UIS Strategic Implementation Plan
A comprehensive plan for information technology in support of IU's enterprise systems
On this page:
- Executive Summary
- Action 35 – Prioritization
- Action 36 – Information Systems Development (Overview)
- Action 37 – Common User Interface
- Action 38 – Data Architecture and Standards: Overview
- Action 39 – Consolidated Information Delivery Environment
- Action 40 – Data Administration
- Action 41 – Year 2000
- Action 42 – Disaster Recovery
- Action 43 – Massive Data Storage
- Action 44 – User-centered Design
- Action 45 – Advanced Information Technology Laboratory
After extensive involvement in the development and refinement of the plan, "Architecture for the 21st Century: An Information Technology Strategic Plan for Indiana University,” the University Information Systems division has developed a strategy for implementation of the UIS recommendation and action items in that plan. This document details the implementation strategy for recommendation 6 and action items 35-45.
Each action item is expanded with an implementation plan that outlines strategies, tasks, and resources required, both total costs and new funding. A priority list is included in the event that the entire plan cannot be funded; however some action items naturally depend on others being completed.
The major part of this plan includes the implementation of the PeopleSoft suite of Student Administration and HRMS/Payroll products and the University Information Systems future architecture, which features a consolidated enterprise UNIX system and a single enterprise database. The goal is to see the OS/390 mainframe retired within five years. In order to accomplish this, the financial/procurement, library, student, human resources/payroll and other miscellaneous information systems, as well as the supporting mainframe Information Center, will be migrated to the new enterprise UNIX environment. In addition to these major initiatives, the Year 2000 project requires extensive UIS resources in order to ensure readiness of the legacy institutional systems for the change of the century.
The responsibility for the many institutional information systems
that manage the business operations of the University is immense.
This area is one that has been chronically under funded for years,
and we are now seeing the results of this. It is not a matter
of if, but how soon we proceed, as the need to replace some of
these aging system is becoming critical. Indiana University is
behind its peers in the CIC and other institutions and needs to
address the funding of these systems in order to catch up.
This is a complex, definitive plan that leaves no doubt as to the UIS strategy and goals. While these overall goals will not change, this plan must be dynamic and remain flexible. This is the first time such a major undertaking has occurred, and it is a welcome guide for the customers and information technology staff alike.
This document begins a comprehensive planning and budgeting process for implementing those recommendations and actions of the Indiana University Information Technology Strategic Plan that are primarily the responsibility of the University Information Systems (UIS) division of University Information Technology Services (UITS). Major initiatives are outlined in this plan for development and transformation of IU’s institutional information systems and the computing environment upon which these systems rely.
Two of the highest priorities in this Plan are the implementation of a new Student Information System (SIS) and the deployment of an Enterprise Unix Environment (EUE) to replace the mainframe computer, which has been the home of many of the University’s information systems. Over the initial two years of this plan, it is proposed that the primary effort will be focused on deploying the Student Information System (SIS), to be followed by a major initiative in the area of Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS). Also, in order to achieve the goal of retiring the mainframe in a five-year timeframe or less, all systems currently residing there must be migrated to the new Enterprise Unix Environment. These systems include the Financial Information System’s General Ledger, the Purchasing System, Student System, Library Information System, Human Resource Information System, Payroll System, Information Center, and others. Reallocation of staff and other resources will be carried out in order to support these new enterprise systems and supporting infrastructure. As well, in the midst of this massive change, UIS will also be changing the current legacy system to ensure Year 2000 readiness; this in itself is a huge effort.
The Enterprise Unix Environment will be a consolidation of enterprise-level server computers and database management software that will enable costs to be managed and assure long-term vitality of IU’s information systems. Equally important will be the attention paid to user needs in the design and implementation of these systems, and a focus on usability and user-centered design will provide a method for learning about and analyzing user needs. Providing users with a common interface to these systems and an integrated information environment will address some of the major shortcomings of IU’s current information systems that have been expressed most consistently by users. And a renewed emphasis on data administration, consistent with initiatives in information security and information policy, will help assure that the University’s information assets are used effectively, managed responsibly, and protected from damage or misuse.
As IU moves ahead with these major enterprise-wide information systems initiatives, it will be essential to organize information technology resources in the most effective way to accomplish the University’s goals. Similarly, the functional units who use such systems, and whose work will be automated and transformed through such initiatives, will themselves need to assess and transform their own practices in order to meet the expectations of students, faculty and staff for the modern delivery of effective administrative services in support of teaching, learning, research, and service.
