I’m Bob Lim, Vice President for Information Technology and CIO, and proud SJSU Spartan.
I want to share with you some important changes about our organization. Information Technology (IT) is now a division of SJSU that reports directly to President Mary Papazian. This change reflects the important and holistic role IT plays in delivering technology solutions and fostering campus innovation, and our expanded support role across the entire campus. We have a passion for technology and the drive to provide world-class solutions for Students, Faculty, and Staff.
I hear you
I have gotten to know many of you in individual meetings and I appreciated the high regard you have for the IT division and the great work we do. For example, you gave me great feedback on how IT is applying technology to help improve efficiency and reduce paper processes, as well as contributing to solutions to improve campus security, among many other things.
But I also heard about areas that need more focus and continued improvement. I’m taking steps to address the top issues you’ve expressed to me:
- Communications: You told me we could do a better job about providing information on how IT can help you. To remedy this, we are redesigning the IT website to offer easier access to the information you need. Also, I’ll publish a regular IT newsletter, host IT meetings, and enable other communication channels to stay in touch with you and hear more of your great ideas and feedback.
- Wi-Fi: One of the biggest opportunities I hear is improving the Wi-Fi experience for our guests. During this semester we’ve had as many as 20,000 users on the network at once. While this is impressive, we are proactively looking to improve our service and grow this number. Our goal is to make the campus Wi-Fi experience simple and easy for Spartans and their guests. We will have a resolution before the end of this year. Also, we are developing a Wi-Fi coverage map to share with everyone on campus.
- Security Access: We want a friendly and streamlined process for faculty and staff to get security access. We are working with our colleagues in Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Administration and Finance to help remedy this situation and make the process simple and straightforward. Our goal is to eliminate the training completion requirement and grant access wherever possible.
- Metrics: We want to continue to be open and transparent about the performance of IT. In that spirit, we are developing metrics for all key performance indicators (KPIs). This will provide valuable data to help us improve your day-to-day technology experience. We use the IT industry standards (ITIL) for KPIs. For example, Number of Incidents, First Time Resolution Rate, and Problem Resolution Time. We will develop sustainable service level agreements (SLAs) to set expectations with you as we formulate standards for measuring and improving our performance.
- Password Resets: Is there a better process for resetting passwords? We feel your pain. Do you know that approximately one in four calls to the IT service desk involves resetting passwords? We will publicize where to find readily available information and online tools to reset your passwords. In the next few months, as we alert you about account expirations, we will provide links to easy password reset tools.
In addition to the top issues discussed above, there are other significant opportunities that IT is actively pursuing.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) – AI is a game changer that’s transforming the very foundation of how we live and work. Our goal is to understand how to intelligently incorporate AI into operations and roles across SJSU that can benefit from this new technology. We are currently in the strategy phase, and we are interested in gathering any ideas or feedback you may have on how best to utilize this new technology at SJSU.
- AR/VR – Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies are heralding new learning methodologies within education and SJSU will be implementing innovative programs in these areas. In development is a program for the School of Nursing that implements AR for patient care and diagnostics. Also in the works is a “touch and learn” VR facility to give faculty and students the opportunity to experience the current maturity of the technology.
- Student, Faculty, Staff Councils – We want and need your input. We are forming governance councils comprised of students, faculty, and staff. I value your opinion and will use your guidance to drive IT advancement. If you are interested in being part of the councils, please let me know.
- Bandwidth – We are increasing network bandwidth from dual 10Gb/s (10 gigabits per second) to dual 100Gb/s. This increase in speed is not only important for day to day activities and accessing our website for cloud-based applications, but it is vital to support the research efforts of the university by enabling larger data flow.
- Redundant Connectivity – We will reduce downtime at SJSU remote locations. If the network goes down at a remote location, south campus, for example, we want to have built-in redundancy to bring operations back online with only a short interruption of service. We are working with vendors to provide this capability.
I am very optimistic about the direction we have set and by the fact that we have a highly dedicated and professional IT staff that goes the extra mile to execute on our commitments. I also want to thank President Mary Papazian for her leadership and support. Together, we will achieve many amazing things for SJSU.
As always, I am open to your feedback and suggestions. Please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer a face-to-face conversation with me, please feel free to reach out.