AVP & CTO update May 28 2018
Good morning colleagues
What great weekend weather! I am hopeful that you all enjoyed a bit (or a lot) of time outdoors. This email gets a #longread warning! A reminder that these updates are posted on my website as well, usually the same day they are sent out.
What I learned last week:
- As you know from my last update, I was at OHEIT 2018 last week. My first day involved an Ontario University Council of CIOs meeting (OUCCIO) – similar to CUCCIO but focused on Ontario universities. The agenda topics will sound familiar:
- Cyber-security (shared CISO and Shared SOC with ORION guests) – ongoing explorations for universities to work together to take on the myriad of cyber-security challenges through potential shared services opportunities
- Lynda.com – questions about the data that is being gathered through the Lynda.com service that all of Ontario Higher Ed are now tapped into, and its purpose and use
- eCampusOntario – representatives to attend an eCampusOntario focus group on June 1 (I will be attending)
- Microsoft licensing – OUCCIO made a motion to undertake a project with OECM to produce an RFP for a province wide University Microsoft Agreement – replacing the one that will end in 2019. It sounds like there is an agreement to move to more predictable licensing rather than relying on the new Knowledge Worker approach, however, more details to be discussed with Microsoft as part of this project. We will be party to the outcome of this project.
- Shared Backup Services – an update on service that York and UGuelph engaged in a number of years ago with a partnership at OCAD and Queens. It is time to review the service in advance of the infrastructure end of life and determine if there is an interest in continuing this and exploring other partner interests. I have asked Richard and Wayde to participate in the discussion.
- OUCCIO Board elections – the Chair will continue to be Luc Roy (Laurentian), with Nela Petkovic, Jennifer Doyle (Queen’s) and Tariq Al-idrissi (Trent) still part of the board.
- Who will host OUCCIO next year?! I did NOT volunteer McMaster (two sides to that story – and, you are welcome!) and it is not yet firmed up. I will let you know.
- The keynote speaker at OHEIT was Jesse Hirsh. Anyone who listens to Metro Morning on CBC radio on Tuesday mornings will recognize him (and his voice!) as their technology columnist. Jesse talked about using digital systems to create a democratic campus where “digital systems …allow people a greater say in how we run campuses”, suggested we have multidisciplinary competitive hacking teams to help us stay ahead of security issues and develop solutions to collective problems, make better use of machine learning and more active classrooms with less individual technology (laptops!). He was provocative and informative. You can view a keynote he gave at BCNET in 2014.
- Upon return from OHEIT, I had a full two days of meetings with some key projects and initiatives to discuss and plan towards:
- I attended the Planning and Resource Committee (PRC which is a subcommittee of the Board) to answer questions about the Mosaic Post Implementation Review – Dee Henne did most of the work on this and it has passed through IT Exec, the PRC, and PVP. I will make it available to all of you on my website.
- I had a number of pre-planning sessions for the McMaster IT Strategic Planning Committee meeting which takes place on Thursday, May 31.
- I met with Richard, Kevin, Carmalita to discuss the Identity Management Project that will be getting underway. Key areas of focus include the Steering Committee and Project Team participants. This is still a work in progress but details will be forthcoming once we finalize our agreements with the implementation vendor. We will have a communication that will go out to the community with full details very soon!
- I met with Melanie Graffa to discuss a number of HR learning and development related activities. One item of interest is that the employee engagement survey will be taking place again this coming autumn.
- I met with Jacy Lee to discuss our shared initiative for Roger and David on Data Governance. We are working on our approach and will be developing a proposal and project outline.
- I met with Lor MacMullen, Exec Director for CUCCIO and Bob Cook, retired UofT CIO to discuss the CUCCIO Aspiring IT Leader Professional Development program that we are delivering this year to a co-hort of aspiring IT leaders (Richard is participating!) It is the first year and there will be an onsite session at CanHEIT that we are preparing for. I am presenting on this topic with Lori at CanHEIT and will happily provide a similar presentation to anyone who is interested sometime over the summer.
- I had a discussion with our Cisco account managers along with Paula and Richard to discuss some of the changes in the wireless licensing model. We had a good discussion and have a shared understanding of the way in which we can manage some of the ongoing licensing costs. We will be working with partners across campus as well as purchasing to follow up on some action items and can share more after we have undertaken that work.
- I met with Jerry Hurley, Dean of Social Sciences, to discuss a few shared areas of interest – he was my last meeting on Friday!
- Dale Askey has the most recent Guest Blog on my website – learn the details behind the McMaster Experts project
- At my request, Tanya Reid has been working on some agenda templates for UTS – items we will be discussing at both the UTS MT meeting this morning as well as at the UTS All Staff on Wednesday morning. One item we will be discussing is the Land Acknowledgement statement that is used to start meetings on campus as a recognition of the indigenous inhabitants of the land we are on. Tanya shared an excellent Resource Guide: Introduction to Land Acknowledgements that I found very helpful for enhancing my knowledge and understanding of the practice and although she will be sharing it as well, I wanted to acknowledge it as one of the items I learned last week and encourage all of you to read it if you have not already. Thank you to Tanya for sourcing this.
My book of the week: I am declaring book reading bankruptcy this week! I am halfway between two books (Exponential Organizations and Station Eleven…) and with my commitment to OHEIT and life in general this past week (!), I have not been able to finish EITHER ONE! Stay tuned for my summary next week where I will be able to share TWO updates.
What I am up to this coming week:
- The President’s Awards for Outstanding Service takes place on Thursday afternoon and I will be attending. Marzena Kielar, one of our UTS Managers, is receiving an award!! This is a great honour for Marzena and a lovely opportunity for us to celebrate her recognition – her success is our success. I hope that some of you will be joining me to cheer her on from the audience!
- IT Governance this week:
- Today I have the IT Governance Standing Committees Chairs meeting
- The IT Executive meeting is also on today, Monday, and the agenda is available in Confluence
- IISC meets on Wednesday afternoon
- EATC is on Friday
- I will be meeting with the UTS Managers this morning where we will be preparing agenda items for the UTS meeting on Wednesday AM
- I meet with Carmalita and Babu this afternoon to get an update on the Project management framework efforts – please make note of the Project Management open houses that will be offered to UTS staff in the next short while
- Our McMaster Facilities team is meeting with UTS representatives tomorrow as part of a newly formed regular update session to provide updates on overlapping areas of responsibility. This is only the second meeting so the format and content is still being formulated.
- I am involved in the Strategic leaders program that is being offered through CCE on Tuesday afternoon – I will be heading to One James North to lead one of the working groups. My topic:
- The AVP and CTO, Gayleen Gray, has been mandated to implement many of the recommendations in the IT Services Review (November 2016). How should the AVP and CTO should engage the McMaster community to gather their feedback and input into the process and ensure the various constituencies are bought in and will support the changes as they unfold, including the leadership support required to sustain this support?
- I will be attending Provost Council on Wednesday
- I have my bi-weekly update with Roger and David on Wednesday
- Joanie, Richard, Kevin and I are attending the Uniforum kick off on Wednesday – the next stage in the process will begin soon.
- We have the next McMaster IT Strategic Plan Steering Committee meeting on Thursday morning – we are also holding sessions the following week for the IT Community to engage in the process – please remember to sign up for these sessions! I have reminders going out this morning as well!
- I am attending an eCampusOntario focus group session with three other Ontario CIOs on Friday morning in Toronto
- I have regular meetings this week with some of my direct team and an Annual Review to complete with one of the team also.
- And I am finishing TWO books so that I don’t declare book bankruptcy again next week. 🙂
Have a great week everyone!