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Next Generation Enterprise Web Services Advisory Group

Over the past quarter century, web technologies have grown organically at UofT. In anticipation of that milestone, last year ACT began an analysis of our enterprise web hosting services. We determined that our current enterprise web hosting services are out of date and don’t reflect current needs and the way in which divisional web services have developed at our University. We also recognized that cyber risk and protecting our websites from cyber attacks needed to be more of a priority.

To move us forward, we have begun working towards a Next Generation of Enterprise Web Services. But we are not re-inventing the wheel. The services we are proposing are based on contemporary best practices, and we’ve already shown the benefits of this with the migration of the University’s main webspace through our strategic partnership with Digital Creative Services (formerly Strategic Communications). Now we need to move the rest of the enterprise web space.

Moving forward, we want to move away from sites that do not use standardized software or controls as the default. We want to make sure clients have access to vetted and tested technologies. That plugins and themes are patched in timely ways. We want to make sure new functionality can be rolled out easily but in a managed way, and as an enterprise service, we want to move away from building custom websites, working with our divisional partners to provide those kinds of context-specific services.

At the same time, we want to ensure that clients that need to do more high-risk activities, like collecting personal information or selling things online, have a way to do that in a highly secure environment.

The advisory group does not have governance or operational responsibilities. Operational responsibilities, including formal strategic planning, continue to reside with the Academic & Collaborative Technologies group collaborating with divisional operations groups, and governance will continue to follow the normal governance processes in place. Advice from this group is given to the Project Lead – the ACT Manager for Projects & Development – and in turn, to the Director of ACT, the CIO, and up to the executive sponsor, VPUO.

Terms of Reference:

  • provide a forum for discussion on current and future services, objectives, standards and requirements.
  • review current services and discuss enterprise web services planning across the University.
  • discuss and recommend solutions for improved services and operations related to enterprise web services.
  • enable informed decision-making by operational groups and by the institutional leadership.
  • monitor and discuss appropriate metrics related to the project and services.

Project Website:

http://act.utoronto.ca/NGEWS/

Members of the Advisory Group:

Teddy Cameron, Post-Graduate Medical Education

Sam Chan, Discovery Commons

Michelle Cortes, Digital Creative Services 

Caroline De Angelis, Bloomberg Nursing

Andrew Egan, University of Toronto Scarborough

Joseph Ferenbok, Faculty of Medicine

Steven Green, Digital Creative Services 

Bilal Khalid, University of Toronto Libraries

Nancy Okada, Student Life 

Mike Serafin, University of Toronto Mississauga

Heeyeon Song, Biomedical Communications

Court Van Beek, Discovery Commons

Cheryl Ziegler, Student Life

Peter Cheung, NGEWS Project Lead