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Draft IT Reorganization handout
from ICC Meeting:

HTML conversion of Marc Hoit's handout

Draft IT Re-Organization Plan

February 3, 2006


Information Technology (IT) is a critical infrastructure for any modern business. It is not only critical but a strategic necessity for a top tier research institution. E-mail, file sharing, websites and other services are fundamental tools for daily business operations including academic and research functions. Very high speed networking, high performance computing, electronic platform learning systems, collaboration tools and other advanced IT services are required to be competitive for top tier research institutions. Commitment by the institution to provide these services in a robust, cost effective and secure environment is crucial to enhance the strategic directions of the University.

Reorganization is focused on two principles: 1) Quality of service and 2) Security. The vision is to reorganize around services (Networking, Learning Support, etc) and provide a common base level of services at the highest level of quality. Many services like networking, e-mail, web hosting and others have become commodity level services and are fundamental to all faculty, staff and students. These services will be offered to all campus units through central services by central university funding. Specialized needs and services will always exist and be handled by individual units based on their needs or through central services on a per cost basis.

This draft plan is a conceptual plan. Discussions, focus groups, implementation teams and governing structures are all flexible and to be developed through the cooperation of all affected groups. Detailed implementation plans will be developed through this cooperative and inclusive process.


External revenue from the mainframe and testing has subsidized the campus IT environment for many years.

  • Mainframe revenues previously subsidized campus networking
    • FCLA, FACTS generated $4M/year in revenue (05- $1.2M, 06- $800K)
    • BURC charges (previously assumed for mainframe) by units
      • Lost revenue: $300K IFAS, $200K HSC, $800K UFRF
    • Student Systems planned to move to PeopleSoft postponed
      • Delay of implementation requires mainframe to continue
      • Continued increased annual expense of ~$1M
  • Testing services subsidized Academic Technology
    • Testing services previously generated $1M/year - fees structure changed

Resulting loss of revenue has created an annual $4.5M shortfall

  • CNS has reduced budget $1M in past two years
  • UF traditionally pays for infrastructure - not continuing service/maintenance
    • Classroom Support $7M over 5 years - no maintenance money
    • $100K/year bulbs alone, no replacement budget
    • WebCT - Equipment, no recurring funding for support
  • Under funded service commitments include:
    • Networking
    • Help Desk
    • Student Systems
    • WebCT
    • Classroom Technology
    • Electronic Thesis and Dissertation

Re-organization Vision (Phase 1)

  • Merge and restructure IT groups that currently report to the Provost
    This is mostly accomplished - AD group is left
    • Computing and Network Services (CNS)
    • Office of Academic Technology (AT)
    • Web Services
    • High Performance Computing
    • AA "Network Guys"
    • AA LAN services group (physical networking)
    • Active Directory (Currently under Conlon/Bridges)
  • Restructure campus OIT around services (CIO model for UF)
    • Focusing around services will allow merging of operations and moving of people to gain efficiencies (single data center, single structure for web services, etc)
    • Expected cost efficiencies to be re-invested to support budget shortfall
    • Possible services structure:
      • Networking
      • Enterprise Applications (HR, Finance, Student Bridges)
      • Telecom
      • High Performance Computing
      • Identity Management - Directory (AD, Directory, Gatorlink, etc)
      • Collaboration Applications (email, web services, file servers)
      • Classroom Support
      • Learning Systems (WebCT, Video Collaboration)
      • Training
      • Help Desk Services (Help Desk, Electronic Dissertation)
      • Data Center (Space, operations and 24/7 monitoring)
      • Infrastructure (Mainframe, Bridges Servers, Storage, Backup)
      • Security Services
      • Licensing (software like MS Office, Linux, etc)
      • Desktop Support
  • Offer new campus wide services
    • Efficiencies can be created by offering services which have become commodity in nature and are uniform across campus. These services are available externally through the web and outsourcing for very low costs.
      • Overall Benefits:
        • Improved disaster recovery
          • Universal backup for all services
        • Improved security - fewer systems, professionally maintained
        • Improved and new service offerings

      Examples of potential new services:

