Office of Learning and Information Technology
CIO Council Meeting
September 20, 2012
Breakfast with New CIOs
UW Technology and Information Security Update
UW Service Center update and Enterprise Tools
Security Requirements for HRS
UW Library Update
Microsoft Tech Tuesdays
Agenda Items for October 16th CIO Luncheon Meeting
CIOs and their Representatives
Jacques du Plessis
Brian McDonald (by teleconference)
Breakfast with New CIOs
Elena Pokot welcomed new members, and members in new roles, to the CIO Council:
· Rajeev Bukralia, UW-Green Bay, Associate Provost and CIO
· Lorie Docken, UW System Administration, Interim CIO
· Jacques du Plessis, UW-Milwaukee, Interim CIO
· Joe Kmiech, UW-Milwaukee, filling in for the vacant CIO position
· Ilya Yakolev, UW-Parkside, CIO
Pokot stressed the importance and value of the CIO Council in the roles and lives of the UW System (UWS) CIOs. Lorie Docken noted that the UW System Administration (UWSA) appreciates the feedback it gets from the Council. Paul Moriarty appreciates the timely feedback he gets to requests for information from the Council members. In addition to the Council meetings, Chip Eckardt also gets together on a weekly basis via videoconference with the UWS CIOs in his region of the state. John Krogman noted the support that the UWS CIOs get from each other on a one-on-one basis. Erich Matola is wrapping up 3 years as CIO at UW-Platteville and has appreciated his time with the UWS and the Council. Michael Schlicht reported that people in other state systems are impressed by the friendliness and efficiency of the UW System. Mohamed Elhindi said that the CIO Council meetings are a form of professional development. Several members reported that the Council provides an opportunity to vent and to also align resources between the institutions. David Dumke highlighted the leadership and collaboration that the CIO Council has provided to the UW System in difficult times. Nick Dvoracek noted the welcome he felt from the Council members despite the fact that he doesn’t have an IT background.
Pokot distributed copies of the CIO Council’s operating guidelines and noted that they encompass:
· Collaboration at all levels from local to system-wide
Elhindi recommended that the UWS institutions focus together on security. The Technology and Information Security Council (TISC) has been active, but the Security Executive Committee has not. Pokot suggested that each CIO Council meeting have a focus topic that results in clear directions rather than just delegation of the issue to an ad hoc committee.
UW Technology and Information Security Update
Chris Liechty reported that the security breakout group at the October ITMC has not yet received as many registrations as hoped. TISC has purposely decided not to be a policy group and will therefore only recommend the formation of a UWS policy on data classification, usage and protection. The policy should focus on high-level requirements and not specify particular technologies. It would presumably be similar to the Board of Regents policy on computer usage.
The TISC chairs have talked with Judy Caruso and Gary de Clute of UW-Madison and are recommending that a policy framework be developed in the security and policy breakout groups at the ITMC meeting. The result would be brought back to the CIO Council for review and then sent to the UW System Legal Affairs for advice regarding the best way to proceed. Lee Goldesberry emphasized how policies can help with finding budget support at the campus level.
David Dumke asked the Council for their thoughts on charging TISC with developing security policies. Judy Caruso reported that there is a system-wide IT Policy Group that has a broader purview than just security. Docken recommended that TISC provide a framework, but that a separate oversight group help with moving forward. Perhaps the Data Privacy and Security Governance Group should be reinvigorated. Nick Dvoracek recommended involvement from users because they often feel that security is something that is done to them. Caruso stressed that there are both short-term issues and long-term strategy. Data owners and custodians are ultimately responsible for their own data, not the IT departments. Mohamed Elhindi stressed the value of having clear policies to protect both stakeholders and institutions. Caruso noted that there is already a Board of Regents policy on records management. Pokot suggested that the Council reach consensus as to what a proposed policy should cover. Elhindi recommended that TISC and the IT Policy Group be given some direction before the ITMC meeting. Liechty will email a draft plan to the CIO Council before the ITMC meeting. Council members should respond directly to him.
David Dumke stressed the importance of collaboration between TISC and other UWS policy groups. Pokot noted that institutional implementations and guidelines can either be sustainable or not depending upon how broad they are.
Larry Henderson reported that the UWS Service Center is particularly concerned about security in terms of access to the HRS system, the provision of protected data from HRS to other systems and the avenues of data input, such as Human Capital Management.
UW Service Center Update and Enterprise Tools
Larry Henderson explained that the Service Center has been split into three overall groups as a result of feedback from the UWS institutions:
1. transactional components, e.g., payroll
2. project management
3. four affinity groups for subsets of the UWS institutions based upon similar kinds of workforces
Henderson encourages the UWS institutions to participate in the regular teleconferences for their affinity group.