The eleven action items in the IT Strategic Plan that are the responsibility of the UIS division will require new funding of about $43 million. Even this estimate is fairly aggressive (perhaps optimistically low), and will only be possible by making firm priority decisions about information systems development activities, putting greater emphasis on some projects than others, and allocating resources accordingly.
Implementing major enterprise-wide information systems and a new computing environment has been referred to in the computing industry as a “voyage of discovery,” and as such it entails a measure of risk. Discussions with other leading institutions that are implementing comparable enterprise-wide information systems indicate that budget overruns and implementation challenges have been common. The UIS division will make every effort to stay within its target budget, but it is not immune to the many unknowns that can arise in a large-scale system implementation. It will be necessary to reserve a contingency fund for the latter years of this plan to address the unforeseen.
Finally, this plan addresses two serious shortcomings that have impacted the development of enterprise information systems at IU for over a decade: the lack of coordination and prioritization in planning information systems development on a University-wide basis; and the chronic under-investment by IU in its information systems infrastructure. Correcting both these problems is a major theme that runs throughout all the recommendations and actions proposed in this plan.
In May 1998 Indiana University published a bold and far-reaching plan for the comprehensive development and use of information technology. This plan, titled “Architecture for the 21st Century: An Information Technology Strategic Plan,” recognizes the key role University information systems play in IU’s missions of teaching, learning, research, service, and lifelong learning. These information systems undergird activities that are critical to students registering for classes, to researchers using the Library’s collections, and to staff conducting the University’s business.
Recommendation 6 in the IT Strategic Plan addresses this:
University-wide prioritization, coordination, oversight, and planning are required in the implementation and development of institutional information systems. In order for these systems to work together in a seamless manner and accommodate an ever-increasing number of users, UITS should implement common interfaces and a common information delivery environment that facilitate their integrated use. A new Student Information System should be a top University priority.
The University Information Systems division of UITS, with staff on the IUB and IUPUI campuses, is charged with developing and managing these information systems, providing services for IU’s eight campuses. In July 1998, the University also took the important step of restructuring a portion of the staff resources for information systems development that were previously distributed among University departments and functional units, and placing them under the direction of the Associate Vice President for UIS, reporting to the VP for IT. This allowed for more coordinated organization needed to meet the goals of prioritization, oversight, and planning of institutional information systems on a University-wide scale.
In November 1998, the UIS division prepared an Implementation Plan detailing the strategies, tasks, and resources needed to implement the 11 actions that the IT Strategic Plan proposes to ensure the coordinated development of institutional information systems. This booklet provides highlights of those actions.
Action 35 – Prioritization
The Office of the Vice President for Information Technology should establish an effective mechanism for overall prioritization, coordination, and oversight of planning for the development and life-cycle replacement of University information system. [IT Strategic Plan, Action35]
Action 35 of the IT Strategic Plan addresses a fundamental problem of the University’s information systems: the absence of overall central prioritization, coordination, and planning, and the insufficiency of funds available to properly develop and maintain IU’s information systems environment.
Throughout the UIS Implementation Plan, requirements are identified and a process of coordination is established, so that IU can best direct its resources to establishing secure, reliable, and well-functioning enterprise information systems.
- Using the IT Strategic Plan as the guide, UIS will provide University-wide prioritization, coordination and planning for new information systems.
- The UIS Taskforce will provide the AVP with advice and a University-wide perspective on matters arising from implementation of the IT Strategic Plan.
- The Student Information System (SIS) Steering Committee, the Human Resources Management System (HRMS) Steering Committee, and the Fiscal/Procurement Steering Committee will provide oversight from the relevant University VPs and Campus Chancellors for the development of the respective information systems.
- The Committee on Institutional Data and the Committee of Data Stewards will address data administration and management issues.
- Involvement of end users and functional units will be integral to the design and development of information systems.
- UIS will communicate to schools and departments and others in the University regarding standards, methodologies, and architectures.
- The organization of resources for institutional information systems development under the direction of the AVP for UIS is an important step in assuring overall coordination.
- New resources will be required for maintenance of current systems as well as development and implementation of new information systems.
- Implement the specific actions of the plan as outlined in this document. Details are found in sections for Actions 36-45, and in the prioritized summary budget that accompanies this section.
- Meet regularly with the UIS Taskforce to review priorities and assess progress.
- Report at a detailed level to the various project steering committees on progress, priorities, accomplishments, and timelines.
