FAQ

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ASSESSMENT PROCESS AND SCOPE

  • How was the IT Assessment conducted?
  • The IT Assessment was a UCLA effort led by the Campus CIO and Senior Leadership.  Stakeholders in this process included UCLA leadership and executives, Unit IT managers and directors, distributed IT staff, and faculty, staff, and researchers.

    The assessment was conducted as follows:

    - Evaluated the current state of technology through the collection and review of 1000+ documents/data, and 100+ interviews, ten focus groups, and three listening sessions with campus leaders, faculty, and IT and non-IT staff across campus. A breakdown of who was interviewed is available here.

    - Benchmarked performance of UCLA IT against peer R1 institutions in higher education.

    - Analyzed governance, finance, talent, infrastructure, security, applications, and services data from interviews and documents.

    - Developed recommendations to achieve a future state vision for IT.

    - Shared overall results and recommendations through a series of 28 engagement sessions with Deans, VPs, VCs, and their respective leadership teams across campus for review and feedback.

 

 CAMPUS ENGAGEMENT & SOCIALIZATION

  • What key changes were made as a result of the IT Assessment reviews across the campus?
  • The key changes made based on stakeholder feedback include:

    1. The addition of an IT Steering Committee to the IT Governance model. 

    2. The decision to refine the IT hub-and-spoke organization model to allow for better collaboration and partnership between the hub and the spokes.

    3. Rather than a dotted-line reporting relationship between each IT unit and the CIO, the focus on a strong bidirectional relationship founded on shared priorities and mutual support.

    4. The removal of predefined subgroups of IT unit representatives. Instead, subgroups will be formed organically around shared priorities and needs.

    5. More accurate listing of the services for which the hub and the spokes will be responsible.   

  • What were the hub-and-spoke model recommendations based on? Who was involved?
  • The hub-and-spoke recommendations were based on numerous interviews, listening sessions, and focus groups that included faculty, staff, students, researchers, academic and administrative leaders throughout the campus. During this effort, we specifically focused on partnerships, open conversations and discussions. We have been socializing these recommendations and concepts since August 2020.  Outlined below is the list of engagements with the campus to date.

    Interviews

    Conducted over 140 individual stakeholder interviews (August – September 2020)

    Focus Groups

    Conducted 10 focus groups, which included 55 stakeholders (August – September 2020)

    Listening Sessions

    Held three listening sessions via open office hour sessions – open to all members of the UCLA community (August – September 2020)

    Deans Council

    Provided updates to the Deans Council during the project to share current state findings and after the project concluded to share the future state recommendations

    Chancellor’s Cabinet

    - Held meeting with the Chancellor's cabinet to share the future state recommendations

    - Discussions with the Deans, VPs, VCs, and their respective leadership teams

    - Held 28 engagement sessions with 240 academic and admin leaders across campus to share the future state recommendations and obtain feedback (January 2021-April 2021)

    Presentations

    - Delivered updates to Busting Bureaucracy Working Group and Student Systems Working Group

    - Provided Academic Senate presentation for the Committee on Data, Information Technology and Privacy

    - Participated and provided update in BruinTech Town Hall meeting

    IT Stakeholder Meetings

    - Weekly meetings with the IT Transformation Advisory Group (July 2020 – present)

    - Regular updates to CSG, which includes the IT leaders throughout the campus (August -present)

    - Briefed GO IT Board on monthly basis (August 2020- present)

    - IT Services staff on a monthly basis

 

GOVERNANCE 

  • What types of services require governance?
  • - Campuswide initiatives and services with broad impact may be included in the IT governance process, e.g., campuswide licensing, security, IT training, etc.

    - Such initiatives/services that require collaboration across campus to ensure key stakeholder impacts and cross-campus perspectives are thoughtfully considered in the governance process.

  • Why did we develop the IT Strategic Partner role?
  • The Campus CIO wants to develop strong and trusted partnerships with local units leaders to better understand unit needs and priorities and to ensure that local needs are being considered and that local and campuswide activities are in alignment.  
  • How do the IT Strategic Partners fit into the governance model? 
  • - IT Strategic Partners will have a close relationship with the Campus CIO.

    - IT Strategic Partners will meet 1-1 with the Campus CIO on a quarterly basis, as well as attend monthly group meetings with all the IT Strategic Partners.

    - IT Strategic Partners may also be involved in a number of working groups that will provide insight into governance initiatives.

  • How much time is required of the IT Strategic Partner?
  • There is a one-hour monthly group meeting and a 30-minute quarterly 1:1 meeting with the Campus CIO. Additional time may be spent participating in working group(s), though involvement in these groups is optional.

