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April 15, 2016

TO: UCSB IT Leaders
FR: Matthew Hall, Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology & Chief Information Officer
RE: April 2016

As I continue assessing ETS and the broader IT ecosystem at USCB, I firmly believe that the most important element of our collective, sustainable success is skilled information technology professionals in the direct employ of the University. To intersect the future properly, there exist a few questions that we need to answer as IT leaders:

  • What skills do we need today to be effective for the community we serve?
  • What emerging skills do we need to acquire?
  • How do we consistently refresh our skills to assure our continued efficacy?

In a cloud-first, mobile-first world, we stand witness to extraordinary change in the IT industry. Ironically, those of us who grew up in the mainframe world already experienced much of the fuss on virtualization and time sharing in the 70s and 80s. However, AWS, Azure, Box, and other commercial services continue to expand in use and impact for and within our community. Application development and integration skills around JavaScript, C#, PowerShell, Puppet, GitHub, Eclipse, Visual Studio, Python, and various shell scripts continue to grow in complexity and breadth.

Many of us are in the process of examining or moving tools from on premises solutions to the cloud. Google Apps for Education, John Ajao's migration of Ex Libris from 20 to 23 to in the cloud, Kronos 8 potential movement to the cloud, Richard Kip's Box initiative … the list goes on. Identity management, third party custodial controls, and other contractual issues need a heightened level of intentional examination.

In response to these questions and market conditions, we've initiated a dialog on campus around ongoing IT Professional development.

The IT Professional Development Program

Joe Sabado of Student Affairs is leading a campus dialog around Information Technology (IT) professional development. This consists of two distinct tracks. The first track is for those who focus on IT management and leadership related issues. The second track centers around technology planning, implementation, and operational disciplines and practices. The goals of these programs are to build a more cohesive IT community and to provide training opportunities specifically geared for UCSB IT professionals. We've met twice, and Joe is pushing us all toward some immediate, actionable plans. Contact Joe at sabado-j@sa.ucsb.edu to express your interest or inject your feedback into the discussion.

IT Council and IT Board Process

Over the last six weeks, the EVC, VCs, Chair of the Academic Senate, and other members of the IT Board concluded the edit of our renewed ITC charter. I covered this in a previous communication, and Elise Meyer sent out a draft. We now sit on the cusp of seeking nominations to populate the ITC. The key message is that campus-wide governance expands from previously covering just projects to now including Security, Operations, and Projects. As soon as Elise adds the updates to the document from this week's meeting, I will ask her to send the final cut to this group.

Zoom, eduroam, and Sophos

Although you will see more detailed announcements soon, I am pleased to advise you of site licenses that have been concluded for campus-wide use of the Sophos endpoint security solution and Zoom cloud-based web conferencing and collaboration tools. In addition, we're bringing eduroam to ETS managed access points. This will allow UCSB community members to visit participating campuses and connect to their secure wireless. In reciprocity, eduroam participating visitors can, in turn, attach to our network using their institution's login credentials. For more information, type these URLs into your favorite Wyse, TI 99/4A, Commodore Vic 20, Timex Sinclair, 5250 or 3270 terminal:

Special thanks to George Michaels, Steve Miley, Kevin Schmidt, and our Security and Operations Workgroup members for these great new capabilities.

Reminder on Security Scholarships

We have at least four people in the queue to take Security+ training and one in queue to enroll in CISSP training. My goal is to see if we can get at least 40 of our 392 IT personnel to achieve some sort of basic or advanced security certification. In a discussion today with the campus Security and Operations Workgroup, we discussed the possibility of having Security+ training on campus. This requires us to assemble 10 people for up to 5 days on campus without these people being pulled out for support or other duties. Possible? Ben Price and a couple of others thought we could get a group of 6-8, but we really need a strong commitment to 10. Jim Woods and I will talk to the research IT group next week about how we can provide mutual aid to small IT support units, so those personnel can break away and attend the classroom experience. Contact Maria Coombs or Sam Horowitz to discuss your needs, the needs of your colleagues, or with questions about security training.

Party on the Beach

Summer is almost upon us. We've supported our students and faculty in their success. Now it's time to take a break! At the end of Spring Quarter, I would like to get everyone who wants to attend together. Let me know your thoughts and interest. Let’s locate this festivity at one of our past locations, either at the edge of campus point or at Goleta Beach. We're shooting for June 10 to get this celebration going! Thoughts and ideas appreciated. This gives us more than a month to plan.

Matthew Hall
Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer
Cyber-Risk Responsible Executive
4101 SAASB
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3020
(805) 729-7504 (m)
(615) 497-1082 (m)