Action 36 – Information Systems Development (Overview)
IU should implement as soon as possible a new Student Information System in a way that integrates identified best practices in providing services to students and is adaptable to future changes. [IT Strategic Plan, Action 36]
IU is undertaking a massive overhaul of its major institutional information systems. Following is a summary of the UIS Implementation Plan that recommends a strategy for accomplishing IU’s multiple priorities given present staff and financial resources.
- Focus on implementing the SIS, and leverage early experience with the PeopleSoft SIS project to the benefit of the HRMS implementation
- Implement PeopleSoft HRMS software.
- Implement systems using a phased approach.
- Evaluate alternatives to the Horizon library information system.
- To meet the goal of implementing an Enterprise Unix Environment for computing, revise and migrate the information systems remaining on the mainframe, and coordinate the systems in the fiscal and procurement areas.
- Allocate staff and resources to achieve milestones with the first 2-3 years.
- Reallocate resources as needed to assure successful completion.
- Pursue the SIS vigorously, getting rapid payback on the re-engineering and information access opportunities afforded by the PeopleSoft SIS.
- Refocus the HRMS initiative towards implementation of the re-engineering (PAF and Payroll Voucher) and information access elements of the initiative.
- Pursue the Facilities and TOPS/FIS as soon as possible to exploit the re-engineering, integration and data access possibilities and facilitate the removal of TOPS from the mainframe.
- Continue implementation and software acceptance testing of the Horizon library information system software, install upgrades to Horizon and NOTIS software as required to continue library automation operations, and if required, evaluate alternative directions for the future of library automation at IU.
Details follow in sections:
- 36a: Student Information System (SIS)
- 36b: Human Resources Management System (HRMS)
- 36c: Library Information Systems
- 36d: Fiscal and Procurement Systems
- 36e: Departmental Information Systems
- Appendix A: Estimated Enterprise-Wide Systems Development Resource Usage 1998-2004 (not included in this synopsis)
Action 36a – Student Information System (SIS)
The most important information systems at IU are in the student area, serving the needs of nearly 100,000 students each semester. [IT Strategic Plan, p. 27]
The current student systems are nearing the end of their useful life cycle and are in urgent need of replacement. This section of the UIS Implementation Plan addresses the implementation strategies and tasks to improve delivery of student services, access to information about students, and the technology supporting student systems.
- Promote a student-centered approach, and include all types of students.
- Deliver service in one-stop shopping mode, and provide integration.
- Focus on data and process rather than on organization.
- Implement integrated systems and services and ensure collaboration.
- Address all system areas: infrastructure, operations, student/parent use, etc.
- Address all functional areas: recruitment, contact, admissions, etc.
- Create an Information Environment for academic and administrative decision-making that is easy to use and provides consistent and understandable data.
- Provide users with the convenience of direct access to information and services.
IU must maintain the current student systems during their remaining
life cycle. If the current system is enhanced, it will be done
with the longer-term objectives in mind.
- Implement PeopleSoft Admissions and Contact.
- Implement PeopleSoft Financial Aid as much as possible.
- Implement the Core Repository data in PeopleSoft.
- Implement Student/Parent Self-Service.
- Analyze Information Environment Needs and Complete Partial Implementation.
- Analyze remaining modules:
- Describe the gaps and options to address.
- Describe linkages to legacy systems and suggested PeopleSoft enhancements.
- Do enhancements to other systems only if cost/benefit is assured.
- Implement remaining PeopleSoft modules:
- Records, Transcripts, Grades
- Student Financials (Bursar)
- Implement the remainder of Information Environment.
- Do enhancements to other systems only if cost/benefit is assured.
- Existing modules in the current student system will continue to be maintained as needed while modules are being phased out during the SIS implementation.
Action 36b – Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS)
A new Human Resources Management System, including systems to manage employee payroll and benefits, is under development using a commercial HRMS software system from PeopleSoft. Plans for the HRMS identify the following implementation objectives:
- Better human resource information for operational and strategic decision-making.
- Direct access to human resource information for employees.
- Enhanced and efficient processes including:\
- Electronic Personnel Action Forms (PAFs) and other HR related forms
- Automated payroll time reporting and benefits enrollments
- Integration with the Student System
- Shift from the current “paper processing” by campus and University service organizations to providing value-added services such as organizational consulting.
- Ability to develop new programs.
- Avoid the constantly increasing costs of maintaining the current system to comply with changing
- University procedures and external regulations.
- Avoid the constantly increasing costs of maintaining the old system.
- Ability to comply with new and current federal and state regulations.
The initial timeline for the HRMS initiative was considerably earlier than that now being proposed. By allowing the SIS to lead the HRMS, the critical student applications and the HRMS Personnel Action Form and initial decision support environment will be implemented early. Then the pieces of both the SIS and the HRMS requiring more functionality will benefit from the availability of later releases.
