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Initiative One aims to maximize info, technology investments

Initiative One, an effort being launched by Information Services, will introduce new models for planning and delivering information and technology resources and services at KU. It will employ strategies that emphasize coordination, collaboration, economies of scale and resource optimization across the university as means to maximize return on investment for the institution. In this context, ‘maximum return on investment’ goes beyond dollars expended to include improved service quality, enhanced operational performance and productivity and increased system capacities, capabilities and efficiencies.

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“In order for KU to achieve its aspirations as a world-class research university, it’s essential to have the information infrastructure necessary to support the kinds of collaboration, communication and computation such work entails,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Richard Lariviere. “This requires that we take advantage of economies of scale where it makes sense to do so in our purchasing, licensing and distribution of services.”

Initiative One will focus on those core issues that require substantial institutional investment. Initially, it will pursue the following strategies:

  • Determine the potential for securing institutional licensing agreements with major software providers
  • Determine the potential for coordinated purchasing of computer workstations and servers
  • Implement network cabling upgrades to specific buildings based on research priorities and the need for connection to the high-capacity fiber optic network, and
  • Develop an enterprise-wide approach for implementing collaborative technologies like videoconferencing throughout the university

“Initiative One has the potential to involve and benefit all of KU,” said Denise Stephens, vice provost for information services and chief information officer. “Our basic premise is that a coordinated approach makes sense when it increases the overall return on investment. In the case of the information infrastructure, we’re evaluating KU’s investment in the technology, information content and human expertise required to make this an effective and efficient resource for all.

“Initiative One will require participation and involvement from throughout the university in order to achieve maximum benefit. We are forming a steering group of leaders from across KU to help guide the process. We will be reporting regularly on progress as the various strategies get underway.

“For the individual –whether faculty or student or staff – maximizing KU’s investment in its information infrastructure means enabling that person with access to the information and technology necessary to do their best work. That will be the measure of success for Initiative One.”

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