System Internal Audit is conducting a system-wide review of disaster recovery planning. As part of fieldwork, they would like to survey all System Members to gain an understanding of the preparedness for the upcoming change to TAC 202 guidance and the new security controls standard catalog.
To gather the data they are using an electronic survey tool, Survey Monkey. The person responsible for disaster recovery should click on the following link to complete the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/W9GQ6KR.
They are asking that the survey be completed and submitted by January 30, 2015. If you are unable to provide this information in the time frame allotted, please email them the date by which the information can be provided. Upon completion of their review of the collected information, they plan to share the results with your staff. A summary of system-wide results will be included in the audit report. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Charles Hepburn (979.458.7124; CHepburn@tamus.edu) or Cathy Smock (979.458.7177; Cathy-Smock@tamus.edu).
A working group is being established to develop a Project Management Practices – TAC 216 Companion Guide for The Texas A&M University System. Alison Winslow from the Texas A&M IT PMO will coordinate this effort and the first meeting of the working group will be on February 11 during the Technology Summit. Expect mail from Alison Winslow (firstname.lastname@example.org) this week with an invitation to appoint members of the working group.
You are invited to attend the new Texas A&M University System Technology Summit (formerly the TTVN conference) February 10-13, 2015 in Galveston, Texas. The Technology Summit is open to all Texas A&M University System employees and features 32 interactive sessions in four tracks:
- General IT: sessions include Zero day threats, Managing Macs, DevOps, eSignatures;
- Learning Technologies: sessions include Mobile technology in class, Learning analytics, Next gen learning spaces;
- Web: sessions include Mobile first, Continuous integration and testing, Usability; and
- Shared Services: Syncplicity, Digital signage, Two factor authentication, and 5 more sessions.
Additionally, we will hear from both the System Digital Media Center of Excellence and the System Council on Academic Technology and Innovative Education. The Summit is designed to give you plenty of time to network with your colleagues around the System, speakers, and our exhibitors. There are three pre-Summit workshops on IPv6, mobile site development, and effective teaching available at an additional charge. Register before February 1, 2015 to get the early-registration rate and be entered for the chance to win an iPad.
For details and registration information, visit http://techsummit.tamu.edu.
System-Wide Contracting News
A meeting will be held on February 3rd with CATIE representatives to discuss the merit of looking into a System-wide contract for captioning/transcription services.
The press release for the System-wide Cisco Smartnet contract was released last week.
Tim Murphy notified me that several System schools have been getting double billed for WebFocus support from Ellucian. TAMUC has canceled their maintenance agreement after finding out they were also paying IBI (a vendor) for support. Please double check to see if your school is paying two different vendors for the same support. We will likely need to approach Ellucian about refunds from previous years if this issue proves to be widespread.
Siteimprove (email) checks web pages, every five days, for spelling, grammar, broken links, and accessibility. The cost is 54 cents per web page per year. Any Members interested in adding this service need to contact me directly.
The System-wide agreement with Cisco WebEx allows Members to purchase licenses for their entire faculty/administrators at the low cost of $1.44/month/license.
On behalf of the governance development team, THANK YOU for your responses to the Member Governance survey – we had almost a 100% response rate and we are thrilled. Leslie Lenser will a quick status at the CIO Council, but here’s a preview:
- The Development team has identified our sounding boards and formal review structure. As CIOs, you will be the first group we ask for input when we are ready for a formal review of our work.
- We have discussed the Purpose and Values of System Governance and are finalizing a formal statement.
- We have reviewed the survey responses and are deciding which model (e.g., COBIT, ITIL, Weill and Ross, etc.) to use as our starting point. (For the record, the most common models you told us you use are COBIT and ITIL or an ad-hoc model based on COBIT or ITIL.)
- We are working to define the Scope of System Governance by discussing what decisions should be made by System Governance.
Todd Lutz distributed a summary spreadsheet of the virtualization projects active across the System. One item of note regarding VDI that some of you may not be aware of, the TAMUS Executive IT committee has placed VDI standardization in the proposed “C” on the priority scale based on their first meeting. While Todd missed that portion of the Committee Meeting, he personally agreed with this priority based on several factors:
- VDI as an enterprise wide solution seems like it is still a maturing service and not an immediate “need” for most of us yet.
- The viability of Desktop as a Service (DAAS) seems to be a ways down the road (despite all the vendor hype I receive daily) and will likely require datacenter/network/bandwidth/security resources that may come to pass from higher priorities.
- Vendor offerings in the VDI world (both on the hypervisor side and management utilities) are still changing at a fairly brisk pace. Application licensing questions are a similar problem with the vendors still trying to determine how they’re going to address it in a VDI world.
He is recommending that the sub-committee should proceed something like this:
- The committee could develop a draft/straw-man document over the next 2 weeks that summarizes the numbers and types of VDI projects currently in place.
- Despite the system-wide priority of C, he still feels we should attempt to develop the high-level gold-silver-bronze “standards” on vendors/products.
- This may be the trickier part of the conversation but it seems clear that VMWare is the current “leader” in the number of TAMUS virtualization implementations and is a leader on most of the newer VDI technologies as well. Would this make it the “gold” standard for now?
- Setup a phone call meeting between now and Feb 6th to finalize the draft report.
- The draft report can be presented to the CIOs at the CIO Council Meeting in Galveston for their feedback.
- Houston (January 26th)
- Austin (January 29th)