Implement the base PeopleSoft HRMS functionality, including employee self-service access to the system, reporting and decision support, resume tracking, and document processing (PAF, payroll voucher, etc.). Not included is a new University-wide timekeeping module.
Initial scope will include:
- Put the PAF and other routed documents online.
- Do preliminary work on data modeling and report writing needed once the PeopleSoft modules are in place.
- Provide employee self-service transactions to prepare for decentralized self-service.
- Ensure integrated data/processes with Student Information Systems project as it is being implemented.
- PeopleSoft HRMS software will be implemented with a major push in 2000-2002.
Action 36c - Library Information Systems
The mission of the libraries is core to the mission of the University in support of teaching, research and service. In 1995, IU entered into a partnership with Ameritech Library Services (ALS) to deploy a new client/server library information system (Horizon). This system has so far been implemented at three IU libraries: IUPUI, Herron School of Art, and Columbus. Problems with on-time delivery of software have delayed the implementation schedule for the Horizon system.
These problems notwithstanding, the primary option proposed in the UIS Implementation Plan is to complete implementation of Horizon over the next two years. To do so will require that ALS complete promised software development and produce a product suitable for use at IU. But recognizing that it may not be possible to achieve this primary option, a contingency plan has been developed.
Contingency Plan for IU's Library Information System
Due to delays in software development by Ameritech Library Services, IU has so far been unable to fully implement the Horizon system. This contingency plan has been developed in case of fallout from a merger of Ameritech (the parent company of ALS) and SBC Communications.
Cost considerations associated with this contingency plan include the following:
- IU will need to continue to support Horizon for approximately one year at IUPUI/CO.
- IU will also need to continue to support NOTIS for approximately two years for IUB and other libraries.
- IU will need to deploy at least a minimal web front-end to NOTIS for this time period.
- IU will incur costs for the purchase of a new vendor package.
- IU may need to upgrade server hardware depending upon requirements of the new system.
Exercise of this contingency plan will raise the following issues:
A better product may not be available. Reportedly, other client/server library systems are below par in providing automated functions for acquisitions and serials.
IU has had a preferred status in working with ALS as a "development partner," which allowed the IU Libraries to influence product development and better assure that IU's requirements were met. This is unlikely with another vendor.
Continued (Non-Contingent) Implementation Tasks
There are a number of short-term tasks that must be completed regardless of whether IU continues with implementation of Horizon or exercises its contingency plan.
Tasks already in progress include:
- Complete clean up of data from data conversion at IUPUI by 9/98.
- Continue to work with ALS to fix problems with current Horizon software by 12/98.
- Continue to write and test customized versions of conversion programs, in anticipation of future migrations to Horizon by 12/98.
- Continue working with ALS on specifications for version 5.2 of Horizon.
- Continue to test new versions of Horizon (5.1 in June 1998) and implement Horizon upgrades at IUPUI (5.1) in October 1998.
- Upgrade NOTIS system to version 6.4.1 in September 1998 to solve Y2K problems.
Other tasks upcoming include:
- Complete needs analysis for each of the major modules, and conduct fit analysis against each of the four systems reviewed, plus Horizon.
- Conduct site visits to universities that have implemented each of the major vendors we talked to at ALA: Endeavor, SIRSI, Innovative Interfaces, Inc., and DRA.
- Conduct preliminary construction of an RFP for a new system by December 1998.
- Test Horizon version 5.2 (Fall 1998) and implement when production code is available (now projected to be May 1999) if decision is made to continue with Horizon.
Action 36d - Fiscal and Procurement Systems
Indiana University manages a number of institutional information
systems related to fiscal and procurement activities, including
the FIS, TOPS, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Budget Construction,
Travel, FIMS, and others.
UITS, in partnership with the relevant functional units, will more broadly integrate as many of the above systems as possible. The goal will be to simplify user interfaces and the underlying systems and databases, to improve the service delivered to users while reducing the variety of technologies that must be supported.
Integrated Purchasing/AP/Fiscal system at IU
Evaluate the Purchasing and Accounts Payable system, developed by University of California at Davis, for integration with the University's FIS.
FIS platform and database migration
Migrate the FIS to the strategic database platform supported by UITS.
Move the General Ledger Engine (GLE) currently running under DB2 on the mainframe to a Unix-based server as part of the strategic plan to discontinue reliance on the mainframe.
Continue to evolve the FIS to a three-tier architecture using application server technology.