  • How do we ensure that our unit has a voice and included when the campus is determining IT priorities?
  • 1. Each unit leader will identify an IT Strategic Partner that will meet on a regular basis with the Campus CIO and the IT Strategic Partners across campus to provide insights and communicate priorities to ensure partnership around IT efforts at UCLA.

    2. The IT Strategic Partner strategy is designed to provide continuity, enhance communications and campus alignment, and facilitate the governance of campuswide IT projects.

    3. This partnership strengthens and extends the current IT governance structure by enabling the Campus CIO to lead the development and execution of long-term IT initiatives with the consistent and thoughtful input of unit representatives from across the campus. This will ensure that unit priorities can be brought forward and considered together with hub priorities.

  • What is the plan for IT Strategic Partners?
  • The IT Strategic Partner strategy focuses on the partnership and collaboration between the unit IT leader and the Campus CIO. This has the following mutual benefits:

    1. Visibility and voice

           a. The Campus CIO has visibility and insight into what’s happening at the local level; the units have visibility and input into the campus IT vision.

           b. The CIO and IT Strategic Partners can mindfully consider and collaborate on setting strategic direction and making operational decisions where alignment makes sense.

    2. Maximize campus alignment, partnership and mutual commitment to shared priorities.

    3. Better information flow, information sharing and awareness for all IT participant organizational needs.

    4. Ability for IT Strategic Partners to serve as an “on the ground” advisory function to the Campus CIO.

    5. Ability to shape the IT culture together as the campus culture evolves (e.g., transition to a more institutional mindset).

    6. Ensure that major campus IT decisions are fully vetted.

    7. Partner in bringing about change for the campus and highlighting unit level benefits.

    8. IT Strategic Partners can serve as unit level champions on campuswide IT standards or initiatives.

    9. Campus CIO can direct central IT resources to support unit IT when the local unit lacks the technical expertise or resources.

    10. Campus CIO can help arbitrate strategic or operational conflicts, between unit level IT groups or with the central IT team.

  • What does the dotted line represent between the Campus CIO and IT Strategic Partner? 
  • The original intent of the dotted line was to emphasize the importance for the Campus CIO and local units to work together. The line has since been updated to depict a bi-directional arrow, which more accurately reflects the envisioned partnership of mutual commitment and shared priorities.

    This a bi-directional arrow represents the IT Strategic Partner relationship with the Campus CIO which consists of the following:

    - Mutual accountability between the Campus CIO and each IT Strategic Partner.

    - Continuous feedback loop of open communication and collaboration between the Campus CIO and each IT Strategic Partner.

    - Consistent meeting cadence of the group and 1:1 interactions.

    - The relationship is a priority for both the Campus CIO and IT Strategic Partner, and is recognized as such by the unit head.

 

HUB & SPOKE

  • Does the proposed hub-and-spoke model for IT remove staff and funding from departments and departmental groups dedicated to teaching?
  • - The proposed hub-and-spoke model does not impact the staff and funding dedicated to teaching.

    - Instead, as part of the LMS Transformation program, our commitment is to develop the local teams to support faculty during the transition to Canvas and beyond.

    - The LMS Transformation program is led by faculty, who are setting the vision and goals for this new system. IT Services provides the implementation strategy, program and change management rigor, and technology enablement.

    - This program's success depends on the dedicated teaching support resources in the distributed units, who will play an instrumental role in the University's transition to a more modern teaching and learning platform.

  • Will unit resources be moved to the hub?
  • The focus is going to be on unifying our core services. If your resources are not focused on core services, then they will continue to provide support at the unit level.

  • What if unit resources support core services but only do this a percentage of their time?
  • Individuals that only support core services as a percentage of their time are not going to move to the hub since they still have other activities that they may need to support at the unit level.
  • What evidence do you have that a central ITS (hub) would support units better than dedicated distributed groups (spokes), at least in those units that provide excellent service already?
  • The hub and spoke relationship, where the hub supports the governance and facilitation of a campuswide IT strategy, reduces fragmentation of core IT services and provides a shared infrastructure for unit and department-specific IT needs.

    Additionally, this model enables economies of scale and standardization across campus, while still supporting creativity.

    It drives information security and compliance with policies, procedures and standards.

    The hub will not take responsibility for all IT services; instead, it will focus on common enterprise-wide capabilities. The IT services that are unique to a unit can continue to be managed and supported by the local IT team.

  • What services are in the hub and what services are in the spoke?
  • - There will be an extensive exercise to identify what services will be provided through IT Services (hub) and which services will be provided at the unit level (spokes).

