Texas Transportation Institute Information Resources Strategic Plan

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1 Texas Transportation Institute Information Resources Strategic Plan June 2012

2 Information Resources Strategic Plan Texas Transportation Institute The Texas A&M University System The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) is an agency of the State of Texas and a member of The Texas A&M University System. This document sets forth TTI s Information Resources Strategic Plan. It will guide information technology (IT) priorities and decisions, and establishes metrics that will be used to assess accomplishment of strategic objectives. This document provides guidance for the next five years and will be updated on a regular basis. Agency Mission Consistent with the land-grant mission of Texas A&M University and the TTI vision, TTI s mission is to: 1. Identify and solve transportation problems through research. 2. Transfer technology and knowledge. 3. Develop diverse human resources to meet the transportation challenges of tomorrow. 4. Have a meaningful research program in all key, topical areas. Vision Statement Network and Information Systems (NIS) will be recognized as a customer service organization focused on embracing new technologies and delivering a highly reliable and scalable infrastructure. This infrastructure will allow the agency to achieve its strategic imperatives by having access to the latest information, tools and training, while protecting the agency s resources in accordance with all applicable regulations. Core Focus To achieve internal goals and support the agency s strategic imperatives, NIS must: 1. Provide a highly responsive customer service model and continually improve the quality of service to the agency. 2. Begin to leverage and expand upon its ability to embrace new technologies. 3. Empower agency personnel to improve their work efforts through access to the latest information, tools and training. 4. Deliver a highly reliable and scalable infrastructure to support the ever-growing needs of the agency. 5. Improve communication and relationships between both internal and external customers. 6. Protect the agency s resources according to system, local, state and federal mandates. Strategic Plan The Information Resources Strategic Plan acknowledges that the group has limited resources, and those resources must be applied to the areas that will generate the greatest benefit during the time frame of the plan. It does not suggest that other imperatives are not important, but selects the imperatives that are most likely to have the greatest impact on the strategic direction of the Institute for the next three to five years. The imperatives will require a coordinated effort across the entire agency. 2 P a g e /7/2012

3 Imperative 1 Provide a highly responsive customer service model and continually improve the quality of service to the agency. (TTI Goal 1.3) Rationale: In April 2010, NIS along with the other TTI Internal Service units underwent a survey by the agency. NIS scored an overall score of 63.9 percent compared to 82.0 percent in This is unacceptable and must be improved. Goal 1.1. Maintain a superior customer satisfaction level. Rationale: NIS must improve its customer satisfaction level and find a way to track it better. This will allow us to keep our customers happier along with fixing issues before another internal survey. Performance measure: Maintain a customer satisfaction level of at least 90 percent each month. Strategy Develop a more streamlined process for the work flow of the helpdesk so that requests are not lost. Strategy Develop and implement new processes for improving the speed at which new computers can be delivered to customers. This will include but not be limited to imaging of computers and use of bulk orders for individuals ordering computers that are not part of the leasing account. NIS will keep on hand components that can be used to upgrade computers so that customers will not have to order custom computers. Strategy Work with the IT Governance Council to identify and prioritize additional services required to meet the agency s need for cutting-edge technology and to review existing services for efficiency and effectiveness. Strategy Review the capital investments and staffing levels within NIS to assure that agency needs are being met in a fiscally responsible manner. Goal 1.2. Continue to improve the quality of service to the agency. Rationale: NIS must assure that it is following the best practices of the IT industry and is taking advantage of training opportunities for existing and new technologies as they become available. Strategy NIS staff will take advantage of training opportunities throughout the year to improve the quality of service provided to the agency. Strategy NIS will adopt where applicable industry best practices as outlined within the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) v3. The adoption of this standard will allow NIS to establish a baseline from which it can plan, implement and measure IT service management. 3 P a g e /7/2012

