IT Strategic Plan Process

The overarching IT Strategic Planning process, which launched in Fall 2011, utilizes a methodology that will achieve several objectives:

  • Position the University as a "leader and best" in the use and application of existing and emerging technologies — particularly in the area of research, teaching and learning, engagement, and operations.

  • Ensure the University has a shared vision for future technologies and services available on campus.

  • Establish an enterprise architecture — or process for translating the shared vision into venture change — that is endorsed by IT Governance and utilized in the University's planning and decision-making process.

  • Establish a guide for IT investments that propel innovation at the University and that advance the institution's mission.

  • Position technology innovation and improvement as a development opportunity.

  • Provide the President, Regents, and Executive Officers with a roadmap for pursuing major IT investments.

Input through Crowdsourcing

Representing the input of a large number of contributors from across the institution, the IT Strategic Plan is a document that will evolve to meet the needs of the university and campus community. The IT Executive Committee and the IT Council have endorsed the plan. Campus community members are encouraged to submit their thoughts and ideas on the IT Strategic Plan’s crowdsourced website. Feedback received will be incorporated regularly into subsequent iterations of the plan.

Guiding Principles

Initial contributor input resulted in the creation of 16 guiding principles for campus technology services. The list is aspirational, as most services are unlikely to conform to every principle.

Principles that drive the direction of technology at U-M

  • Innovation in technology should support the university mission.
  • Pursue a "cloud first" approach to sourcing.
  • Pursue a "culture of plenty" with commodity services whenever practical.
  • Use the U-M IT governance structure to determine enterprise, commodity services.
  • Construct systems as "building blocks."
  • Seek agility. Choose solutions that can be readily implemented and extended.

Principles pertaining to the scope of individual services

  • Do not just provide tools; help users understand and adopt them.
  • Enable information access with appropriate data protection (free the data, responsibly).
  • Design from a user-centered workflow perspective.
  • Manage the full life cycle of a service.

Principles pertaining to how services are built

  • Use service pricing and billing to incent user behavior whenever possible.
  • Use open standards whenever possible.
  • Establish effective service level standards.
  • Address compliance and policy requirements and support personal privacy.
  • Provide universal access for persons with disabilities.
  • Choose environmentally responsible solutions when possible (green computing).

For more information about the IT Strategic Plan, email

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