«Conditions Leading to the Review The Campus Information Technology Plan (CITP) Cost Savings Subcommittee (CSS) was formalized at the first meeting of ...»
Page 5 IT Strategic Sourcing According to data published by the Office of Institutional Research, Purdue employed 15,668 on the West Lafayette campus in fall 2009. Based on a conservative estimate, more than 13,000 of these employees use a computer, software, printer, surge protector, copier and other consumables as a regular part of their job. Currently, employees use a variety of mechanisms for purchases, and the vendor selection is virtually unlimited to the end-user. As a result, it is likely that we are missing the opportunity to leverage our purchasing power. Leveraging the IT spend has the potential of saving the University significant dollars without negatively impacting the quality of equipment and consumables used by Purdue employees. In fact, it is possible that coordinating and consolidating appropriate IT spend may actually increase the quality of products purchased by end-users.
The Sustaining New Synergies Task Force has submitted a request for proposal (RFP) for a consultant with expertise in strategic sourcing to help analyze Purdue’s spend. Because we anticipate that IT related commodities will show up in the high spend category, we recommend that we stand ready for the output of the group. To maximize the impact of strategic sourcing, we believe it is imperative for the IT governance structure to be in place. In the short-term, we are including strategic sourcing as a component of a number of our targeted recommendations (data centers, print management, license agreement management, etc.). Until a University strategy for strategic sourcing is finalized, we will limit this initiative to the sub-components of other recommendations.
Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure The purpose of the Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) project is to evaluate the suitability of thin client and virtual desktop technologies to replace some portion of desktop computers. From Information Week magazine, “VDI is a server-centric computing model that borrows from the traditional thin-client model but is designed to give administrators and end users the best of both worlds: the ability to host and centrally manage desktop virtual machines in the data center while giving end users a full PC desktop experience without limitations.” A virtual desktop can be thought of as simply taking a desktop PC and moving it to a central server that hosts a large number of these “virtual” PCs. A thin-client replaces the desktop PC providing connections for networking, monitor, mouse, speakers, and keyboard, and managing some portion of the interaction with the virtual desktop to enhance performance and provide a user experience similar to that of a desktop PC.
Potential benefits of VDI include but are not limited to reduced total cost of ownership when compared to desktop PC deployments, level of reduced energy consumption, ease of virtual desktop and thinclient management, session mobility to allow users ease of access from multiple locations, level of help desk requests, thin-client and virtual desktop performance measures, user groups for which this approach is and isn't suitable, and the ability to provide a secure environment from personally owned machines.
A detailed recommendation will be developed at the conclusion of the VDI pilot project, most likely in May 2010. If the VDI approach is determined feasible beyond the pilot, a cost analysis comparing VDI to desktop PC deployment will be developed, user groups will be defined for which this technology is most appropriate, and campus organizations will be encouraged to consider this approach to save money, energy, and management effort using these technologies.
Page 6 Desktop Energy Savings There are approximately 20,000 computers on desktops on campus. When plugged into an electrical outlet these workstations and associated monitors consume energy. This recommendation proposes an energy reduction solution by managing the amount of time a machine is running during a 24 hour period.
Manage the number of hours a computer is turned on during a 24 hour period and minimize the amount of energy consumed when the computer is not in use. This could include maximizing the number of hours the computer is in use by lending its computing cycles to the pool of resources used for research computing (Condor pool) or shutting down the machine. An optimal solution would be to actively manage turning the machine off when not in use for periods of time (actual time to be determined but not less than one hour.) In addition, we recommend establishing an RFP for software to manage machine up-time.
Video Conferencing Solutions Currently the West Lafayette campus lacks a campus-wide strategy to deliver video conferencing.
Capabilities are limited to video conferencing solutions on a departmental basis. Where effective video conferencing solutions have been established they typically are not shared beyond the school/college area.
There is potential in saving travel expenses by establishing video conferencing capabilities accessible to any group or department on campus. Classrooms could be scheduled and the internet used to make a video conference meeting. We recommend a group of rooms at the University be made available for scheduling by any department. Any video conferencing solution should be easy to use. Expanding and advertising the Adobe Connect site license for this purpose and providing some basic training could go a long way towards this solution.
Cost Savings Realization As noted in the governance section, the current IT structure resulted from expanding demands and specialized needs found in diverse groups at the institution. The lack of IT governance caused various IT units to seek alternative solutions to "common good" needs, and resulted in building areas of expertise around new core technologies such as server virtualization, storage, etc.
We recommend the governance structure and cost saving initiatives found in this report be used to yield opportunities to reduce unnecessary IT redundancies, duplicated and under-resourced efforts, unnecessary expenditures, poor coordination and limited integration.
