President's Report Masthead
March 1, 2016

Information Technology Services activities

Information Technology Services (ITS) continued work on various projects to enhance the campus technology infrastructure, improve institutional management and increase awareness of information security during the first quarter of 2016.

In February, ITS finalized the relocation of the department back to it’s original space by renaming the building. For the past 41 years, the building has been known as as the Computer Center, but officially reopened as The Technology Hub. This new name better encompasses the rapidly changing field of technology and how ITS continues to evolve its service offerings to meet campus needs. A grand opening event was held to highlight changes within the building that include updates to office spaces and conference rooms, new features in and around the Help Desk area and the grand re-opening of the Emerging Technology Studio (ETS); the makerspace for ITS. The ETS offers services including 3D printing, 3D scanning, 2D/3D design and editing, as well as video editing. Students, faculty and staff can all visit ETS and learn how to use these services.

For the past few months, Information Technology Services staff have been preparing for Binghamton University’s first Technology Maintenance Day. In conjunction with the academic community, ITS worked to identify two days each calendar year when major maintenance of technology systems and other infrastructure updates could be completed. The first Technology Maintenance Day was held on Tuesday, March 29, and it was a success. For additional information on the work that was completed that day, go online for the Technology Maintenance Day Recap.

These recurring maintenance days will allow ITS to perform preventive maintenance, critical upgrades and the deployment of new or upgraded tools and services. The extended maintenance window afforded by the maintenance days allows appropriate time to address concerns with core systems and/or technology architecture. The next Technology Maintenance Day is scheduled for Oct. 4, 2016.

Other projects across the organization

The Operations and Infrastructure area within ITS continued work installing new network gear in the Libraries and also rewired the area to accommodate new installs of VoIP phones. ITS staff also worked in collaboration with Sumantra Sarkar, assistant professor of management information systems in the School of Management, and the Innovations Team within ITS, on a proposal to build and host a web application for a National Science Foundation grant. The grant is focused on collecting and analyzing socio-behavioral economic data of agriculture and food industries in the upstate region.

The Enterprise Applications (EA) group, formally known as the University Enterprise Software group, also completed various projects to help improve institutional management. Identifying a replacement for Hyperion is one of the group’s ongoing projects. This business system is nearing its end of life and the group is evaluating what the current and future needs are in this area. The EA group is also working to support the implementation of the University’s new undergraduate admissions tool, Slate, which processes all applicant data and requires the creation of various interfaces and procedure modifications. Lastly, the EA group completed and now continues to make updates and modifications to the SJS Crime Statistics Reporting Summary tool. A dashboard was implemented last year that provides weekend crime activity from University Police and updates are being made to add functionality.

Lastly, with the appointment of the new associate vice president and CIO, Sharon Pitt, organizational changes have been made within ITS and continue to be made with a focus to provide better service to the University community. With these organizational changes, new staffing needs developed. Open searches for a director of security operations, director of technology support services and a senior project manager position were all conducted within the past few months. ITS filled one of these roles at the end of February when Andrew Weisskopf joined Binghamton University ITS as the director of security operations and chief information security officer. Weisskopf joins Binghamton from Iowa, where he was the information security officer at Iowa State University. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge in the information security field and will be a valuable asset to both ITS and the broader University.

In preparation for Weisskopf’s arrival, ITS began a comprehensive security assessment process with Gartner Consulting. This security assessment will provide a security road map with action items to help us better secure the University’s data and other sensitive information and materials. Weisskopf will use this road map to help influence decisions and develop policies around information security.