IT Ecosystem

Technology, which permeates every aspect of learning, scholarship and community engagement, is undergoing staggering change as well. The rapidly evolving IT ecosystem beyond the campus – from massively scaled computers to mobile devices, as well as online experiences like Amazon and Google services – has changed the ease of use and functionality people expect from technology.

Here are four major expectations that must shape how we provide IT services. We expect our community to be able to...

  1. Choose their devices and software. There is no single model of a learner, no single way in which research is done, no single way in which instruction is delivered. With technology scaling from smartphones to massive supercomputers, people should choose technology that best meets their goals and work styles.
  2. Create content and data at ever-increasing rates. As creators, authors and publishers, as well as conductors of vast arrays of instrumentation, OSU's students, faculty and staff are amassing a rich, complex array of media and information, and then sharing, discussing, remixing and reusing that data. IT must enable "big data" across the spectrum from deep science to the performing arts.
  3. Work across multiple communities. As we tackle complex analyses about the success of our students, grapple with scientific questions, and creatively collaborate, people will mix and match use of OSU resources with those hosted by other universities, agencies, and "cloud" providers.
  4. Work anywhere and at anytime. We imagine a technology ecosystem in which a researcher creates her data and publishes, engages collaborators, and discovers new ideas while learning or researching in a forest, field or oceangoing vessel, using technology that fits in a pocket or backpack, as easily as she might use sophisticated systems from her lab or classroom.

To enable these new ways of working, we must change OSU's information technology practice. Rather than directly managing the end-user experience as we have done for the past 30 years, the University's responsibility is to provide the enabling technology framework that makes it possible for the learner, scholar and administrator to have the technology experience that best meets their needs.