Information Technology (IT) is one of the four main functions within the PEAK Initiative.
The systemwide IT community, known as [email protected], has as a practice, centralized services as they have evolved from custom or unique-use to commodity or enterprise-use for many years. The alignment of more than 70 service desks in the mid 2000’s to one central service desk, now known as Technology Help, is one such example. Because of existing centralization processes, the Information Technology changes informed by PEAK are focused on enhancement and refinement rather than creating new operational centers.
Through PEAK, IT will continue to expand upon its existing model of integrated, collaborative, non-competitive service delivery throughout the PEAK implementation process. The expansion will be achieved by enhancing collaboration and accountabilities between the Office of Information Technology and local IT leadership.
Two new roles will drive our success:
- Senior Director & Chief Technology Officer - CJ Loosbrock
- Senior Director IT Leads - Phoebe Johnson
IT resources are listed below.
Central Academic Technology Support
The Office of IT will bolster its Academic Technology services to deliver more consistent and equitable academic technology support for University faculty and instructors. Academic unit instructional designers and academic technologists are collaborating to analyze and understand what new or enhanced services would most benefit University of Minnesota instructors.
Below are some of the questions to help provide information on general and staff specific IT questions. Additional FAQs are available for each of the main function areas. The general PEAK questions can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page.
These questions have been updated as of Jan. 27, 2023.
Is PEAK a reorganization of IT staff and/or departments?
For the [email protected] community, PEAK does not mean significant reorganization. There will be two new leadership positions that report to the Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer.
- The Chief Technology Officer will define and sustain an integrated enterprise technology architecture across the domains of infrastructure, software/applications, methods/standards, and innovation.
- The Senior Director, IT Leads, will strengthen bi-directional communication, collaboration, and accountability between enterprise IT and academic and support unit IT.
After the Sr. Director, IT Leads is hired, the Academic and Support Unit IT Leads will begin to have a dual reporting relationship: one solid line to the unit leadership and one solid line to the Senior Director, IT Leads. IT managers and individual contributors will continue to report to their current units.
I heard that there will be opportunities for IT professionals in academic and support units to participate on virtual teams supporting enterprise services. How will this work?
First, it should be reaffirmed that VPCIO Gulachek is adamant that enterprise services do not mean Office of Information Technology (OIT) services. Enterprise services can exist in any unit on any campus and should be run by the unit with the appropriate expertise.
Virtual teams already exist and are working well in IT! One example is the Enterprise Data Network team. Networking professionals from Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and the Twin Cities work as a team to plan, prioritize, and execute work. The professionals on the team benefit from having back-up if they are out, increased capacity to accomplish their goals, and sharing their knowledge and experience. The amount of effort devoted to the virtual team was negotiated in consultation with members of the team by their IT Leads, Jeff Sperling - Crookston, Jason Davis - Duluth, and Bill Zimmerman - Morris along with the Service Owner for Data Networks, Louis Hammond.
The exact process by which virtual teams form will be developed by the Senior Director, IT Leads in coordination with academic and support unit IT Leads. The expectation is that the Senior Director, IT Leads will work closely with enterprise and academic and support unit IT Leads to:
- Identify which enterprise services would benefit from virtual teams.
- Understand capacity, interest, knowledge, skills, and abilities among IT professionals across all units.
- Initiate virtual teams.
The intention of creating these virtual teams is to build capacity and bench-depth so that we can better support our students, faculty, and staff across the system and to offer opportunities for IT professionals to lead, learn, and develop professionally among colleagues who do similar work.
People who participate on virtual teams will maintain their current HR reporting structure. However, those individuals can expect that virtual team leaders will share input about their performance with them directly and with their manager or supervisor.
Will layoffs occur?
The goal of PEAK is not a reduction in existing staffing levels; the goal is a realignment of existing staff around work. For [email protected], we will leverage the Sr. Director, IT Leads and virtual teams to achieve work alignment. Human Resources, Finance, and Marketing and Communications will centralize some functions. For more information about how PEAK might offer new opportunities to your colleagues who work in Human Resources, Finance and Marketing and Communications, you may reference their FAQ pages.
Some IT teams are struggling to maintain capacity and recruiting new staff takes time. Will PEAK help with IT workforce recruitment and retention?
The PEAK recommendations for IT are intended to help us build capacity by leveraging the skills and talent that exists across the system on virtual teams. Our expectation is that, together, we will find more efficient ways of working and the teams that right now feel “thin” will have back-up support as recruiting is ongoing for open positions.
To support retention, PEAK will create professional development opportunities. One example is provided by virtual teams, enabling inexperienced members to develop knowledge and skills and more experienced members to mentor and lead.
View additional FAQ's to answer general PEAK questions.
Learn more about IT and view the the November 2022 IT Milestone 2 presentation deck and IT meeting recording.
If you have IT specific questions, please reach out to the IT Leadership Community of Practice to be connected with IT people directly. Please note that you will need to sign in with a UMN ID and password to access this list.
Sponsor & Transition Teams
View and connect with the PEAK Sponsors.
Find your representative on the list of Phase 1 transition team members from Finance, Human Resources (HR), Information Technology (IT), and Marketing and Communications (Marcom).
If you have additional comments, inquiries or feedback, use the PEAK contact form to connect with the PEAK office.