The HRS team is moving towards dashboards and scorecards as a means of reporting metrics and the status of trouble tickets, WiscITs, to the community. Metrics have improved significantly in the last year. Even though there is a less than 1% error rate in paychecks, it is important to address them quickly. The UWS has a very complex benefit system compared to most institutions and there is still room for improvement in the implementation within HRS.
To finish the items that were not completed by go-live, the focus has shifted to addressing campus issues before Service Center concerns. Less than 10% of employees are using self-service functionalities even though the system was designed with the assumption that all would be using it. Therefore new business-to-business services are being set up between the institutions and the Service Center.
Henderson has had productive dialogues with members of the CIO Council about difficulties with reporting and improvements are being made.
Improvements are underway for reconciliations with the Wisconsin Retirement System, State Group Health and the Bank Payroll Account.
The Service Center budget is continually being refined to determine the baseline costs.
New support tools are being developed to help get employees on and off HRS quickly. Data entry errors and paper delays can slow processes down outside of the HRS system itself. The goal is to automate the processes as much as possible. Existing Service Center funds will be used to enhance ImageNow to improve the front end processing. There are pilot projects at one institution within each of the affinity groups to document the workflows that will all eventually reside in an ImageNow cloud.
The Service Center is moving toward a cloud environment for anytime, anywhere, anyhow workflow for door-to-door delivery of services. It is important to process terminations within two months because of ETF rules. The key will be integration with PeopleSoft to validate information that is entered only one time.
Labor represents close to 70% of the cost of operating the UW System, so the accuracy of labor reporting is crucial. The UWS has investments in many ERP systems that all have reporting capabilities. The Service Center will be looking at best practices for trusted enterprise reporting capabilities from a common data source across four tiers:
1. ad hoc reports and queries
2. production and operational reports
3. management reports and trends
4. scorecards and dashboards
Enterprise reporting capabilities will be based upon a business intelligence solution for:
1. defining requirements for Key Performance Indicators
2. designing an HRS data ware house schema
3. integrating with other enterprise systems
Improvements in data delivery can be accomplished through:
- pushing data to customers rather than waiting from them to find the right person to run a report
- centralizing data reporting from a one stop shop instead of querying multiple systems
- identifying reporting triggers when conditions vary from normal
- adding the ability to drill-down and roll-up through the data sets
- providing both graphical and numerical interfaces
- securing access to the data
Henderson would like the support of the CIO Council and partnerships in the area of reporting. The next steps are to:
1. form a team to draft a UW Enterprise Reporting Project Proposal
2. continue working with other universities to learn about their Key Performance Indicators, best practices and lessons learned
Security Requirements for HRS
Stefan Wahe explained that HRS stores a lot of student data, particularly sensitive data including:
· Social Security numbers
· bank account numbers
· benefits information
· demographic data
The data is stored in various ERP systems, including:
· Human Resources System
· Shared Financials System
· Campus Solutions
· Identity & Access Management
Members of the UWS community typically go about their business tacitly assuming:
· data is being cared for
· work processes are secure
· technical staff have the resources they need
The Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) recommended improvements surrounding how the UWS manages credentials, including a strong authentication infrastructure. The existing second factor infrastructure components include:
· UW Digital ID
• Identity and Access Management (IAM)
• Wisconsin Federation
To complete the system, hardware tokens need to be purchased. A second factor solution does not prevent a hacker from stealing passwords, but requires a person also have a physical token with them at the time they attempt access.
The overall goals for HRS second factor authentication are to:
1. reduce the risk of data exposure or loss of data integrity by addressing the likelihood an attacker can acquire a user’s username and password
2. address the outstanding LAB Recommendation regarding improvements in credentials
David Dumke asked about using RDP from off campus to access an on-campus workstation that has a physical token attached. Chris Liechty recommended that this scenario be addressed via policy.
The current focus is on the HRS Human Capital Management (HCM) functions and access to the Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) warehouse by the core HR professionals who have access to other peoples’ data. There are about 2,100 such individuals across the UW System. At this time, the focus is not on self-service, time reporting or time approvals.
The proposed process for moving to second factor authentication is:
- The HRS Service Center will finalize business requirements By October 19. The requirements will be vetted by the IAM Technical Advisory Group (TAG).
- A plan will be established for:
testing the Token Assignment and Distribution Process
- The plan will be executed.
The UW Digital ID initiative has set up local registration authorities at each institution. Elena Pokot recalled that during previous conversations many parts were in flux until now. The IAM Middleware Team is concerned about leveraging work that has been done to date as well as using common tokens across multiple systems. The TAG will identify the technical requirements and recommendations from the broader perspective.
