By Katie Quaranta
President Roderick J. McDavis has issued a directive to consolidate several key campus information technology functions under the Office of Information Technology in order to improve security, increase efficiency and save money.
The results of a university-wide assessment of information technology services and resources at Ohio University prompted the directive, which officially took effect on Aug. 17. The assessment indicated that the university should develop a unified IT services model in order to eliminate duplication of services and to ensure consistent standards across the university.
In a memo to planning unit heads last week, McDavis wrote that the directive identifies IT security at the university as a top priority and acts as the first step toward creating a unified model by consolidating all university-wide servers, enterprise applications, data networks and security under OIT. Distributed IT staff related to these functions also will be transferred to OIT, he said.
"There are great cost efficiencies in reducing the number of servers we have and streamlining the processes," said Chief Information Officer Brice Bible, adding that the move also would allow employees to use their time more effectively.
Bible is already working with planning units throughout the university to develop customized transition plans that will facilitate the consolidation. Until such plans are in place, all IT employees will continue with "business as usual."
He also is holding a planning session to gather input on the transition from all IT staff involved in services related to the directive on Aug. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in Computer Services Center 121B.
"This is about improving service, not degrading service," he said. "Their IT people play a very important role in the success of Ohio University and this is our chance to capitalize on their expertise to improve IT at the university."
A team comprising university IT employees -- with representatives from both central and distributed IT -- will spearhead the consolidation process. Bible said that applications that are critical to the operation of the university and most sensitive from a security point of view will be the first shifted to the centralized servers. He anticipates the process of moving all of the servers and applications will be completed by the end of June 2010.