Initiative VII – Funding

80 - Average number of IT-related contracts reviewed monthly by UTech to mitigate risk.

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An Investment in the Future

Initiative VII focuses on UTech’s ability to develop and sustain a funding model for IT at Case Western Reserve University. By investing in and funding information technology in a strategic way, the university community thrives. Here are some examples of UTech’s strategic approach:

  • In collaboration with Procurement and Distribution Services, UTech entered into strategic partnership agreements with Cisco, Logicalis and MCPc to procure IT equipment and services for the university. These and other strategic agreements have the potential to yield savings to the university in excess of $450,000 that are repurposed for strategic IT spend.
  • As a result of centralizing the IT spend, UTech identified opportunities to optimize the university’s investment in IT by pooling resources to support staff training, and leveraging existing enterprise systems, such as monitoring, content management and room reservations.
  • UTech is in the process of approving funding for the fiscal year of the ERP hosting contract, which focuses on improving service and performance levels, reducing risks and network costs, enhancing business continuity, moving to a more virtualized infrastructure and allowing for flexibility in decommissioning unsupported ERP applications. UTech is partnering with the Office of Procurement and Distribution Services and the ERP functional owners (HR, Finance and Registrar) to perform due diligence and recommend next steps.
  • UTech assembled a cross-functional team to develop hardware standards to meet the university's administrative needs. This team worked with all the CWRU Schools as well as MCPc to develop five standard laptop and desktop configurations. This effort allowed UTech to negotiate lower hardware prices along with better and faster service for clients. UTech anticipates a savings of $180,000 on PC purchases for the upcoming fiscal year.
  • UTech performs an annual Oracle maintenance renewal to maintain and support all of the PeopleSoft Applications, including the Student Information System, Human Capital Management System, Supply Chain and Financials Management and the Enterprise Performance Management systems.
  • In support of fiscal responsibility, UTech instituted a new due diligence process for any expenditure in excess of $10,000 as well as all hiring positions. The manager responsible for a service and/or expenditure must submit a proposal for senior leadership review that outlines the opportunity or challenge, the recommendation and how it aligns with UTech's Strategic Plan. This process provides transparency, ensures that alternatives are appropriately evaluated and the value to the user community is clearly articulated. Approximately 330 such proposals have been reviewed since implementation.
  • To enhance financial insight into factors affecting the cost and quality of IT services, UTech is implementing a Technology Business Management model to enhance reporting and cost transparency of IT spend using terminology and context of various stakeholders. This year, transparency at the finance cost category level was implemented.

Success Stories

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UTech developed and implemented a new, inclusive technology capital planning process. In advance of rolling out the process, UTech worked with university leaders to ensure alignment with CWRU’s plans and procedures. For planning purposes, all UTech leaders were asked to input capital technology projects with an annual estimated cost greater than $50,000 for their areas of responsibility into a multi-year IT Refresh Plan. Once compiled, managers were asked to submit proposals for review and comment by their peers and ultimate prioritization by senior leadership. This improved process was designed to be more transparent and inclusive of all leaders in the new central IT organization. From the $9.2M originally proposed, UTech reduced the capital request to $6.5M by refining the service model in residence halls to better align with students’ needs and deferring initiatives that would not significantly impact the university community.

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UTech and University Marketing and Communications, in collaboration with Procurement and Distribution Services and the Office of General Counsel, worked to implement a university-wide change to the process of procuring IT related items. To mitigate risk to the university, UTech is now responsible for reviewing any university contract that includes an IT or IT-related component, prior to such contract being executed. Risk is measured in many forms, including data security, finances and compliance. This process change helps to ensure that data is secure, good financial stewardship is practiced throughout the university, the university’s brand is protected and the university is meeting accessibility standards for all.