4 Imperative 2 Begin to leverage and expand upon NIS s ability to embrace new technologies. Rationale: NIS must stay abreast of the latest technologies that are available and find ways of adapting them to how TTI does business. Goal 2.1. Evaluate and adopt, as appropriate, cloud computing solutions to drive cost-effective and efficient operations. (State Priority: Cloud) Rationale: Before adopting a technology like cloud computing, NIS needs to first evaluate it for the agency so that mission-critical services are not affected due to unforeseen circumstances. Strategy Assess the potential opportunities through a limited pilot of a non-missioncritical application, such as a customer relationship management application. Strategy Implement the infrastructure to support a virtual desktop environment. Goal 2.2. Update or discontinue the use of legacy applications. (State Priority: Legacy Applications) Rationale: NIS must assure that legacy applications are still viable and the processes that they automate do not require modification to make them more efficient. Strategy Prioritize the budget toward application modernization, leveraging opportunities for immediate efficiency gains, which lead to reduced risk and costs and create enhanced services for customers. Strategy Redevelop and improve the agency s information portal (MyStuff and TTI-IS) to use the latest web-based technologies. This effort should also include an evaluation of what new information researchers and staff within the agency need and what is no longer required. This will include a migration from the current agency relational database management system (RDBMS) of Oracle to Microsoft SQL Server. Goal 2.3. Continue to embrace the use of technologies to reduce the amount of time, bandwidth and storage needed for backups. (State Priority: Infrastructure, Data Management) Rationale: Technology has become such a key component of the work that TTI does that the agency can no longer afford downtime brought on by having systems go down for backups. Strategy: Strategy Use de-duplication technologies for backups and a disaster site. In this process, unique chunks of data, or byte patterns, are identified and stored during the process of analysis. As the analysis continues, other chunks are compared to the stored 4 P a g e /7/2012

5 copy, and whenever a match occurs, the redundant chunk is replaced with a small reference that points to the stored chunk. Goal 2.4. Develop and implement a document management system to reduce the amount of paper used by the agency. (State Priority: Data Management) Rationale: TTI as an agency spends a significant amount of money on paper for printing and should focus that money toward moving to a document management system that would allow for more efficient use of document routing and electronic records retention. Strategy Utilize the Texas A&M University System document management system of Laserfiche for applications that require document routing. Strategy Use the online purchase and travel voucher system within FAMIS. Imperative 3 Empower agency personnel to improve their work efforts through access to the latest information, tools and training. Rationale: For TTI to improve as an agency, we have to give agency employees all of the tools they need to do their jobs and allow them to find ways to improve their jobs. Goal 3.1. Improve communication between internal and external customers with the use of collaboration tools. (TTI Strategy 1.3.3) Rationale: To improve the speed, amount and quality of communication between employees and sponsors, the agency must invest in better collaboration tools. Performance measure: Implement collaboration, meeting and project management tools that are used by at least 75 percent of the researchers within the agency. Strategy Implement and support an online meeting/collaboration tool that can be used by agency personnel to connect to meetings from a desktop, laptop or tablet device that is easy to use and is well adopted throughout the agency, reducing travel expense and time. Strategy Continue to expand the use of current collaboration tools such as: o Microsoft SharePoint. o VoIP. o Instant messaging. o Digital signage. o Web/video conferencing. 5 P a g e /7/2012

6 Strategy Implement the use of project management tools such as Microsoft Project Central Server and/or Powersteering. Goal 3.2. Improve access to information for a more mobile workforce. (State Priority: Mobility) Rationale: TTI employees want to have access to information no matter where they are. As an agency, we should embrace this by providing them with information that they can have access to from smartphones, tablets and laptops on the go. Strategy Begin developing all new applications to take into account the use of smartphones and mobile tablets. Strategy Continue supporting and improving access to technologies to aide mobile employees, such as: o VPN client and clientless. o Remote desktop. o Smartphones. o Tablets/netbooks. Goal 3.3. Develop and implement training to be used by agency staff to more effectively perform their jobs. (TTI Strategy 2.1.2) Rationale: As NIS develops and deploys new technologies that can be used to improve the quality of employees work environments, we must train employees on how best to effectively use those technologies in the most secure and efficient ways. Performance measures: Develop at least four training videos a year on various topics. Hold at least four training sessions on various topics. Strategy Implement a set of training videos on various topics within NIS. Strategy Hold a set of training sessions on various topics throughout the year. Goal 3.4. Develop and implement web-based applications to be used by agency staff to more effectively perform their jobs. Rationale: NIS has a very large number of projects, and these projects need to be prioritized to gain the largest bang for our buck. Performance measure: Develop at least two major web-based applications per year per outsource vendor. 6 P a g e /7/2012

