On January 21st, 2021, the IT Executive committee met to review and discuss proposed IT initiatives which had already been endorsed through our IT Governance standing committees. The following projects have now now been endorsed through the IT Governance framework. Please note: all documents are stored in MS Teams and you may be required to log on to view the document.
McMaster Web Strategy: Developed as a collaboration between the AVP and CTO, the AVP Communications and Public Affairs, and the AVP Equity and Inclusion, the McMaster Web Strategy acknowledges the current efforts that individuals, academic and administrative units in McMaster have put forward to improve their web presence, and is intended to provide a consistent framework for guiding current and future approaches to delivering the institution’s web presence. Key elements include branding, AODA compliance, adherence to IT security standards and increased accountability. A number of project proposals will be developed as a result of the endorsed Web Strategy and will be reviewed through the IT Governance framework. The forming of a Web Strategy Steering Committee will be one of the first steps. The proposal is available here.
Student Email Exchange Online – Phase One: This proposal outlines the transition of McMaster’s students into the MS 365 Exchange online email service. This will allow students to use the full integrated capabilities of the MS 365 suite of products and tools, enabling cross collaboration between all McMaster constituents. The proposal recommends that the student population conversion starts in the Spring/early Summer of 2021. The Google Apps for Education environment will remain for a defined period of time, allowing students to retain access to documents in G-Suite and read-only access to emails in Gmail. A migration strategy is being developed and more details will be available in March/April 2021. The proposal is available here.
Multi-Factor Authentication O365 & Email Project: Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is a control that will provide a critical layer of security to prevent the exploitation of compromised McMaster credentials and has been identified as a priority for our McMaster email environment. This proposal outlines the implementation of MFA for O365 / Email to respond quickly to this security concern. A comprehensive communication strategy will be undertake to assist with the rollout of MFA. A longer term initiative for a multi-system MFA strategy will be part of the IT Security Roadmap that is being developed. The proposal is available here.
McMaster XR Inventory Consolidation Project: Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), together referred to as Extended Reality (XR), technologies present unique opportunities for research, development, education and enhancing the student experience. The purpose of this project is to inventory current resources available on campus to understand what the desire and preparedness is for future XR research and development endeavours. There will also be a peer scan to understand how other institutions are approaching XR strategies. At the end of this project a report with recommendations on next steps for a cohesive campus strategy for XR will be delivered. The survey will be shared through targeted emails and broad communication to the campus. There will also be an opportunity to participate in focus groups. The proposal is available here.
Research Sites (pilot): Individual researchers have indicated the need for a website platform to communicate about their work and their research groups. There is no central platform for researchers to build and host their own websites, resulting in a plethora of platforms, templates and technologies being used. This may result in websites that do not reflect the McMaster brand and lack sufficient IT security. The purpose of this project is to offer a 12-18 month pilot to provide basic, current, AODA and brand-compliant templates, along with web hosting. This will include the evaluation of a cloud-hosting platform (CampusPress) while clarifying a longer term required service and support model. At the end of the pilot, the team will share the key issues, needs, and potential long-term strategies for providing a central service through the IT Governance framework. The proposal is available here.
The status updates for projects endorsed through IT Governance will be made available through the Strategic Initiatives page in Confluence. Strategic Initiatives – Information Technology – Collaboration Spaces (mcmaster.ca).
Congratulations to the teams involved in preparing the proposals and the thoughtful and robust discussion at all of the IT Governance meetings to clarify the deliverables and goals of the projects.