Understanding UCSB’s Federated IT Model

UCSB has adopted a federated IT model in order to accomplish broad IT objectives:

  • Deliver great IT services
  • Improve efficiency, effectiveness and risk mitigation
  • Define how our campus IT organizations work together to achieve campus goals
  • Enable research, teaching, and community service

Departmental IT units and central IT are essential components in the new UCSB IT ecosystem.

In a federated IT model, UCSB’s central IT unit (ETS) and divisional/departmental IT units collaborate to promote a campus-wide perspective toward IT and to better manage costs, risks, and outcomes.

Roles

Departmental IT units provide customized services that are unique to the needs of their respective departments. These IT units may be centers of expertise in supporting hundreds of locally specific functions, such as faculty recruitment, academic evaluations, student records, instructional technology, digital archiving and scientific computing.

A centralized IT organization like Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) offers core, standards-based services that are broadly utilized and essential across the various functions on campus. Information security, telecommunications, identity access management, the data network, enterprise architecture, and enterprise project management are controlled, standards-based activities managed by central IT.

Working Together in Federation

A federated IT model creates an environment where both autonomous departmental IT units and centralized IT collaborate to meet the needs of the whole campus. Central IT and departmental IT units engage to share expertise and find synergies in order to accomplish broad IT objectives for the campus. In a federated model, departments have more influence on large-scale IT through systematic participation in governance. The campus benefits from increased standardization, cost visibility and economies of scale.

A federated IT model helps the campus avoid isolation, redundancy, inadequate support, and unnecessary high costs and risks borne by departments in a decentralized IT environment. Federated interaction also recognizes the criticality of localized program needs, and it requires engagement at all levels to ensure localized and common systems have consistent, reliable performance.

Next Steps

  • The membership of the IT Council is now organized around functions of the campus rather than IT organizations. This structure ensures the end-user perspective when delivering enterprise IT plans and projects.
  • The IT Council will begin nominating the membership of six individual advisory groups: Academic IT, Administrative IT, Information Security and Management, IT Infrastructure, Research IT, and Student IT.  These advisory groups consist of stakeholders who are essential to promoting widely understood, validated, and adopted change related to campus business processes, the implementation of large-scale systems, and infrastructure capability.
  • ETS will establish service agreements with divisional/departmental IT units as needed, and where capacity exists, to provide enterprise-level services. These agreements enable ETS to reduce costs and deliver services to the whole campus by leveraging existing IT capabilities found in divisional/departmental IT units. This approach ensures that the campus fully utilizes its existing IT resources toward common objectives.