7 Strategy Evaluate where the largest need for application development resides and present it to the IT Governance Council for approval. Strategies In cooperation with TTI Communications, redesign and revamp the agency s intranet. Imperative 4 Deliver a highly reliable and scalable infrastructure to support the ever-growing needs of the agency. (State Priority: Network) Rationale: As the agency continues to increase its reliance on technology, the underlying network must have the capacity, security and availability to meet this growing need. Goal 4.1. Enhance network services throughout the organization by delivering the most efficient and cost-effective technology. Rationale: The agency must make good decisions when it comes to investments in technology. Performance measures: Monitor the 95th percentile of bandwidth usage to determine if additional network capacity is required. Monitor network path uptime (99.99 percent or about 1 hour/year of downtime) to determine if redundant connections are required. Strategy Continue the use of the TTVN/TexAN network to take advantage of costeffective pricing for highly reliable connections to the Internet. Strategy Monitor the usage of network bandwidth and availability to determine if higher-speed connections or redundant connections to the urban offices are required. Strategy Expand the amount of network storage available to the agency. Strategy Enhance the current Microsoft Exchange server environment by: o Migrating into the virtual server environment. o Implementing a Microsoft Exchange cluster. o Upgrading to Microsoft Exchange Goal 4.2. Expand the current backup and restoration capabilities to improve the speed at which the agency can recover from a disaster. Rationale: The quicker the agency can recover from a disaster, the quicker the agency can resume business. 7 P a g e /7/2012

8 Performance measure: Reduce the amount of time to recover all mission-critical systems to within 8 hours. Strategy: Strategy Continue to enhance the virtualization environment to include a live disaster site for mission-critical applications. Goal 4.3. Develop and implement archiving solutions for file and services. Rationale: Researchers within the agency need access to their research data no matter how old it might be; however, paying for fast access to that information is not feasible. By automating the migration of old data from expensive and fast access storage to slower and cheaper drives, the agency will maintain access to that information but will save in storage costs. Performance measure: Reduce the amount of storage on expensive hard drives by 50 percent while not reducing the availability of the data. Strategy: Strategy Implement an archiving solution that will reduce the amount of data that is required to reside on highly reliable, available and expensive hard drives. Goal 4.4. Increase the availability, accessibility and ease of use of network resources within TTI. Rationale: NIS has to be able to provide access to the latest technologies but at the same time make those resources easy to access. Strategy Implement federated log-in services to campus and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). This will allow employees of the A&M System and TxDOT to log in to the wireless system within TTI and will allow employees to log in to the TAMUlink system with their TTI account. An additional benefit is that TTI employees would be able to travel to other institutions that are members of the Eduroam program and have wireless access within those campuses. Strategy Deploy additional access points throughout the agency to increase the coverage of the wireless network. Strategy Use the services from strategy to deploy a single sign-on solution throughout the agency. 8 P a g e /7/2012

