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Service Delivery Model

It is the role of central University IT to deliver IT services to the University system that are commonly used across all (or almost all) collegiate and non-collegiate units.

Central University IT’s Functional Areas

There are currently 20 “business services” that manage and deliver these commonly-used IT services. A business service is comprised of a cross-functional team, led by a (non-manager) service director, and staff from multiple lines, by request.

For example, when onboarding units to Google Apps, the service director requests service desk technicians, a trainer, and a communications person from the End User Support line organization; business analysts and developers from the Application Development line organization; and a security person from the Information Security team to work together to complete the project. When appropriate, additional staff, such as from the Infrastructure and Production line, are added to the team for special projects. Each of these individuals dedicates effort to the team and reports a percentage or all of their time to this service.

A full list of business services, as well as service offerings and associated service level agreements is available at Service Catalog for IT Staff. For other details see the Central IT Organizational Structure on the Office of Information Technology site.

In addition to the business services provided by central University IT, other IT services are provided by colleges and other units. IT is developing a unified service portfolio toward the goal of presenting a comprehensive list of IT services to the University.

Service Governance

Service directors (SD) are responsible for creating a strategic vision for their services. That vision must enable a service that broadly meets the needs of the entire University and must be delivered on time and on budget. In order to do this, SDs must have a process by which:

  1. End users (people who use the services) and customers (key stakeholders) can express their requirements for the service
  2. The SD subsequently prioritizes those requirements to set the strategic direction for the service through
    1. Budget allocation
    2. Project management
    3. Priority setting
    4. Tracking milestones and metrics

Service governance is distinct from traditional IT governance. IT governance sets priorities for the institution and informs IT where more or less investment is appropriate, while service governance determines how to spend the budget for the service, and how to best meet evolving end-user and customer needs. Each service director is responsible for developing their own governance process to engage their customers and end users in the way that makes sense for their unique service.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs), Metrics, and Milestones

Service directors are accountable for regularly updating service level agreements (SLAs) metrics, and milestones. An SLA is a mechanism to set expectations between the consumer and the service provider and can include service-level parameters for availability, performance, support, or other attributes. The SLA ensures that the service provider is accountable and consumer is informed.

Central University IT services at the University are governed by SLAs that are negotiated between service directors and Associate Chief Information Officers (ACIO). ACIOs, as a result of their critical role in understanding the University’s demand for services and the level to which they ought to be delivered, are ultimately responsible for setting service levels that align and respond to the institution’s IT governance process. ACIOs also ensure that quarterly milestones and metrics are on target published to the IT site.

A full list of business services and associated service level agreements is available in the Service Catalog for IT Staff. 

SLAs are also being developed for IT services provided by local units. This advances the overall goal of creating an institution-wide IT service portfolio. This effort follows a recommendation from the Huron Benchmarking and Diagnostic Study which called for “Determining University-Wide Service Level Expectations.”