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Communities of Practice and Information Technology Priorities

Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program, Information Security, and Video & Collaboration are the 2014-2015 priorities.

Where Information Technology Efforts Happens

Information Technology (IT) efforts happen at the system, campus, and departmental levels. It is not uncommon for an IT service "owner" to be part of the system-wide IT organization, the Office of Information Technology (OIT), located on the Twin Cities campus, while both campus and departmental IT professionals are doing the support work here at UMD. During the past few years, Vice President / Chief Information Officer Scott Studham and the rest of the OIT leadership team have been reaching out to distributed IT professionals across the system to work collaboratively, communicate, and build positive working relationships. We in ITSS have had an increasingly positive experience being a part of the larger IT community at the University of Minnesota.

Communities of Practice

One of the ways this larger IT community is coming together is by using Communities of Practice (CoPs). These CoPs are groups of people who share a concern or passion for the particular IT initiative and they are able to learn and accomplish more through regular interactions. Typically a CoP starts with a problem that has been identified by end user comments, surveys, support trends, or unmet needs. The problem becomes the topic for a CoP comprised of self-selected members from across the campuses and service owners from OIT.

How Priorities are Set

Each year, based on a series of surveys and meetings with constituents, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) on the Twin Cities campus sets the technology priorities for the coming year. These priorities are determined in consultation with the Information Technology Leadership Community of Practice (ITLCoP). This group is comprised of IT leaders from all campuses. These issues engender new CoPs which form and run their course, generally for a year, to improve the particular area of IT service identified.

2014-2015 Priorities

The Community of Practice (CoP) at the forefront for everyone in our IT community, is the Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP). Vice President and Chief Information Officer Scott Studham says "this project will define university IT for the next decade. It is critical that we each evaluate our actions through the lens of 'How will this affect ESUP?'" This is particularly important in regards to tertiary systems -- those systems that interact with the current version of PeopleSoft and need to be updated before February Go-Live.

A second CoP involves Information Security - Risk Management/Assessment under Chief Information Security Officer Brian Dahlin. More details are forthcoming.

A third CoP is focused on Video & Collaboration under Senior Director Chris Ament. Again, details will be available soon.

More priorities and CoPs will be emerging in the near future. To keep informed and to participate, check OIT's website.

If you have comments or concerns about local UMD IT services or system-wide services, let us know about them and we will work together with the larger system to continue improving service.