CIO State of Technology Address
Text of CIO speech on State of Technology at Faculty and Staff Meeting: January 14, 2013
Dear Faculty and Staff,
On behalf of the Office of Information Technology, I have the greatest pleasure of welcoming you into this New Year 2013. This year heralds your technology organization’s foray into a new decade of innovation and automation.
Over 2500 web pages, 90 faculty and staff and 1 website. Ladies and Gentlemen: I am proud to announce that your new website will be going live in the second week of February. This project in itself is remarkable. I say remarkable because of the collaboration, inclusivity and most importantly empowerment of you as a stakeholder and customer. On behalf of your OIT team, I am kindly requesting you to please update your pages on the new site as the current site will be disabled to the World Wide Web in February.
With the click of a mouse button, Mrs. Melinda Cullins communicated the Fall 2013 Freshman inquiry campaign to 1648 prospective students, using the newly installed Banner Communication Management System, aka BCM. We hope this system will improve communications and help boost enrolments.
A good friend of mine once said to me: “Chandragupta, we can only go as fast as our slowest link”. So your technology organization decided to turn the slowest link into an autobahn. My dear faculty and staff, the new Website, BCM, Lync and Touchnet are all part of a broader strategic plan to put in place communication autobahns for you as stakeholders to be able to effectively communicate and collaborate.
We have only 1 earth to share. Let’s be green and sustainable. In following a Carbon neutrality strategy your technology organization has virtualized a significant portion of our server infrastructure. We currently have 57 virtual servers. In terms of green initiative and sustainability, this is equivalent of planting 894 trees or 51 cars off the highway. In terms of energy savings, this has resulted in savings worth 376,831 kWh and savings worth $37,683, assuming $0.10/kWh charge. We have tactically positioned ourselves to extend this technology to desktops and laptops. We will be piloting this new technology called Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, VDI this semester. Some of the advantages in addition to increasing sustainability and savings in power consumption, are that you will be able to access your computer, including all programs, files and software from any computer or mobile device across the globe. We are looking at reducing the cost of a $1000 computer to $350.
In fall of 2012, your technology organization resolved 2561 of 2639 support requests, which translated to a 97% resolution rate. This metric was achieved by your helpdesk that was brought in-house in August of last year. We have completed 27 strategic projects and currently have 12 projects underway. All of this information is available on our website.
I am happy to inform you that Blackboard LMS was recommended by a faculty taskforce and the Executive Cabinet has approved the proposal to continue with Blackboard Learning Management System. The New Blackboard LMS will be hosted in the “Cloud” with Blackboard Learn and will bring SRSU to the latest version of Blackboard along with an integrated course evaluation system. The chief advantage is that faculty will not have to learn a new system and all of our current investment in courses on Blackboard will be ported 100% to the instance in the cloud.
In collaboration with the Finance department, we will begin implementation of the Touchnet suite of products February and tentatively conclude the project by May. This is a $0 project to get started, which, will pay for itself in the first 6-8 months of being operational. Once implemented this project will generate revenues worth $100,000 or more per annum. SRSU will be afforded a secure and sustainable platform to conduct e-business in compliance with PCI, state and federal regulations. This system will empower students, parents, donors and patrons to conduct financial transactions with SRSU in a secure manner from the convenience of their home or mobile device. This platform will afford us additional mechanisms of payments using ACH, debit cards and credit cards for fees, events, and other items.
Last semester, your technology organization led and facilitated Banner health checks by collaborating with Ellucian that involved various departments from Enrollment services, finance and HR. The end goal of these engagements was to put in place “strategic roadmaps” that introduced automation, increased empowerment by leveraging our Banner ERP system. I am happy to report that we should be getting a draft of these roadmaps from Ellucian for review by EC by the end of this month.
So ladies and gentlemen: Your technology organization has been building “communication autobahns”, executing strategies to be “carbon neutral”, increasing security and sustainability, executing $0 strategic projects, supporting and troubleshooting day to day technology issues, building a new website using “open-source” technologies, leveraging the “cloud” to maximize value and availability of mission critical services, and the list goes on.
At the core, we are building a secure, sustainable, and inclusive technology enterprise. An enterprise that is fueled by innovation, intellect, and most importantly, talented professionals driven by an insatiable thirst for excellence. Today’s world is characterized by the power of technology and information. Yes, all of the projects that I mentioned save money and have financial returns in terms of increase in enrollments, energy savings, etc. But it is not just about money. It is about injecting positivity, innovation and collaboration. It is about inculcating togetherness in our socio-economic and pedagogical activities with the ultimate and sacred goal of flourishing learning and education for our present and future generations. As Horace Mann once said, “Education alone can conduct us to that enjoyment, which is, at once, best in quality and infinite in quantity”.
Ladies and gentlemen, I want to thank you for your support, understanding and confidence. Absent which, I dare not stand in front of you and speak. So, thank you! I hope you will continue to bestow your technology organization your support and confidence in this new year 2013. Wishing y’all a Happy New Year!
Chandragupta Gudena, CIO