Completed project: Web hosting services vision

Primary UITS contact: Michael Halla

Completed: June, 30 2007

Description: Creation of a strategic vision statement for enhancement, standardization, and clarification of UITS central web hosting service offerings. This initiative is running in parallel with the initiative to implement a web content management system (CMS) pilot.

Outcome: A task force was assembled and charged with formulating a vision and outlining a strategy for website and content management and related services for Indiana University. These services include operating servers that host websites and web-enabled applications; maintaining content; and providing user training, support, and consulting. This vision and strategy produced by the efforts of the task force will guide University Information Technology Services (UITS) in determining the breadth and scope of the website and content management services it must provide to meet the needs and expectations of the IU community.

The task force proposed 11 recommendations, with accompanying action items where appropriate:

  • Recommendation 1: Improve website services by choosing a web CMS that is a good match for IU, create a database environment for dynamic content, review legacy tool support in context with a web CMS, and provide better sharing of Integrated Image compliant templates, images, and other files.
  • Recommendation 2: Collaborate with the appropriate area in the Office of the Vice President for University Relations to provide templates and examples within the future web CMS. If the future web CMS does not by itself fully address accessibility needs, best practices need to be developed and awareness of those practices increased.
  • Recommendation 3: Provide a baseline service to assist all units to create a basic level of web presence.
  • Recommendation 4: Implement the website services support model described within this report on page 18.
  • Recommendation 5: Maintain the efforts to make the IU web search tool become better at meeting search expectations and ensure the future web CMS works well with the search tool.
  • Recommendation 6: Formalize the charge of the IU Web Standards Committee to define "layers" of web content and responsibility assignments in connection with implementation of a web CMS.
  • Recommendation 7: Develop a technically feasible standard for IU URLs based on the use of virtual hostnames.
  • Recommendation 8: Provide access to the unique technologies provided in the Consolidated Hosting Environment either in its current partial cost-recovery basis or as a potential baseline service.
  • Recommendation 9: Merge current UITS database services for departments to create a comprehensive service available to departmental applications running on a variety of servers and desktop tools, thus eliminating dedicated use of database services by general purpose central website services.
  • Recommendation 10: Implement a rational funding model for web and website services, consistent with other baseline web and website services, to support teaching and learning of website design, web application programming and database concepts.
  • Recommendation 11: Maintain and enhance the Mypage service that allows students, faculty, and staff to create their individual web presences.

Milestones and status: Completed June 30, 2007

Four working groups were formed, led by UITS Associate Vice Presidents and Associate Deans:

  • Functionality: Function and feature requirements; Barry Walsh/Stacy Morrone
  • Infrastructure: Technology requirements; Dennis Cromwell
  • Policy/Information Handling: Issues to settle, access to shared data; Mark Bruhn
  • Support: Type and levels needed; Sue Workman/Craig Stewart

The task force drafted a set of defined requirements for what a web CMS needs to do for the university. These requirements are meant to provide guidance to a technical team formed to work on a web CMS pilot. The requirements are also meant to drive communication and implementation tasks for future web CMS efforts. The task force met twice in May, concluded its work around the end of the month, and produced its recommendations and final report in early June.

Comment process: Send email to Michael Halla.

Benefits:

  • A future roadmap for offering central web hosting services
  • Recommendations and specific action items to improve service including:
    • Less complicated access to services
    • Improved self-service
    • GUI interfaces for customers who prefer not to use command line tools
    • Improved support for streaming and stored multimedia, including podcasts
    • Up-to-date Knowledge Base and support information that incorporates self-service and podcasting, utilizing current and successful cross-divisional support models
  • Consistent usage and storage fees, and storage quotas consistent across all central web hosting environments
  • A recommendation for comprehensive, standard processes for accessing sanitized log data (i.e., personally identifiable data invisible)
  • Identification of new services that could be introduced as a component of a comprehensive web services offering

Project leadership:

  • Sponsor: Bradley C. Wheeler, PhD, CIO and Dean of IT
  • Executive leader: Laurie G. Antolovic', Deputy CIO
  • Project manager and chair: Michael Halla, Manager, UITS Data Management Services Group
  • Task force members:
    • Robert Appelman, School of Education (faculty)
    • Thomas Atkinson, IUB Campus Web Manager
    • Troy Brown [Stephen Hodges, delegate], IUPUI Communications and Marketing
    • Alan Burdette, Ethnomusicology
    • Ray Burke, Kelley School of Business (faculty)
    • Phyllis Davidson, IU Libraries
    • Michael Halla, UITS
    • Kathy Horvath, IU Northwest Web Services
    • Matt Hottell, Informatics (faculty)
    • Jason Baird Jackson, COAS, Folklore and Ethnomusicology (faculty)
    • Bruce Jacobs, IUB Student Affairs/Auxiliaries
    • Jack Rhodes, IUB Enrollment Services
    • Rebecca Salerno, IU Office of Creative Services
    • Cynthia Schultz, IU Alumni Association
    • Todd Schmitz, University Reporting and Research
    • Damon Sims, IUB Student Affairs/Auxiliaries
    • Michael Vaughn, IUPUI School of Nursing
  • Ex-officio participants from OVPIT:
    • Laurie Antolovic'
    • Mark Bruhn
    • Dennis Cromwell
    • Garland Elmore
    • Dave Jent
    • Stacy Morrone
    • Craig Stewart
    • Barry Walsh
    • Sue Workman

This is document auzw in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2015-09-30 00:00:00.

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