year includes work in two areas:

  • Sponsored accounts: Republish Administrative Guide policies regarding SUNet ID eligibility. Create ability to indicate “on behalf” sponsorships and update all service content to reflect revised guidelines.
  • Access and authorization: Upgrade Stanford’s current implementation of Shibboleth Identity Provider (IdP) infrastructure, used with many applications to provide access. Evaluate non-proprietary alternatives to Stanford’s home-grown WebAuth and WebLogin applications and infrastructure, and select replacement. Start moving Stanford’s existing authentication infrastructure to new infrastructure.

Communication and collaboration

This initiative seeks to evolve our integrated collaboration and communication solutions to include voice, video, and instant messaging in addition to email and calendar. It also aims to support robust solutions between main campus and remote sites.

This year, we will:

  • Evaluate options for video conference services and recommend the best two to meet campus needs. Implement an initial offering and deliver a roadmap for future releases.
  • Evaluate options for instant messaging services and recommend a solution. Implement an initial offering and deliver a roadmap for future releases.

IT service management

This multi-year initiative aims to significantly improve our clients’ end-to-end experience of our services through a series of service management projects that span multiple years.

This year, we will:

  • Implement ServiceNow – and replace Remedy – as a single, seamless system for requesting and supporting services across Stanford. The initial release includes a services portal to view offerings, as well as tools to submit non-billable requests, report incidents, install system changes, and manage problems of services provided by UIT.
  • Begin campus-wide rollout of ServiceNow by releasing new tools to a few campus partners.

The bigger picture

UIT’s priority initiatives are part of a bigger picture. As one of the major organizations within Business Affairs, UIT is responsible each year for leading about one-third of Business Affairs' principal initiatives. These initiatives support the Business Affairs' vision to ensure the university’s administration is seamless and efficient to enable and support teaching, learning and research.

Read about the progress UIT made towards achieving last year’s priority initiatives in this July article.

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