Enabling The Effective Use Of Information To Support Administrative And Academic Initiatives

David P. Steinour, AVP & CIO , George Washington University
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2006
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David P. Steinour, AVP & CIO , George Washington University

David P. Steinour, AVP & CIO , George Washington University

Innovative Ways to Foster Growth within the Organization
Our top priority as the technology providers for the George Washington University (GW) is to help make accessing information and connecting with people inside and outside the university as easy as possible and assist with the effective use of technology in GW’s educational pursuits. As a result, the Division of IT works adapt to technological changes occurring outside the university and any issues that students, faculty and staff face when using new features and services. Making technology decisions is always challenging due to the fact that technology is ever-changing and the GW community is quick to adopt the latest technologies. It is important to find a balance between anytime, anyplace, any-device access and the security of our data, infrastructure and network. The Division of IT works to bridge these gaps while providing GW community members with the tools they need to be successful educators, researchers and future leaders.

Infrastructure Investment to Counter the Onslaught of both Digital Content and Mobile Devices
It is critical to have content management within the infrastructure to help organize and give structure to digital content. What is causing the onslaught is the ease in which content can be created, so it becomes critical to have tools in place to manage content from a variety of sources, including the content management system itself, cameras, mobile devices and computers.

All of this content needs to be stored somewhere in a digital manner. As part of the infrastructure, storage is critical, whether that is within part of the physical infrastructure or part of a cloud service. This ties in directly to the content management system, as the organization includes the information’s location. As the information begins to consume storage, the ability for the storage to scale becomes a consideration.

Having digital content in storage also means the ability to retrieve and deposit information quickly, which dictates the need for bandwidth on the network infrastructure to support the throughput demands. This can be wireless or wired, and the growing expectation is that the bandwidth is adequate without regard to the method of connectivity.

The infrastructure needs to support the ability to maintain service to the digital content as well as the ability to recover the content in the event of a disaster; this means storing more than a single instance of content and therefore expands the amount of storage needed and the bandwidth to support copying and organizing of data in a manner that allows for quick failover and recovery.

Service level agreements (SLAs) help to shape the expectations of stakeholders and are a critical component in the infrastructure, as they can help architect how much business continuity can be delivered and how much data must be recovered in a disaster. As the amount of data continues to grow, it becomes increasingly more expensive in dollars and resources to meet stakeholder demand, and shaping what that demand can and should be starts with SLAs.

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