Chief Information Officer
Simon Fraser University
Last fiscal year was tremendously successful for information systems at SFU. Hugely influential and well-received initiatives such as SFU Mail and SFU Print improved processes for every stakeholder at the university. The CANHEIT-TECC conference was a wonderful community engagement event and the largest higher education IT event ever held in Canada. Strategic changes include implementing large external cloud solutions such as the highly popular Salesforce CRM and Taleo recruitment system. Several research computing improvements have been introduced including a new compute cluster for researchers without access to Compute Canada. We have also firmly established SFU Cloud introducing new firewall and security services as well as greater flexibility and agility to our infrastructure environment. New workflows such as the Finance expense, procurement, and payables system have improved administrative process. Our fast track turnaround within 48 hours of desktops and laptops has increased performance of a core service to the community.
We have also improved recovery capability of Mac computers via the new Mac backup system. Sustainability successes include the BC Hydro award for over $.5M. Pedagogy has been improved through many upgrades to audio-visual and technology equipment in learning spaces across all three campuses and the introduction of CrowdMark for over 19,000 course seats as a marking tool. We have created a performance development process for all IT Services staff and have introduced measures to strengthen our relationship with local IT throughout SFU. We continue to improve our client relationships and have introduced a Student Advisory Committee. The digital screens project wrapped up this year modernizing our visual displays and improving emergency communications. The eTRACS project delivered its first module to a community of users from all faculties. This year has been one that we can be extraordinarily proud of.
Next year I look forward to several key new initiatives. The implementation of Multi-Factor Authentication will dramatically improve our security posture. Student experience will improve as we begin WiFi upgrades across all our campuses. The completion and full testing of our disaster recovery process will lead to significantly reduced risk for all of our major systems. Windows device management tools will be modernized. A new One I.S. Policy will increase our ability to implement new processes and policies to further mitigate risks. Key components to strategic systems will come online this year including the Data Warehouse, eTRACS, Salesforce, and Research Administration systems. We are looking forward to building more partnerships and plan to move the Library and Beedie server processing to the SFU Cloud. The next round of federal funding for ARC will lead to large Cedar growth and completion of our latest round of Water Tower Data Centre upgrades. Learning space design initiatives will continue to improve the classroom experience. Recognition of the need to manage our massive data assets is leading to the implementation of our newly approved Data Governance policy next year.
I am deeply proud of our progress towards the Vision of One I.S. last year and thrilled with the opportunities in front of us in this new fiscal year. Our Annual Plan for 2019-20 will be updated quarterly as the year progresses. The initiatives defined in the annual plan are aligned directly with our strategic plan and are designed to show progress towards our long term objectives.