It was pointed out that strong leadership is needed from UW System Administration because there may be people at the UWS institutions who will want to use iPads to go directly into HRS from whatever network they are on, even off campus.
Liechty reminded the CIO Council that the TISC recommendations were for the middleware to verify that two factors of some form were included, not any particular technologies.
Wahe explained that the initial focus will be on USB tokens for desktops because the Middleware Team would like to limit the scope of the effort prior to go-live. There will be future work on iPads and other forms of authentication.
The soonest that second factor authentication could be deployed would be after the end of the fiscal year but before the start of the fall semester. This requires that the requirements gathering and planning be completed by the end of October, followed by development, testing, communications and deployment through the HRS affinity groups.
Some preliminary requirements gathering has already been done. Wahe is asking the UWS institutions to continue purchasing additional certificates and hardware tokens, to provide local support for user workstations and to publicize the availability of the Local Registration Authorities during the deployment phase.
Brian McDonald explained that the purpose of the MOR Institute program is to help people with their professional development because IT skills alone won’t necessarily make them successful in management roles. Additional benefits for a system like the UWS are:
1. MOR alumni can build a community that collaborates more readily.
2. New relationships makes possible collaboration across organizational boundaries.
3. MOR alumni can take initiative in a shared leadership environment.
The UWS has had three MOR cohorts to date and could look at ways for facilitating collaboration between them for the benefit of the overall System.
The MOR program has three phases:
1. workshop series
2. strategic projects for real time learning
3. individual development plans to move from good to great
Projects undertaken during the second phase could be of particular cross-functional value to the UWS. Other suggestions for increasing the impact of the program to the UWS include:
- working on real-world applications
- identifying the key competencies of staff that the CIOs would like to see enhanced
- determining whether or not to have the current cohort undertake strategic projects
- having local speakers at the workshops
- inviting current and previous participants to share their insights with the CIO Council
- focusing on the ongoing growth and management of the participants’ talents on a system-wide basis
- creating a pipeline of talent within the UWS that can take over when leadership vacancies occur
A survey of desired key competencies will be conducted within the next week or so and the Council members are willing to identify a few projects that the current participants could begin addressing in the November timeframe. The consensus of the Council is that the projects that were undertaken during the first cohort were very valuable to the participants. Mohamed Elhindi expressed the concern that projects don’t just sit on the shelf once they are finished. Elena Pokot recommended that MOR teams could perhaps work on the outcomes from CIO Council meetings that focus on particular topics. Krogman stressed the intangible values of working on projects even if they don’t have an immediate benefit to the UW System. Nick Dvoracek recommended that the attendees improve their literacy with respect to remote collaboration technologies.
One of the MOR coaches for the current cohort explained that managers can aid the participants by:
- enabling the individuals to focus on their learning
- providing honest feedback to the individuals
- providing input on the individual’s goals
- supporting new behaviors and the taking of initiative
- encouraging experiments and stretch assignments
- coaching and mentoring
The MOR leadership framework focuses not only on what people should do, but also who they are and the practical tools they can use. There is also a new advanced MOR program for senior IT leaders and deputy CIOs.
2012-13 Key FY13 CIO Issues
Elena Pokot asked the Council to brainstorm important issues for the coming year, which were subsequently ranked by voting:
8 Security Models and Frameworks
6 Strategic Directions/Priorities and Strategic Partnerships on Campus (Chancellor, Provost, CFO, CIO)
5 Role of IT in Business Intelligence and Analytics
5 Mobility Strategy
3 Recruitment/ Retention/ Salaries/Morale
3 Campus Network Capacity/Connectivity/Infrastructure
3 Collaboration to Increase Value/Reduce Cost
3 Strategic Balance Between Centralized/Decentralized IT versus Centralized Expectations
1 Staff Development/Training
1 True Cost of IT on Campus
1 True Value of IT – Strategic or Commodity? – Cost Center vs. Mission Critical
0 Online Learning Environment and Pedagogy
The top four issues, plus VOIP/phone services, will be the focus areas for the CIO Council for 2012-13. Since there was considerable discussion of security at today’s meeting, a major topic for the October, in-person meeting will be strategic direction and prioritization.
Lorna Wong and Peter Mann presented an introduction to the Learn@UW organization for the benefit of the new CIOs.
