The November, 2011 Faculty / Staff IT Survey was the most recent step in an assessment cycle begun with surveys conducted in 2008 and 2010. The purpose of the surveys is to gauge campus response to IT services offered by Information Technology Services (ITS) and other campus IT service units, and to provide data for planning service improvements. The surveys are sponsored by the Chief Information Officer and the Campus IT Leaders, the group of IT directors in the colleges and campus business units. The 2011 results show continued satisfaction with most core services, increased usage of wireless and other services, and rising expectations based on experience with commodity services and mobile devices.
This survey was administered to all full-time faculty and staff outside UI Health Care. There were 1,978 responses to the survey in 2011, a 24% increase over 2010. This represented nearly 34% of the target population. Over 1,100 people wrote optional free-text responses, which ran to a total of 185 printed pages. Results for each college and business unit were distributed to the IT directors managing services in those units, for their consideration and action.
Satisfaction with core services and support continues to be high: the top 13 satisfaction scores were 85% or better.
Targets for improvement highlighted in the data include:
- Wireless access
- Technical web content in ITS and business unit web sites
- Remote and mobile access to network files
- Support for instruction in departments and colleges
- Support for research and scholarship
- ITS Help Desk
- Improvement in workstation support, particularly for Macintoshes
Comparison to 2010 survey results provides some indicators of changes of behavior and opinion among users:
- Usage of wireless, calendaring, and networked printing has increased without loss of satisfaction.
- Interest in and adoption of commodity cloud services like Dropbox or Google Docs is growing.
- More users are using smart phones and other portable internet devices.
Actions in response to survey findings
Among many activities and projects to improve campus IT services, there are a number which specifically relate to the topics for improvement identified above. A full list of projects under development by ITS can be seen in the 2011 ITS Project Roadmaps.
Recommendations under consideration will increase wireless coverage and performance, improve authenticated wireless access and simplify guest wireless services.
Technical web content in ITS and business unit web sites
ITS is revising its web pages, including the Help Desk information pages. Several colleges and business units are currently carrying out web site revisions. Many campus units are migrating to a new web publishing system which will make it easier to revise and maintain current content.
Remote and mobile access to network files
The Help Desk is revising documentation for remote access and mobile users, to clarify how to connect to campus files and other resources from phones, tablets, and computers while off campus. A secure, authenticated internet file service is being tested for possible campus adoption. This would provide simplified data sharing with collaborators on and off campus with the security necessary to protect sensitive student and research data. It would use the HawkID and password for authentication.
Support for instruction in departments and colleges
The Support Community for Instructional Technologies (SCIT) is improving communication between ITS and local support people who assist faculty with enterprise instructional services. ITS is conducting reviews of the ICON service and the technology in general assignment classrooms. ITS also plans needs-assessments for future learning spaces and support for on-line and distance education, and is exploring software tools for digital arts and humanities.
Support for research and scholarship
Plans include assessment of network performance for key research locations; a data storage pilot for research data; an investigation of large scale, low cost and archival storage services; and cultivation of communities of practice which support the IT needs of research, scholarly work, creative arts and the staff who support them.
ITS Help Desk
The Help Desk team plans to establish service level agreements within the IT community to improve response times to requests for support; elevate agent skills and capabilities through knowledge transfer from service owners, improved access to information and increased administrative rights. Improve communication and workflow with customers and the IT community across campus through the implementation of a new incident management system.
Improvement in workstation support, particularly for Macintoshes.
The workstation support team in ITS and the business units plans to enhance methods for managing and deploying software to Windows workstations in the Iowa domain, and in collaboration with the campus IT community, develop a similar enterprise service for Macintoshes. They are also extending Active Directory (HawkID) authentication to Linux and UNIX workstations.