9 Imperative 5 Improve communication and relationships between both internal and external customers. Rationale: NIS has recently experienced a downturn in customer satisfaction. In an effort to turn that perception around, NIS must do a better job in communication and relationship building. Goal 5.1. Develop and maintain key relationships with individuals within the organization. (TTI Strategy 1.3.3) Rationale: By maintaining and building key relationships with individuals within the organization, in times of stress those relationships will serve NIS in helping to come to a resolution. Performance measures: Conduct at least 15 personal interviews with customers each year. Conduct at least four Research Development Seminars (RDS) each year. Hold at least two Q&A sessions with the director of NIS each year. Strategy Conduct a set of personal interviews with customers to assure that customer needs are being met. These interviews will be conducted throughout the year and can be triggered by poor survey results. Strategy Develop and conduct several training events each year in the form of RDS seminars, webinars and recording training. Strategy Hold at least two Q&A sessions each year to hear directly from the customers within the agency. Strategy Seek out opportunities for events to promote an open-door policy. Goal 5.2. Develop and maintain key relationships with individuals outside the organization. (TTI Strategy 3.2.2) Rationale: NIS must maintain relationships with other A&M System components and some of our key sponsors to facilitate information sharing and to find additional ways of working together to provide our internal customers with better services. Strategy Continue taking an active role in representing TTI in implementation of A&M System initiatives and service on A&M System committees and working groups, such as the Information Security Officer (ISO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) working groups. Strategy Continue taking an active role in representing TTI in implementation of state initiatives. 9 P a g e /7/2012

10 Goal 5.3. Assist the administration with providing a method for sponsors to provide feedback on their satisfaction with TTI s research and customer service. (TTI Strategy 3.1.2) Rationale: NIS and every other division within TTI must find ways of helping to build relationships with sponsors and other individuals outside of TTI. Strategy: Strategy Implement a sponsor survey system to be used by sponsors at the end of a project to provide feedback. Imperative 6 Protect the agency s resources according to system, local, state and federal mandates. (State Priority: Security and Privacy) Rationale: By law, NIS must protect the agency s information resources. Goal 6.1. Ensure that the vital information technology resources of the agency are stable, reliable and secure. Rationale: NIS must adapt to new laws, best practices and security threats so that the agency s technology assets are available to the users of those resources. Strategy Continue to identify information maintained by data owners that may be deemed sensitive and provide solutions for how the data should be protected. Strategy Implement centralized logging of information. Strategy Increase the use of firewalls throughout the agency s network. Strategy Implement an intrusion detection/prevention system (IDS/IPS). Strategy Develop a set of new policies and procedures based on security threats. 10 P a g e /7/2012

11 Prioritization Strategy Fiscal Year Priority Comments Improve helpdesk work flow 2012 High Improve computer delivery 2012 High Review by Governance Council Medium Additional tasks will have to be prioritized Review capital/staffing levels Low Conducted annually NIS staff training Medium Conducted annually Adopt ITIL v High Continuous improvement Implement a new helpdesk software 2012 High Testing of cloud computing on noncritical app Implement virtual desktops 2012 Low Dependent on funding Retire legacy applications Medium Continually retire legacy applications Retire Oracle Medium This will be an involved process Use de-duplication High Dependent on funding Adopt Laserfiche Medium Dependent on Business Office Adopt online vouchers Medium Dependent on Business Office Meeting collaboration 2012 High Existing collaboration tools Medium Expand on existing collaboration tools Implement project 2012 Medium management tools Develop for mobile platform Low Should be part of our standard development Access for mobile users Low Continuous improvement Training videos Medium Dependent on funding Training sessions Medium Annually conducted Application development High Continuous improvement Intranet redesign 2012 High Use TTVN/TexAN Low Continuous evaluation Monitor bandwidth Medium Annually evaluated Increase network space High Annually evaluated, dependent on funding Upgrade MS Exchange 2012 High The cluster may be implemented in FY Disaster site implementation 2013 High Dependent on funding File/ archiving 2013 High Federated log-in 2013 High Dependent on Computing and Information Systems (CIS) and TxDOT cooperation Additional wireless access 2012 Medium Dependent on funding Single Sign On 2014 High Personal interviews High Conducted annually Conduct RDSs Medium Conducted annually Conduct Q&As Medium Conducted annually Facilitate open-door policy Low Conducted annually Attend ISO/CIO council Low Conducted annually meeting Implement state initiatives Low Conducted annually Sponsor surveys 2012 Medium Identify sensitive information Medium Conducted annually Centralized logging 2013 High Dependent on funding Implement firewalls Medium Dependent on funding Implement IDS/IPS 2014 Medium Dependent on funding Implement policy Medium Conducted annually 11 P a g e /7/2012

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