It seems like we get these questions for our IT effort in the Dean’s Office more so than the other groups. That makes sense.. there are many ways in which IT support and services reach groups and individual in H&S, only some of which come as a direct result of our Dean’s Office IT.
Who are we? Technically, we are a team of five individuals in the Dean’s Office: myself, Christine Jacinto, Sean Brandt, David Hart and Ellen Ha. Most of our interaction with departments and programs in H&S is through Christine, David and I. Sean and Ellen spend most of their time on IT-related projects in the Dean’s Office, so they may not be as familiar across the school. You can read more about us -> HSDO IT Team
This limited group of names above does not tell the entire story. I think of our HSDO IT team as including our contracted support from IT Services. This is where most of our interactions occur in the school, as the team provides computing support to all staff, faculty, emeritus faculty (if they are working/teaching), graduate students and post docs. These ITS folks work with us in a way that is as close as any team that was directly hired by the Dean’s Office could. The team is basically the left side of the org chart shown -> IT CRC Org Chart More difficult to notice, but important to understand, is how closely we work together in planning, identifying projects, matching services to needs, consulting and finding service improvements. In this way, Kim Seidler, Liz Goesseringer (Liz is our business partner from ITS) and Sam Ablao represent an extension of our H&S Dean’s Office IT management team that helps us lead IT efforts for H&S collaboratively with central IT Services.
What do you do? IT seems directed at problem-solving in general, and I would not argue against that being our bread-and-butter in the HSDO. I think a misconception for problem-solving is that it is always responsive. Yes, we want to be responsive and we are good at that. However, through active participation in Stanford’s IT strategy and planning, staying up on higher education IT subjects/issues, and in applying our learning from observing H&S school-wide IT issues/needs from this wider viewpoint, we are frequently able to ‘problem-solve’ issues that have not yet filtered down to individuals and groups, so that our recommendations, projects, support efforts, etc. come in as planned and understood solutions/services, not as quick fixes spun out of chasing our tails when problems arise. Some of that is more vision than reality, but certainly this is our goal.
Current IT solutions/services that are H&S specific and that we are leading include: The computing support described above, the backups solution for H&S desktops, the HandSOn application in the HSDO, converged communications with H&S (the new Cisco IP phones), networking infrastructure/support for our buildings, help with space and support for some cluster computing, support for the SULAIR-based academic technology consultants that work in H&S, computer replacement program for H&S, multiple website project involvements and the new grad aid application project. / to name a few
Current IT-related initiatives that are Stanford-wide, but for which H&S is influencing/partnering with central groups include: Cloud collaboration, information/data security awareness, admin system project management/portfolio initiative, business intelligence efforts, admin systems application requirements working group, leadership training programs. / to name a few
Additionally, you might want to know just how far your questions/ideas/gripes/praise might go when it comes through the HSDO IT team. As the largest school, and also as the school with the most dependency on central services, H&S gets an attentive ear when we have something to say about IT at Stanford. I participate in the IT strategic partners committee, which is a smaller group of IT leaders at Stanford who are now adding strategic IT input on a broad scale for Stanford. I also lead the CampusIT committee, which brings together lead folks from a broad set of IT organizations at Stanford to share information and filter-up response for IT-related projects coming from central offices. David Hart and I participate in a SU Webleaders group (all things web at Stanford, led by university communications). Christine Jacinto and I represent H&S with the campus e-mail partners group that worked throughout the Zimbra project and will continue with cloud collaboration effort. There are even more committees and groups that we work with, which is all to say that the IT folks in the HSDO are frequently working to influence IT on behalf of H&S with (hopefully) a better end result in the tools and services that our H&S groups and individuals see at the end of the day.
I am very interested in feedback, ideas and questions about our IT team(s) in H&S and whether our work is paying off for the school.