The Towards 2030 initiative set out broad strategic directions for the University of Toronto.
Our IT strategy is simply to do the most we can with technology to advance these University goals, and to do so as efficiently as possible. We also do our best to ensure the University’s research, teaching and learning activities, together with the administrative services that support them, achieve the transformative potential of information technology.
Context – The realities for IT service delivery in our publicly funded institution
- Fiscal austerity is the norm; IT services are challenged to maximize value from limited resources. Introduction of new services must be balanced with retiring past-their-prime services and methods, continually achieving greater efficiency in delivering necessary services, and redirecting resources to innovation.
- U of T’s size and structure are most effectively and efficiently served by a collaborative mix of university-wide and locally provided IT services. Priority setting must be participatory and transparent.
- Students, faculty and staff will increasingly require technologies to directly enhance learning, teaching and research.
- Our communities will increasingly demand IT services that are reliable, adaptable, and available anywhere/anytime that also integrate with users’ personal technologies.
- Institutional data and the demand for their seamless, but controlled, access will grow.
- We must be vigilant to the risk of attack or unauthorized access to our data resources and IT systems.
Principles – How we operate
- Put Client First - All our interactions are driven by the needs of staff, faculty and students and not the constraints of technology.
- No Dogma - We implement whatever IT solutions best match the funds available and client requirements — whether commercial, community-sourced, University built or managed, centralized or distributed. We evaluate on a service-by-service basis the most effective and efficient way to operate.
- Build Partnerships - We pursue the collaborative development of solutions that tap the distributed capabilities of our institutional, campus and divisional units, our students, and interested external partners.
- Increase Value – We collaboratively identify technical standards to achieve interoperability of solution and economies of scale. Through targeted central investment and the elimination of service redundancies we seek to save divisions money.
- Stay Aligned with Institutional Purpose - Through transparent IT governance and continuous consultation, we regularly map our activities to the objectives of the institution and its constituents.
- Reduce Risk - The University relies on the availability of key IT systems and services in accomplishing its work. We act to maintain infrastructural capacity and reduce the risk of service interruption in our networks and critical systems.
- Be Environmentally Responsible – Energy consumption, heat, paper, and electronics waste are outcomes of technology implementation. We reduce the environmental footprint of IT through initiatives like virtualization, natural cooling, printer consolidation, e-forms, and consolidation of data centres.
- Accessibility – We strive to implement technologies that permit access to information and support all community members in achieving their potential.
- Let Information Flow Responsibly - We balance security and information flow to make information available as required while assuring that data stream only where authorized.
- Be Timely – We put in place the tools, standards and processes to facilitate rapid development of solutions that solve University problems.
- A Coherent IT Experience – Our clients deserve a consistent and coherent experience of IT access, interface, and support, regardless of their role, location or academic/administrative unit.
- Evergreening IT – Reliable IT infrastructure and services need scheduled renewal and consistent funding. We will develop an evergreening model for IT.
- Continuous Assessment for Improvement – We regularly seek feedback from our client communities to improve the relevance and quality of our services.