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IT Investment Prioritization Process
Cathy Curley explains the IT Capital Investment process at U-M (August 2011):
The annual IT Capital Investment and Shared Service Approval process is a means to help ensure that the most important requests receive funding and are aligned to the university’s strategic direction. This approach allows the IT Governance committees to review and compare information technology requests collectively instead of on a case-by-case basis.
This IT planning process is for schools, colleges, administrative units, centers and institutes on the Ann Arbor campus.
A unit should use the IT Capital Investment and Shared Services Approval process when they are planning:
- Any information technology investment greater than $1 million—total dollar amount includes all university costs
- New or enhanced IT Shared Service ideas. (An IT Shared Service is defined as providing an IT service to more than one campus or administrative unit.)
The steps that make up the annual IT Capital Investment and Shared Service Approval process include:
Step 1: New requests are collected by the Office of the CIO in September.
Step 2: The Office of the CIO facilitates review and prioritization of requests across the Strategic IT Governance Committees (e.g., Unit IT Steering, Teaching & Learning Domain, IT Council). This ends in December or January with review by the Executive Committee.
Step 3: The Office of the CIO will communicate which requests should move to the next stages. Work to develop detailed business cases, addressing specific solutions and return on investments, starts after the IT Executive Committee reviews the prioritization and funding recommendation from the CIO. Business cases need to be completed by the end of January to be evaluated for the fiscal year budgeting activities.
Step 4: Some requests may impact the Health System (UMHS) or other auxiliary units, which results in a need to identify multiple funding sources and potentially different allocations for cost sharing depending on the investment. This work is lead by ITS Finance staff in conjunction with finance staff across ITS, UMHS and University Finance. Decisions on fund sources are made by the CFO and Provost.
Step 5: The Provost’s Office, as the University’s budget office, makes the funding decision as part of the annual budget review. Decisions are made and communicated by the Provost’s Office in late June/early July upon overall university budget approval by the Regents. Investments with CFO Construction as its funding source will also go to the CFO for approval.
Step 6: The Treasurer's Office is responsible for capturing and completing appropriate transactions to authorize funding. A funding authorization memo is created and provided to the unit leader receiving the funding.
This annual approach has many benefits. It will:
- Ensure U-M's limited resources are used to support the most important IT needs and the best ideas
- Provide a way to view funding needs over multiple years
- Align IT expenditures with the U-M strategic direction so that we remain competitive. For assistance with strategic direction, email IT.Strategic.Planning@umich.edu
- Determine if the enterprise systems and the shared infrastructure can properly support a unit's solution
- Integrate and/or align the unit plans in the campus technology roadmap created through the Enterprise Architecture process
- Provide a sustainable way to prevent the university dollars paying for the same service(s) twice (or more)
For more information on or for assistance with the IT Capital Investment and Shared Service Approval Process, please contact UM-IT-Planning-Request@umich.edu.
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