Highlights from the Latest SITAB Meeting

Posted on: August 30, 2015


The quarterly meeting of the Strategic IT Accountability Board (SITAB) was conducted on Friday, August 28, 2015 in the Stark Library. The focus of the meeting was to discuss the Network Architecture Changes and the new Building Access Control System Operations Manual. SITAB also received updates on Cyber Infrastructure Funding, the ITS Zero-Based Budget, and provided us direction after receiving an update on the 2015-2016 Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology (LIFT) award recipients for the coming fiscal year. The agenda materials and minutes from the Board meeting are available on the CIO website.

Network Architecture Changes Endorsed

We received endorsement for the new architecture and funding model to support increased compliance and security demands, while managing complexity, capability and cost. Primary goal is to transition from one general network to virtual campus network layers, some of which have added security. There will be new product lines to support these new layers and implement shared infrastructure for small sites to reduce costs. Small sites will move to rental model for building routers. Costs will be 20% less for small sites and save the University $1 million over six years, made possible by new product lines. Additional layers will require recurring funding commitments from its users. Funding by UT System ($500,000) helped pay for the capability and supporting firewalls.

Building Access Control System (BACS) Operations Manual Endorsed

We also received endorsement for the BACS Operations Manual. Campus needs an operations manual that codifies how BACS and security systems are managed and supported by the University. Bob Harkins, Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Security, chaired the committee, resulting in a 30 page document on how to manage building security. Future governance will come from Business Services Committee and Campus Safety and Security committee. There will be a policy and appeals committee formed. Units in general will pay for requested internal BACS support. All external doors, non-installation, are provided as a Common Good. False alarm fees will be instituted to ensure proper usage.

Cyber Infrastructure Funding Update

At the UT System Board of Regents meeting on August 20, funding was approved for cyber infrastructure projects. The Texas Advanced Computing Center received $14 million for additional research computing capabilities, Office of Telecommunication Services and ITS received $7 million for increasing the state-wide network backbone to 100G and connecting our campus at 100G, and ITS received $3 million to enhance data center facilities in order to offer disaster recovery services to other UT System campuses.

Zero-Based Budget Update

We provided an update on the changes IT services during the past five fiscal years for Information Technology Services in the face of a constant-level budget. ITS added 44 new services and retired more than 30 services. Additions include Canvas, Qualtrics, Box, and UT Mail. We retired obsolete IT services such as the ITS printer repair, Blackboard (yay!), an 18-year old email service, and many others. We also absorbed growth; for example, we added 60,940 wired Ethernet ports. Link to the ITS Zero Based Budget Changes Since Fiscal Year 2009-2010 report can be found here .

2016 Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology (LIFT) Update

We explained the origin of LIFT. Each fiscal year, the Research & Educational Technology committee recommends about $500,000 funding for IT innovation on campus. Christy Tran presented this years winners. Winning grants are listed in the agenda materials and on the LIFT website. SITAB committee members directed us to have more student engagement as a factor in the selection process, and provide wider communication on the results of the grants.

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