First two Transform IT transitions planned for early 2020

Computer station

The first staffing transitions in Transform IT, the university's information technology restructuring process, will take place in early 2020.

Most IT staff who provide technical support to the School of Journalism and Communication and the College of Design will be integrated into user support services, a new team in Information Services, starting in January or February.

“We are looking forward to having the College of Design and the School of Journalism and Communication join user support services,” said Jessie Minton, vice provost for information services and chief information officer. “We have over 70 UO employees who’ve been working hard since mid-July to develop implementation plans as part of the project execution. We’ve been incorporating ongoing campus feedback into those plans, and I’m incredibly pleased to have the first changes in sight early next year. I’m very proud of the collaborative, thoughtful work contributed by the UO IT community throughout this process.”

IT services for the College of Design and School of Journalism and Communication are currently led by Gary Sullivan, who was named director of user support services in August. The close connections among those two units, Sullivan and Transform IT make for ideal pilot conditions.

The new user support services team will provide a variety of tech support services to the university, including desktop support, help desk functions, accounts and access management, electronic device management, classroom technology support, and management of how-to articles.

The new structure and an accompanying new service delivery model, currently under development, will rebalance and rationalize the way core and common IT support services are provided to students, faculty members and staff. When the transitions to user support services are complete, approximately 60 to 70 current IT employees will be part of the new team.

While the team name and organizational structure are new, the planned service approach is heavily influenced by what’s currently working well.

“Over the years, the university’s IT support staff have developed relationships with the people they support, and they’ve built a significant amount of subject matter expertise in the areas they support,” Sullivan said. “The new USS organizational structure accounts for these relationships, domain knowledge and current geographical coverage. I think we’ve struck a great balance between change and preserving what works.”

For example, to a large extent, faculty and staff members will continue to get tech support from many of the same IT staff who help them now, and IT staff on the new user support services team will generally remain in their current locations.

Implementation plans for the user support team — including the new organizational structure, which is currently under development — will be the focus of a town hall meeting Minton will host on Thursday, Jan. 9, at 10:30 a.m. in the Knight Library Browsing Room.

The user support implementation project is one of several ongoing initiatives within Transform IT. A storage and backup project launched in June, and an enterprise university applications project will be kicked off in early 2020. Other transformative efforts underway include the campus email project and the communications and collaborative technologies program, formerly referred to as unified communications.

More information about Transform IT, including frequent project updates, is available on the Transform IT website.