It’s been a hectic month for higher education IT. As small breaks from COVID-19 response begin to appear in our days, it’s a good time to step back and take a minute or two to think strategically about the actions we have taken to support our institutions during a time of great change and uncertainty.
In higher education, many colleges and universities had to quickly pivot to remote learning and working. As a result, IT departments fast-tracked modifications to expand online services and provide for remote access, and even added new services to meet teaching, research, and administrative service needs. We’ve made a lot of changes into our service delivery, among them:
- License pools for existing services were expanded and licenses for new services were quickly purchased.
- Infrastructure was rescaled to meet higher demand for online teaching.
- Where possible computer labs were moved to virtual access.
- Laptops were reimaged and sent out to those in need.
- Changes were required in active directory, firewalls, VPN and RDP services to allow access from remote workers.
In a time of quick response, standard processes for service management and change control may have been lightly applied or skipped altogether. As immediate crisis response activities slow, now may be a good time to circle back to capture important changes that could have long-term impact on costs, resources, operational efficiencies, and information security controls. CIOs can use this opportunity to summarize changes and document expenditures related to COVID-19 in order to take advantage of any available state and federal reimbursements.
The workbook below is designed to be a self-guided resource to help:
- Ensure collection of business continuity and disaster recovery response changes to document the change and understand long-term impact on services and infrastructure.
- Summarize and report to leadership the changes required to support the organizational mission, including costing by service category.
- Create a roadmap for keeping or undoing changes when the organization returns to normal operations.
We hope this just-in-time resource helps you be strategic and nimble in managing critical change control processes, planning for the future, and navigating service delivery in the coming months.