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.
This post was authored by Vice President Cathy Bates, who advises clients on technology strategic planning, information security, and initiatives that transform institutional academic, administrative, and research capabilities.