Facilities Information Management System (FIMS)
Implement the various elements of AssetWorks facilities management system.
Electronic Research Administration (ERA)
Facilitate the implementation of the ERA system for support of individual researchers as they submit proposals for sponsored research.
See section 36b (HRMS).
Implement a commercial software system according to the schedule agreed upon with the Parking Services unit.
Action 36e - Departmental Information Systems
UITS provides systems development and database services to departments
on a cost-recovery basis to meet local information systems needs.
For each department and each project, a scope of service is defined
and the department is charged on a time and material basis. UITS
provides this service so that a standard set of software tools
is used for systems development, and so that interfaces to institutional
information systems use a common framework of standardized routines
that are managed in partnership with the area responsible for
the institutional system.
It is not always clear if an information system is institutional or is local to a single department. Systems that are first developed for a single department may grow into institutional use. This is why the use of standard tools, technologies, and interfaces is essential to all projects. The goal is to allow departments the flexibility to use University services to create needed applications, but still make sure that institutional systems are treated with the correct scope.
- Use a set of standard software tools for systems development and adhere to the standard development. Use tools covered with the Microsoft ELA to take advantage of the investment, and lower the overall cost of implementation to the department.
- Build, or use existing, standard interfaces to departmental systems.
- Communicate to departmental users about what technologies UITS uses and supports.
- Inform users about information security and the issues involved in the protection of IT resources.
- Refer users to work with the Committee on Institutional Data (CID) to address policy issues regarding the organization, management, access and availability of institutional data.
These services are provided to departments on a charge-back basis. The demand for departmental systems development service varies from year to year and is not conducive to long-range planning. In any case, no new resources are required.
Action 37 - Common User Interface
UITS, working with the users of IU’s administrative systems, should help develop a common interface environment that will support the efficient and effective accomplishment of the day-to-day administrative tasks of the University. [IT Strategic Plan, Action 37]
A more integrated environment, with a Web interface, for the transaction processing and decision support aspects of IU’s institutional information systems will ease the operational duties of faculty and staff. A common user interface will be optimized for the financial systems and another for student systems to align with current system use.
Student and HR Systems
UITS will put in place integrated applications and databases for student and human resource systems based on PeopleSoft products, providing a common interface. Self-service components will also be based on a common interface.
UITS will unite the “routed” transactions, including financial and budgetary transactions in FIS, Budget Construction, purchase requisitions, travel; Personnel Action Forms; payroll; service requests and pre-award research grant proposals into a single user interface.
UIS will provide a Web-based common information access user interface.
Action 38 - Data Architecture and Standards: Overview
UITS should embrace its current information and IT architectures
to include the use of “thin client” technologies,
and employ multi-tiered architectures in future software development.
[IT Strategic Plan, Action 38]
Technical and information architecture, technology standards, and enterprise business plans are key to the stability of information systems. They ensure computing system interoperability and allow disparate data sources to be combined, analyzed and reported. Future architecture must be multi-tiered and support the development of components to facilitate change and performance. Here, presentation, business logic and data are separate entities, facilitating business, data, and technology changes and minimizing impact and cost. A greater investment in network application products (e.g., Metaframe and Windows Terminal Server) will support the demands for existing, large workstation-based applications.
IU’s information systems architecture will also depend on development and support of an enterprise Unix environment to provide production-quality computing services for institutional information systems, and on the use of software component technologies for systems development.
Details follow in these sections:
- 38a: “Thin-Client” Computing
- 38b: Enterprise Unix Environment (and Mainframe Retirement Strategy)
- 38c: Strategic Database Management
Action 38a - “Thin-Client” Computing
“Thin-client” computing is the simplification of client-server information systems through a single desktop program (similar to a Web browser). The thin client provides access to multiple databases and information systems, obviating the need for new software on every personal computer that will use the new institutional information system, and saving staff installation time. This model also allows access to associated applications from a variety of different computing desktops.
Component development technologies are important in creating the environment supporting thin-client architecture. Component technology supports an application integration architecture that allows clients and other applications to access business logic. UIS will determine which component and Web development tools best support IU’s computing environment. UIS will trial Windows Terminal Server (WTS) technology, which provides many benefits of thin-client computing to FIS and PeopleSoft. The Microsoft Enterprise Licensing Agreement promotes savings in the widespread use of this technology.
- Establish a Windows Terminal Server environment for a trial set of 100 users.
- Ramp up a thin-client environment for PeopleSoft, FIS, Library, and FIMS, as appropriate.