As we develop the new model placing emphasis on communication and collaborative teamwork, we expect to find opportunities to leverage resources and skills. There are a number of cost savings ideas that will require resources to investigate, to implement and that may result in the creation of new positions. Other cost saving strategies are expected to generate savings that may be realized through reductions in positions that no longer meet our IT operational needs.
We propose this cost savings realization phase be postponed until year two of the planned implementation to provide the governance body sufficient time to fully assess the impact of these initiatives. An on-going process should be established to ensure continuous improvement and responsiveness to the evolving needs of the IT client.
Page 7 On-going Assessment of New Initiatives Throughout the process, the cost savings subcommittee solicited input from a number of stakeholders.
Through forums, web-based feedback channels and individual conversations, new ideas emerged throughout the process. This spirit of continuous improvement is an important part of IT governance going forward. The culture must recognize this as the standard way to approach business at Purdue.
While the timeline did not allow us to assess all ideas, Appendix A includes a list of suggested ideas that deserve future assessment and could play a role in meeting the $15M target.
We recommend the governance structure review the list to prioritize those initiatives that they find merit further investigation. A process should be established to facilitate input into a fresh list of ideas on an on-going basis to promote continuous improvement.
Implementing the Plan Several of the initiatives that have the highest savings potential will only happen through significant coordination across traditional boundaries. The strategic and operational bodies within the new IT governance structure will need to prioritize the recommendations and charge multidisciplinary teams to implement recommendations. The financial plan for some initiatives may include non-recurring funding to help remove the barrier of up-front costs. The strategic governance group should develop a pool of funds to invest in initiatives that show high potential for sustainable efficiencies. Teams of IT professionals and financial professionals will provide the needed expertise to establish detailed cost savings estimates for initiatives that show significant promise.
Proposed Implementation Sequence Many high potential ideas were generated and captured during the planning process. The ideas are in different phases of assessment. Many of the ideas that have risen to the recommendation stage benefited from work done in fall 2009 as part of the MORT-IT initiatives. The implementation recommendation timeline is driven largely by the chronology of assessment. Those ideas that have high potential for success and that are further along in the assessment process are reflected earlier in the proposed implementation sequence.
Proposed Implementation Sequence
Recommendation topic Pre-CITPC work Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Data centers Computing labs Print management Renegotiation of major IT contracts Virtualized desktop infrastructure Software license management Desktop energy savings IT strategic sourcing Video conferencing solutions Future ideas The list of ideas is finite, but we expect the spirit of this activity to continue as a part of ongoing IT business at Purdue. The new IT governance structure will provide the platform to share ideas across traditional boundaries. The structure will also create accountability for implementation results. Success in realizing operational efficiencies in IT will allow dollars in all parts of the organization to go further.
Page 8 Appendix A - Additional "potential" cost saving initiatives gathered through feedback*.
Funding model for hubs Sell intellectual property for example Signals Selling advertising on screen savers Rental space at Ross In-sourcing e-mail services for athletics and alumni Sell e-mail services and other technologies (like video conferencing) to local schools Maximize implementation of server virtualization More effective energy management (green) for computing, establish a policy for all machines to be turned off at night or used in Condor pool, use central managed services to wake-up machines for patching for those turned off.
Increase the condor pool instead of additional server purchases Review cost models and service levels. Today ITaP provides centralized services for back-up, file storage, co-location, etc. but departments don’t require and/or can’t afford the costs associated with enterprise-level service.
Establish recruiting, hiring, training, and career path for IT personnel.
Standardize on job descriptions, skill levels, and pay scales Look at outsourcing web hosting services or consider consolidating internally.
Offer a low-end machine through SMARTcomputing Augment staffing with student labor.
Redesign IT areas around services instead of departments.
Leverage existing inventory systems. This increases visibility of our “footprint” of hosts and provides statistics on age, power/efficiency and space usage. This would also identify hardware and software purchased but not implemented/used.
More integration of help desks across campus.
Reassess any consulting and determine if the functions can be brought in house for less.
Eliminate/consolidate duplicate/multiple services.
Smart licensing – coordination and inventory of licensing or a central point through which all software must be purchased, maintained Reduction in number of phones.
Cloud computing Review telecommuting. A savings on space, power, and tools (computer) would be a result of telecommuting if some positions worked from home.
Review the management structure to determine if we have a well served management to staff ratio.
Recognition/reward strategy for sharing best practices across units Review current processes and practices and eliminate anything that's not necessary Allow employees to contribute dollars through payroll deduction to help with energy costs.
Record and make available training classes online rather than through multiple group training sessions.
Determine the value of selling used equipment between departments and eliminate the practice if it's not cost effective.