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Information Technology Services

Annual Report

Hello Everyone,

It is with great pride and pleasure that we in Information Technology Services (ITS) bring our Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Report to you.

You will find that we have introduced new services like Kamiak, the high performance computing environment, as well as made improvements to our internal operating processes reflecting a renewed emphasis on customer focused service. To this end, we have instituted an employee awards program focused on both service and superior effort. The service statistics we have included in this report also speak loudly to this commitment.

Some items that are not included in this report are our request to create a modern Data Center for WSU and the design of the integrated Network Operations Center and Security Operations Center, scheduled to be operational early next year. We are actively planning for the migration of our email services to the Office 365 Cloud and in deploying Imaging as a WSU wide service. In addition, we are in the early stages of designing and deploying an intranet to connect all WSU campuses to help further collaboration and improve IT Security.

We have created a CIO Council with the all campus CIOs as members to facilitate solving problems and in deploying systems, services and solutions with a common approach across all of WSU. This is where differences in solutions are only considered if there is inherent value in diverse approaches.

In 2016, the IT Security team has deployed new tools to identify, mitigate and neutralize the large number of viruses, compromised links and other malware that come into WSU before our systems are compromised. This has not only improved our IT Security posture, but has saved countless hours required to sanitize compromised systems.

The Enterprise Service Group (ESG), working in close collaboration with the Provost’s Office is getting ready to deploy the Academic Performance Solutions, the Student Success Collaborative and Guide which enable student retention and graduation. ESG keeps the Student Information System current and implements new features based on customer requests.

The Infrastructure Group keeps all of the necessary platforms operational from which we deliver many critical services including WSU email. In 2016, this group also recently deployed Skype for Business, which enables integrated voice, video and data collaboration among not only WSU employees but also with their colleagues outside WSU.

The Administrative and Financial Group has replaced 9 systems that track usage, inventory and billing into a single system. This has improved the accuracy of our inventory, streamlined customer requests and simplified billing. The Service Level Agreements with our customers have also been simplified so that our customers understand what services are being provided and at what cost.

Internally, we have created a Change Management Process that reviews all proposed changes to existing systems and services with prior notification to the customers. This is already reducing unplanned outages and helping customers better plan for these necessary changes. We now track projects with renewed vigor to ensure these are managed appropriately with the goal to deliver value in a timely manner and within budget.

Finally, we have increased our efforts to improve all aspects of our communications to customers so that they are informed in a timely manner of the current status and impending changes to any and all services we provide.

With these changes and more on the horizon, I am confident that we will continue to improve our services and earn your trust. As always, we are very interested in your ideas and comments to further improve our services to serve you better.

Go Cougs!
Sasi K. Pillay