    - The key is to ensure that core services accommodate, as best possible, all units.

    - To do so, it is important that IT Services understands the needs of all the units, relative to our unified services, so that we can build that into the design of the hub-and-spoke model.

    - At a high level, we will focus on network, security, multi cloud/ hybrid cloud offerings, unification of email, storage environments, CRM platform for students, faculty and staff, data governance, enterprise data and analytics, etc. (Spokes may still be involved in interfacing these hub services with end users.)

  • What if a unit has a more advanced offering than the hub in a specific area?
  • Each unit will identify an IT Strategic Partner that will meet on a regular basis with the Campus CIO and the IT Strategic Partners across campus to provide insights and communicate priorities to ensure alignment with central IT Services. This includes the sharing of ideas and innovation that may benefit others. If so, IT Services can partner with the unit to see how this can be made available campus-wide.  Units could also decide to provide enhanced services, provided they do not conflict with core functions, like security, networking, messaging, etc.

  • What does it mean when you say that the hub-and-spoke model will be metric-driven?
  • - IT Services plans to set expectations related to IT processes and service level agreements (SLAs) and adhere to them.

    - IT Services plans to report out these metrics to the campus and be accountable for the results.

    - IT Services also plans to use that data to proactively address and enhance our services.

  • What do you mean by inefficient services?
  • Faculty, students and staff receive inconsistent levels of IT services – some have a great experience while others do not. Providing a greater number of common systems and services enables a better opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to have a common experience.

  • Are there any other UC campuses that have implemented a hub-and-spoke model?
  • Most UC campuses have implemented their own version of the hub-and-spoke model. We are getting their guidance and insight into lessons learned. UCLA tends to be an outlier with regard to our extreme distributed model to date.

  • Why do we need a new operating model to solve our IT issues?
  • The new operating model gives UCLA the opportunity to better understand what we are doing across the board and right-size what work is happening where. This model will require input from stakeholders campus-wide to determine which services should be in the hub and which services should remain in the units.

 

UNIT LEVEL SUPPORT

  • How do units ensure they get the support needed and that ITS has defined targets and is held accountable?
  • The plan is to build out Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with units and report on these metrics on a monthly basis to ensure that we are transparent and accountable for our service delivery. IT Services launched a 24-hour help desk to augment departmental support that is more limited.

 

INNOVATION

  • How can units bring innovation forward that could benefit the entire University?
  • - Units will identify an IT Strategic Partner that will act as a key point of contact for Unit level IT. 

    - Each IT Strategic Partner will have the opportunity, on a monthly basis, to share insights, innovation and ensure alignment with IT Services as well as units across campus. 

    - In addition, subgroups of IT Strategic Partners will be formed based on common needs or based on project initiatives – enabling each to share innovation underway in a unit – and/or learn from what others are doing.

    - Innovation will be encouraged with the intent of sharing experiences with other IT Strategic Partners across the campus.

 

FUNDING

  • How does the funding model work between IT Services (hub) and units?
  • - The intent is that Hub funding will be covered by TIF and/or included within the proposed tax as part of the new budget model.

    - APB is also looking at whether TIF can go away and be folded into the common good tax.

    - The current proposal is that core services will have a base fee (i.e., tax for core service), while premium services would incur additional fees.

    - We do not have all the details yet, but there is an IT Transformation Finance workstream that will focus on this. 

  • What about recharges?
  • The new budget model is designed to eliminate recharges. This may be considered for premium services only, which still need to be defined.
  • Will funds used to support the hub benefit the funds at the unit level?
  • The hub can help ensure that UCLA can scale tech offerings across the University.  MATLAB (matrix laboratory), Adobe Creative Cloud, Zoom, Slack, Box and DocuSign are examples of technology solutions in which many units can leverage an enterprise agreement at a lower cost.

    It is recognized that we need to do this in a way that does not stifle innovation.

  • How does the funding of IT compare to those of other R1 institutions?
  • UCLA was compared to benchmarks at other R1 institutions of our size and scope.  The model shows that overall IT spending is actually higher at UCLA, but the current model creates inefficiencies and indicates we are not obtaining the full value of our investment.

 

GENERAL

  • There were 200 BTO employees who are now part of ITS. Where are they now?
  • - The 200 people referenced in the BTO are employees from other departments across the campus who came together to participate in the Ascend project.

    - They are not employees of BTO and are not new.

    - The BTO leads various enterprise programs, such as Ascend (Oracle Financials Cloud System) and FACET (Financial Aid Cloud Environment Technology).

    - The BTO team has 25 positions made up of a combination of temporary contract workers and career staff associated with specific projects.