- With AITL, perform a pilot trial of Microsoft component development technologies.
- Establish NT as part of the UIS infrastructure.
Action 38b - Enterprise Unix Environment
(and Mainframe Retirement Strategy)
The UIS mainframe has been the primary computing platform for institutional information systems for more than two decades. IU also supports Unix for client-server computing, Internet applications, and networked information resources. Over the next five years or fewer, UIS will migrate the mainframe’s information systems to a new consolidated Enterprise Unix Environment. This focuses costs on one platform and accommodates the retirement of the mainframe systems in student, human resources, library and purchasing.
- Choose a Unix platform and operating system.
- Retire all mainframe information systems in a five-year timeframe.
- Maintain a robust mainframe environment until all systems are retired.
- Transition current mainframe systems support staff to the new environment.
Resources for Migration and Implementation
- Current staff will lead the implementation.
- More staff are needed for mainframe and Unix support.
- More staff are needed for enterprise NT support.
- Robust systems management tools will ensure the environment equals or outstrips the mainframe environment.
Action 38c - Strategic Database Management
Strategic database management is key in support of a modern computing environment. The move to this is discussed here via Background, Options, Recommendation, and Implementation Resources.
IU began leasing DB2 from IBM in 1990 for the OS/390 mainframe. In 1992, IU began using Sybase for database, middleware, and tools products in Unix and client/server environments, and entered a Sybase Enterprise License Agreement in 1994. Both environments host institutional information systems. DB2 includes the General Ledger repository for financial data and reporting databases; Sybase is FIS transaction processing, IU data warehouse and decision support reporting, and the Horizon Library System. In today’s database context, Sybase is no longer strong, Oracle is strong, and IBM offers a very strong version of DB2 (UDB) for Unix and NT.
The potential for implementing new SIS, HRMS, and Library systems (see sections 36a–36c) and new components for the TOPS Purchasing system makes this a good time to change strategic database vendors. PeopleSoft SIS and HRMS applications are database independent, broadening IU options.
Option A – Implement DB2/UDB
- IBM provides aggressive pricing, desires strong references, and is a major database figure.
- IBM promises excellent support for PeopleSoft.
- Some industry analysts rate UDB on par with Oracle and Microsoft.
- No significant PeopleSoft implementations in higher education.
- Unix version (UDB) has very little market share.
- Less flexibility in system administration and development tools, leading to higher staff costs.
- No significant support with small to medium Independent Software Vendors.
- IU must convert its Sybase applications.
Option B – Implement Oracle
- Oracle is the market leader, which most ISVs support.
- Most higher-education PeopleSoft installations use Oracle.
- Very expensive.
- IU must convert its Sybase applications.
Option C – Stay with Sybase until July 2000, then switch to Oracle
- Least expensive over 5-year planning period.
- Most advantageous for cash flow.
- Reduces staff training time and effort.
- Less conversion during period of extreme change (UC Davis Procurement/AP system).
- Sybase middleware products are excellent migration tools.
- IU can observe the rapidly changing database market.
- Long-term company position is shaky.
- Future conversions more costly.
- Few PeopleSoft implementations on Sybase.
- We delay benefiting from Oracle.
IU will implement either Oracle (Option B) or Sybase (Option C) as its database for PeopleSoft. The selection will weigh technical and business factors.
Action 39 - Consolidated Information Delivery Environment
UITS should develop a consolidated information delivery environment, leveraging technologies already in use and expanding on these with newer tools. UITS should complete implementation of an enterprise-wide data warehouse environment, currently in progress, to support University data access and information about this data. The participation of information users and all units affected is essential. [IT Strategic Plan, Action 39]
UIS provides faculty, students, and staff with access to data
critical to their IU roles. Security, privacy, good service, and
the institution’s need to function effectively need to be
balanced. Users should be able to access information without knowing
the technologies involved.
With wider data access many departments are moving their data into IU’s Decision Support Data Warehouse and giving their users a variety of tools to access this content. UITS must ensure these objectives are met for IU’s information users:
- The Committee on Institutional Data is reviewing the 1991 Information Access Policy. It defines the rights, privileges and responsibilities of institutional data access and use.
- The policy should allow faculty, students and staff access to data they need for their work.
- Users should have an array of easy-to-learn tools or report libraries.
- It’s essential to deploy an umbrella application for these distributed tools and applications.
- This Consolidated Information Delivery Environment will deliver to users reports, queries, and outputs of specialized tools and applications. This one-stop-shopping application will list information resources, data sets, and information “packages.”