A major upgrade to version 10 of the Desire2Learn
(D2L) Learning Management System was completed at the end of June. The UWS is
the largest customer using that version. After the upgrade, performance issues
were identified. The D2L company and the Learn@UW tech
teams were engaged throughout summer. A number of adjustments and hot fixes
were applied in an effort to address the issues. The problems were not resolved
prior to the start of the fall semester when
there was persistent 3-5 minute slowness during the first 3 days of class. The news traveled fast and wide to both social and traditional media.
A fix was implemented on September 7th
that returned performance to a normal state. However, it is not a viable long-term
solution. Therefore Learn@UW pressed D2L to work with a third party vendor for a
D2L is attempting to reproduce the issues on a test environment that simulates the UWS implementation but has not yet been successful. Attempts to simulate on a non-production environment have not been successful either.
Pursuing upgrades to the file server infrastructure may provide incremental relief. The long-term strategy includes
reviewing the architecture due to the scaling of the system beyond what was originally envisioned.
At this stage it is not possible to purge old courses because of dependencies from newer courses. A strategy of removing selected content without impacting newer courses or the learning analytics pilot is being pursued. John Krogman noted the efforts of all the staff involved in the troubleshooting and explained that this code issue was caused by a six week delay on the part of the D2L company and the need to upgrade to facilitate the learning analytics project.
Wong reported that Blackboard Collaborate is
a full featured web conferencing system (previously known as Elluminate) that
UWS acquired via a contract that runs through June 2014. Collaborate provides synchronous online communication functions that are available to all UWS staff, faculty and students. The first year implementation has been focused on instructional use. Growth has been steady and it has been adopted by most of the UWS institutions. Instructors find it easy to use.
The challenges in using Collaborate for non-instructional use are Authentication and Authorization/Provisioning. Collaborate does not currently offer SAML2 compliant authentication, but federated authentication is on the product’s roadmap for the second half of 2012. The provisioning interface is also complex, especially for occasional users. Some UWS institutions are waiting for a more elegant solution.
One option during the interim may be to provide access via the UWS portal using a uPortal portlet acquired from the University of Edinburgh.
Jacques du Plessis expressed concern regarding future access to recorded Collaborate sessions if the UWS moves away from the product. The current mechanism for converting sessions to an exportable format takes as long as the original recording. There is not unlimited storage space for recorded sessions even though the UWS has not hit that limit. Meanwhile, UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stevens Point are using Microsoft Link and UW-Whitewater is using WebEx for their conferencing needs.
UW Library Update
Lorie Docken introduced Susan Mitchell who joined the Office of Learning and Information Technology in late July. She has been attending meetings of the Council of the University of Wisconsin Libraries (CUWL) and its subcommittees. Mitchell explained that next generation library systems go beyond the current integrated library systems that were designed to manage paper resources. New systems allow for searching across collections as well as other datasets.
The goals of the UW libraries are to acquire cloud based systems that:
· consolidate resource licenses
· improve the research discovery and user experience
· improve library workflow with automatic notifications to the next user of a material
· encourage greater use of all resources both locally and nationally
· increase the use of local collections
· reduce lending costs across the UWS
· share staffing between institutions
A discovery layer called Primo that goes across systems was just purchased. A Request for Proposal will be released for a new back end system that will consolidate licenses, move all resources into a single database, and provide analytics.
The digitization subgroup of CUWL has created a UWS repository. Those materials will also be searchable with the new system.
Elena Pokot inquired about system-wide contracts for resources that are being purchased at multiple institutions. Mitchell explained that there is CUWL subgroup that determines which resources go into shared collections. New analytics will help determine the cost per use.
Ruth Ginzberg explained that the Wisconsin Higher Ed Microsoft Purchasing Consortium
includes all of the UWS institutions
and the Wisconsin Technical Colleges. It has both a
Select Plus Agreement, which is new this year, and a
Campus Agreement that will be replaced by new Enrollment for Education Solutions (ESS) licensing on August 1, 2013. A new Microsoft business model may discontinue aggregate pricing across the institutions and include disincentives for the use of non-cloud options for all but the largest enterprises. Use of Microsoft products within the UWS has been declining slowly but steadily for the last four years. Without a change, bills for the same sets of products will likely go up significantly in 2014. A team will meet next week to map out strategies for negotiating with Microsoft.
Microsoft Tech Tuesdays
Chip Eckardt would like feedback on the Microsoft Tech Tuesday sessions, and suggestions for future topics.
Paul Moriarty asked if there is a need for a new listserv that only includes the CIOs and perhaps the UWS staff. It was noted that CUWL has multiple lists, which is confusing. There was consensus to keep the current list and for everyone to use discretion regarding the information that comes across it.
Agenda Items for October 16th CIO Meeting
Based upon today’s discussions, agenda items for the next meeting on October 16th will include:
· Security Update
· Microsoft Update