IT Initiative Begins Addressing Service Delivery and Identifying Savings

In fiscal year 2014, total spending on IT at SMU was 50% more than the industry average in higher education. On February 4, the Information Technology (IT) Initiative team held their inaugural meeting and began working to help the University save between $6 and $9 million in annual technology spending and improve service delivery across campus.

The primary work of this team will be to identify how to deliver best-in-class IT service at the lowest possible cost. The group will be divided into three sub-teams. Operational Computing will explore possible scale benefits associated with campus-wide delivery of desktop computing, help desk, A/V, network and web development services. Academic Computing will examine best practices for school-specific applications or hardware tied to teaching and mission and support for research, including high performance computing. Both of these teams will focus on service delivery, governance and organization of their respective areas. The third sub-team will evaluate SMU’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to ensure that our system minimizes transactional activities across campus. All three teams will aim to increase customer satisfaction and make service levels and delivery more useful and efficient.

Dr. Marc Christensen, dean of the Lyle School of Engineering, and Dr. Jim Quick, associate vice president of research and dean of graduate studies, will serve as executive sponsors of the IT Initiative. Greg Ivy, director of the Underwood Law Library, will serve as project manager for the committee, and Joe Gargiulo, chief information officer, will serve as an advisor to the team.

The committee members are as follows:

Operational Computing
· Team Lead: Jason Warner (Meadows)
· Mary Boyd (CUL)
· Allen Gwinn (Cox)
· Rachel Mulry (OIT)
· Tim McLemore (Perkins)
· Doug Tucker (Lyle)
· Kerensa Williams (Student Affairs)

Academic Computing
· Team Lead: Thomas Hagstrom (Dedman College)
· Richard Briesch (Cox)
· Tony Cuevas (Simmons)
· Elfie Kraka (Dedman College)
· Mitch Thornton (Lyle)

· Team Lead: Ron Lujuan (OIT)
· Becky Hood (Simmons)
· John O’Connor (Business & Finance)
· Joe Papari (Provost)
· Rhiannon Roark (HR)

By Nick Rallo