- The distributed tools and applications behind the scenes will change with user needs, as in the Information River pilot project. The Environment will integrate the Financial Data Retrieval System (FDRS), PeopleSoft Queries and Reports, such future enterprise reporting and analysis tools as Actuate and BRIO, and possibly statistical reporting tools like SAS.
Customer Specifications and Support
- Keep Data Stewards Committee apprised of activities.
- Work with the FIS and HR Decision Support Steering Committees and Student Information Environment Subcommittee on specifications and pilot/prototype applications feedback.
- Create a customer (functional) group to help project developers fine tune the general specifications and work through technical roadblocks during development.
- Develop the Consolidated Information Delivery Environment (CIDR) application.
- Build infrastructure for the deployment of PeopleSoft standard reports and ad-hoc queries.
- Acquire licenses for Brio and enhance the Information River application to interface with CIDR.
- Retool for robustness the application components of the Financial Data Retrieval System (FDRS).
- Split departmental application components from the institutional applications; integrate institutional components within the CIDR.
- Develop and deploy a training program for Information Providers and Consumers.
- The deployment of CIDR and the PeopleSoft interface must coincide with the SIS and HRMS PeopleSoft rollouts, making the target date dependent on SIS and HRMS implementation.
- The acquisition and deployment of the Brio/Information River interface is targeted for the end of FY ’98-99.
- The integration of the FDRS applications is targeted for December 1999.
- The training for each component can match its implementation date.
- Evaluating the enterprise reporting and statistical analysis tool, a second phase of this project, should be accomplished during FY ’99-00 and ’00-01.
Action 40 - Data Administration
OVPIT should reconvene the Committee on Institutional Data and conduct regular meetings with the goal of defining data administration and access policies for institutional data. [IT Strategic Plan, Action 40]
The Committee on Institutional Data and Committee of Data Stewards can help promote University-wide data administration, including collecting and maintaining comparable data in standard formats across all campuses. The OVPIT through UIS has reconvened the Committee on Institutional Data to address policy issues on data organization, management, access, and availability. The Committee and Data Stewards should work with the UIS Taskforce on data management and administration.
- Reconvene the Committee on Institutional Data (CID).
- Continue UITS participation in the Committee of Data Stewards (CDs).
- Create an Information Policy Development and Education function within the UITS Policy Office.
- With CDs, develop policies for appropriate use of information resources at IU.
- With CID, CDs, Data Managers, and users, develop training sessions and materials.
- Create a Data Administration Implementation group in UITS.
- Set up standards and procedures to support Data Administration policies.
- Conduct Implementation tasks (to be folded into systems development methodology) to put in place standards, procedures, and policies. Tasks include data modeling at enterprise and project levels, data classification, collection of documentation and descriptive information, and definition of data access and authorization procedures.
- With UIS development teams, develop conceptual and logical data models.
Action 41 - Year 2000
The UIS Division must continue the Year 2000 readiness initiative. The work must be completed according to a demanding timeline or the business systems of the University will fail. [IT Strategic Plan, Action 41]
The UIS division and its Year 2000 Institutional Data Team is addressing Year 2000 readiness and IU’s information systems with the goal of ensuring that all mission-critical information systems for which UITS is responsible will function at the turn of the century. The problem goes beyond University boundaries; its resolution depends on resources from across the University.
UIS Year 2000 Institutional Data Team
This team will ensure the functioning of mission-critical business systems into the next century and help UITS groups attain Y2K compliance in the data centers at WCC and IUPUI. This will be completed by 12/31/99 or sooner.
- Complete remediation of code by 31 December 1998.
- Complete testing and promoting code to production by 1 April 1999.
- Contact external providers on test plans.
- Form a quick response team for emergencies by 1 July 1999.
- Review Year 2000 testing with 300 other systems in IUB and IUPUI machine rooms.
Year 2000 Overall Awareness Program
This program will increase awareness of the issues and ensure that affected areas understand the steps needed to provide services beyond the turn of the century.
- Provide at least four communications from the OVPIT between September ’98 and December ’99 on status and recommended departmental and campus action.
- With IUPU administration, form a campus Year 2000 committee and take part in the School of Medicine Year 2000 meetings.
- Work with University Counsel and Sponsored Research Services to provide direction on external queries about readiness.
- Work with Bloomington Campus administration to form a campus Year 2000 committee.
- Conduct a Y2K awareness and status session.
- Work with IU administration on contingency plans.
Year 2000 Outreach
The objective is to help local support providers address Y2K hardware and software issues in departments. Provide contract services for departments to inventory, assess, and remediate systems.
