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Queen's University
 

Enterprise IT Initiatives

drawing of stick people pushing jigsaw puzzle pieces togetherInformation technology is an enabler in achieving the University's teaching, learning and research objectives. In concert with the the Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration), the University Provost and Queen's governing bodies, the Office of the CIO works to ensure that the University's enterprise IT infrastructure and initiatives are in alignment with the Principal's Academic Plan, Queen's Strategic Research Plan and Queen's financial priorities.

Current Initiatives

ITS is taking the lead or partnering with others on a number of significant IT initiatives, including:

1. Collaboration Tools and the Cloud

Implementing new integrated email, calendaring, contacts and task management solutions for the entire Queen's community is a high priority for the University.

  • Between March and June 2012, more than 15,000 staff, faculty and graduate students accounts were successfully migrated to a  new service using Microsoft Exchange Server .  
  • In 2013, A cloud email solution for undergraduate students was implemented with the migration of 50,000 accounts to Microsoft's Office 365 solution .
  • In 2014, planning began to move graduate student accounts to Microsoft's Office 365 solution, at the graduate students' request.
  • In 2014, investigation into an enhanced, contemporary e-communications suite for faculty and staff began. Bo Wandschneider, Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology) and CIO is currently engaging the University community in a dialogue about our options.
A "cloud first" strategy that has recently been implemented with ITS will play an important role in the investigation into collaboration tools on campus.  The strategy confirms that ITS must explore and take advantage of cloud services whenever appropriate to meet needs while satisfying security, control, budget and other constraints.  This strategy will use an extended definition of "cloud" that includes general application external hosting, whether or not it is hosted on cloud infrastructure.

The strategy means that, where there is an opportunity, all IT projects will need to demonstrate that public cloud service has been evaluated, before settling on any other form of IT service delivery.

      2.  IT Controls Assessment

      In early 2014, Queen's Internal Audit department partnered with an external consulting agency to perform an IT controls assessment.  Several units on campus, including ITS, participated in the assessment, and preliminary results were released to the participants in May 2014.

      The assessment covered topics such as IT governance, organization, and management, privacy, and information security and network/software development.  Results will be reviewed through Spring 2014 and will be used to inform initiatives and actions over the coming years.

      3.  Electronic Information Security Policies

      A set of Electronic Information Security Policies were approved by Queen's Senate at its May 27, 2014 meeting. These policies address the security of University IT and information resources, and the privacy of sensitive information in the University’s care.

      ITS continues to strengthen the security of the Queen’s IT infrastructure, create more secure zones, and implement layered security defences where warranted. The scope and complexity of the Queen’s IT infrastructure makes it very challenging to improve its security, but it is a priority area of investment and staffing. However, this doesn’t fully address the risks. We must still rely heavily on every member of the Queen’s community to be aware of security risks and adopt recommended practices to address them.

      Now that the policies have been approved, work will begin to communicate and socialize the documents, and the important information they contain, with the Queen's community.  We will be working closely with faculty and staff to develop procedures and services to help us comply with the policies.

      4.  Strategic Planning

      ITS has completed an internal strategic planning process that will directly connect organizational goals with individual objectives and feed into the Performance Development Process. The ITS Strategic Plan was published in March 2013.

      Also completed in 2013 was an external review of information technology at Queen's (IT@Queen's) that is currently being discussed campus-wide with ITS' partners and stakeholders.  This external review is about taking off our individual unit hats and looking at what is best for Queen's. It gives us ideas on how to improve ourselves, and it gives us context to build on what we already have at the University.

      5.  PeopleSoft Administrative Systems

      With the successful implementation of the PeopleSoft Human Resources module in February 2012, the QUASR project is now complete and attention is being shifted to sustainment. Two new governance groups have been formed to address strategic direction, priority setting and operational management of our new administrative systems: the Administrative Systems Steering Committee (ASSC) and the Administrative Systems Operational Working Group (ASOWG).  

      The planned upgrade to PeopleTools went live in April 2014, and the PS Finance upgrade project kicked off in March 2014, to be followed by upgrades to PS HR and Campus Solutions in 2015.

      Also going live in 2014 was a new Awards (Grants & Contracts) module within the Researcher Portal and enhanced financial reporting via Millennium's "FAST" tool, which was tightly integrated with the TRAQ (Tools for Research at Queen's) project.

      6.  Enterprise Document & Records Management Systems (EDRMS)

      ITS has been working with campus stakeholders since 2011 to establish a strategic direction for the common offering of Enterprise Document & Records Management (EDRMS) at Queen's. In early 2013, an external consultant was engaged to do a formal requirements gathering from a variety of stakeholders around campus. Based on this information, an RFP reflecting Queen's requirements will be tendered, and a pilot project with the Faculty of Education and the School of Graduate Studies was launched in late 2013 and was completed in early 2014.  Work is now being done to explore the feasibility of rolling out the tool to additional units at Queen's, and many departments have expressed interest in participating.

      7. IT Assessment Program

      As part of the reorganization of ITS in 2013, a Manager of Assessment position was created, who is currently working to develop a comprehensive, multi-dimensional IT assessment program to enable and inform IT strategy, planning, priorities, investment, and decision making at all levels of the University.

      Stay tuned for more information on this initiative, which will be coming soon via a new tab at the top of this site called "Assessment".

       

      ITS Projects

      For detailed information on University-level projects that have an IT component, visit the Project Portfolio Office's dashboard. Beginning in mid-2014, the dashboard will also contain information on projects taking place entirely within ITServices.  For now, some information on projects at that level can be found on our In The Works page.

      Existing Services

      Information Technology Services provisions numerous enterprise IT services to Queen's students, faculty, staff and departments. The full Service Catalogue is available on the ITS website.

       

      Updated July 2014

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