Standards Process Lays a Solid Foundation for Better IT Efficiency

The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is implementing a university standards process across Ohio State's IT community to maximize efficiency and manage risks of the information technology (IT) environment. A new statement of direction framework will be used to develop, manage and document university IT standards. The university standards process became effective on July 1, 2011.

The new statement of direction framework aligns priority university initiatives to create and adopt standards for key technology components and services. The goal of the university standards is to optimize resources by eliminating duplication and other inefficiencies, reduce risk and improve responsiveness in an ever-changing technology and university environment. The process allows university IT departments to focus their resources on activities that add more value to their missions.

The OCIO’s Enterprise Architect will work in partnership with university IT leaders to facilitate the adoption of priority standards in technology. University standards priorities will be set by a designated group of university-wide IT leaders, in collaboration with the Enterprise Architect. Review and vetting of the standards with the OCIO and IT Community, IT Academic and Administrative Steering Committees, and representatives from departmental areas in a part of the process. Once an Enterprise Technology Standard is finalized in a statement of direction, it will be published on the OCIO web site.

Two statements of direction have been piloted to serve as models for the university standards process and framework. These statements of direction have established standard technology guidelines for Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) as well as Inventory and Asset Management. These specific tools and systems already used in some departments were selected as priority standards, thereby allowing the leveraging and expansion of pre-existing systems for commonly shared technology practices.

As new IT Standards are developed, there are many accompanying considerations kept in mind. The guidelines for granting exceptions to standards, timelines for large-scale adaptations, and management of ongoing contracts that deviate from the established standards are some examples of necessary considerations.

Establishing university standards lays a solid foundation for better efficiency and management of technology risks.  Standards enable the university to provide IT capabilities faster, better and cheaper. Adopting university standards provides common building blocks across departments to improve end-to-end delivery. IT community partners working in collaboration supports the spirit of one university.

For more information about Statements of Direction and University IT Standards, contact David Pike at pike.58@osu.edu or (614) 247-5404.