- Provide current information on the Year 2000 Web page.
- Provide better testing guidelines on the PC support pages.
- Make the TF2000 tool available to LSPs.
Action 42 - Disaster Recovery
UITS should complete a disaster recovery plan with increasing levels of recovery based on systems priorities. [IT Strategic Plan, Action 42]
UITS must be prepared to recover critical services housed at the Wrubel Computing Center data center in the event of a major disaster. Plans call for setting up disaster recovery control centers and will address system recovery and continuity of business. Planning and risk assessment will include central systems and distributed systems maintained on the campuses or by departments.
This plan discusses the first phase of recovery, including WCC-supported services. It is not the comprehensive plan to recover all UITS services across both campuses.
Limited Recovery Site
A recovery site will be established using HPER 154, 155, 161. HPER 154 and 155 will support 72 network connections each, with power supplies and air conditioning to support servers in these rooms. One site will host a hotline to the command center. HPER 161 will be used as recovery needs increase, or if the mainframe must be recovered. Conditioned (UPS) power, portable air conditioning units, and backup power will be installed.
A Command Center will be housed in IMU M086 adjacent to the UITS Support Center. Here the command team can guide responses to a disaster that eliminates the WCC data center. If a disaster is called the Recovery Director will make the room a hub for assessment, recovery, and communications activities.
Action 43 - Massive Data Storage
UITS should implement massive storage technology for storage of the University’s institutional data, migrate tape over time to the new environment, and integrate this technology with database management systems to support image, sound, and video data types. [IT Strategic Plan, Action 43]
Storage of data from IU’s institutional information systems should be consistent with massive data storage technology being implemented as part of IU’s research computing environment. IU’s investment in massive data storage technology provides an opportunity to replace outmoded tape storage and handling systems with virtual tape libraries and shared disk arrays. IU’s institutional information systems contain almost a terabyte of data, including such new data types as document images, graphics, sound and video.
- Coordinate with RAC on defining a massive data storage solution.
- Plan machine room automation that includes massive data storage.
- Migrate the 24,000 OS/390 tapes to the massive data storage system.
- Develop a training program for Operations staff.
- Improve back-up processes and integrate automated backup with massive data storage.
- Investigate document management solutions (“asset management”) to catalog stored data.
- Coordinating with the implementation of advanced database technology, find ways to use the massive storage system to store non-traditional data types.
Action 44 - User-centered Design
UITS should incorporate user-centered design techniques and Usability Lab testing into all major systems development projects. [IT Strategic Plan, Action 44]
A commitment to user-centered design, with the user, not the product or service, as the focal point of the iterative design process, will help ensure that IU’s information systems meet user requirements and are suitable to the tasks involved. This requires an organization-wide shift from current methods. UITS expertise in usability studies and user-centered design reside in Usability Consulting Services and the Usability Lab, which will help integrate user-centered practices into systems development at the departmental, management, team, and staff levels.
- Arrange for managers to attend workshops on usability concepts and user-centered design.
- Arrange for staff to attend workshops that develop skill in applying user-centered design.
- Increase Usability Consulting Services staff to include at least one interface/systems designer.
- Establish interdisciplinary development teams with representatives from technical, design, usability, and content areas.
- Mentor UITS development teams on building usability into their projects.
- Create opportunities for UITS staff to gain expertise in user-centered practices.
Action 45 - Advanced Information Technology Laboratory
The UIS Division and the Advanced Information Technology Laboratory should continue evaluation and experimentation that will keep IU on the leading edge of new information systems technologies to be employed in the University’s business systems. [IT Strategic Plan, Action 45]
The UIS mission of AITL falls under the direction of the UIS AVP and AITL directors, providing synergy and focusing on issues related to enterprise information systems, development methods and technologies, network computing strategies, database management systems, and enterprise computing environments.
Key UIS/AITL activities include:
- Evaluating software (e.g., database software)
- Investigating new technologies (e.g., Message brokers, transaction processing servers).
- Evaluating and testing standards (e.g., Java) and migrating them into use by UITS technical staff.
- Researching technology that may impact information systems development (e.g.: authentication and authorization services, knowledge management and decision analysis).
- Complete prototype project using component technology in transaction processing.
- Develop software and methods for user authentication and identification.
- Take part in Cybercash pilot for Web-based financial transactions.
- Provide database testing for advanced technology systems including Oracle, IBM UDB, Sybase, and Microsoft SQL Server.
- Trial and evaluate system management software for Enterprise Unix Environment.
- Take part in UIS effort to define Web development and architecture tools.