    • E-mail
      • Provide MS Exchange for faculty, students & staff (can keep name@dept.ufl.edu)
      • Provide e-mail, web mail, calendaring, receipt notification
      • Currently 150 mail servers (registered), approx. $3.1M per year (hardware, software and people)
      • Share equipment and FTE from large units
        • Expected costs:
          • $200K one time, $600K annual (5 FTE + hardware replacement)
          • Annual expenses covered through re-organization no new funds
      • Timeline: 12 months
    • Collaboration and File services
      • Provide MyUFL type configurable portals to all faculty, staff & students
        • Allows web access and mountable (shared) drives
        • Lets anyone create shared collaborative spaces - ad-hoc and as needed.
      • Replaces existing services on campus (file servers, individual web spaces (plaza), group web spaces (grove/organizations))
      • Reorganize existing large services and share equipment and people
        • Expected costs:
          • $100K one time, $400K annual (2 FTE + hardware & software replacement)
          • Annual expenses covered through re-organization no new funds
      • Timeline: 6 months
    • Web Hosting
      • Provide the two major environments for web hosting on campus
        • LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP)
        • Microsoft IIS
      • Allows units to control content in the identical way as currently done
      • Current cost to units - estimated at $2.0M/year (250 web servers across campus, 50 FTE)
      • Reorganize existing large services and share equipment and people
        • Expected costs:
          • $500K one time, $250K annual (3 FTE + hardware & software replacement)
          • Annual expenses covered through re-organization no new funds
      • Timeline: 12 months
    • Wall Plate service
      • Currently - $5/port covers edge support (5000 customers)
      • 25,000 ports on campus (not including HSC)
      • $1.5M/year off the top free to all main campus buildings
      • Allow existing customers to keep fees
      • Units can reduce costs to support networking since covered centrally - reallocate to other needs
  • Engage and incorporate early adopter units into central services
    • Annual costs (FTE and hardware) are expected to be covered by shifting people, budget and hardware from units and offering services at no cost.
    • Cost savings for units - tasks shifted centrally but some funding remains
      • Small departments benefit most, retain all funding (since %FTE)
      • Larger units contribute FTE and equipment but also have savings - retain portions of the FTE to reallocate.

Possible Additional CIO Opportunities

  • Continue increasing participation of units into the central service model (Phase 2)
  • Extend central services model to desktop support (Phase 3)
    • Expected savings could be huge
    • Would keep distributed support (people) in the units
    • Much more difficult change and requires proof of success from Phase 1
  • Consider University wide desktop replacement and upgrade model (~$2M/year)
  • Develop Quality Assurance metrics and continuing improvement for IT services
  • Enhance Enterprise Systems to provide Business Intelligence information
    • Enterprise systems should provide better and more integrated business information
    • Industry has moved this direction and it is the cornerstone for ERP implementations
  • Develop IT strategic directions to fit University strategic directions
    • Services to support Research and Graduate Programs
      • Strong, unified, secure networking
      • High Performance Computing capabilities (e-science)
    • Provide Education to a wide audience more efficiently
      • Distance Learning systems (WebCT) and support (instructional design, video, collaboration)
    • Marketing and a strong brand recognition
      • Unified web services with strong content
      • Accessibility to faculty and research information
      • Gatorlink for life


  • Shortfall of $4.5M expected for 06-07 (already reducing services)
    • $1.5M/year for wall plate, $800K one time for e-mail, web, collaboration
  • Reorganization is expected to recover budget - re-invest in IT services
    • Possible dollar recovery sources
      • Savings from OIT reorganization
        • Reducing people throughout OIT (work to place them in other locations)
        • Merging of Data Center & Tigert Center
        • Removing UF dialup lines ($200K)
      • Recovery from merging units (off the top, similar savings in units)
  • Propose off the top funding for all universal campus wide services ,
    • Networking (including wall plate), e-mail, file and web hosting, help desk, course management systems (WebCT), etc
    • Much of the funding in place (AT and CNS)

Example Timeline

Refinement of timeline and budget underway - early adopter units can be brought in sooner as management structure and agreement is achieved.

  • January 06 - Engage senate, administrators, students and early adopter units to refine and develop detailed plan and get buy in and start process
  • March 06 - Present final plan including detailed budget
    • Three year budget will be developed
    • Budget will include steady state funding and gap funding
      • Includes restructured groups, new services, any shortfall
  • March 07 - Services in place and operating for phase 1 early adopter units
  • March 07 - Start process to select permanent CIO
  • April 07 - Offer service to all units on campus
  • July 08 - Phase 2 complete
  • July 09 - Phase 3 complete


last edited 11 February 2006 by Steve Lasley