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Minutes, ITANA Conference Call, August 21, 2008


Jim Phelps, University of Wisconsin (chair)
Marina Arseniev, University of California -Irvine
George Brett, Internet2
Leo De Sousa, British Columbia Institute of Technology
Hebert Dies-Flores, University of California-Berkeley
Michael Enstrom, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Mike Fary, University of Chicago
Renee Frost, Internet2
Colin Jones, British Columbia Institute of Technology
Piet Niederhausen, Georgetown University
Steve Olshansky, Internet2
Dean Woodbeck, Internet2 (scribe)

*Action Items*

(AI) Mike Fary will provide information to the email list concerning the DASIG constituent group meeting at EDUCAUSE, as well as a poster presentation on data management (by Barbara Hope of the University of Maryland).

(AI) Leo De Sousa will send details of a daylong pre-EDUCAUSE conference session on enterprise architecture (to be held Tuesday, October 28).

(AI) Leo De Sousa will develop a presentation for a future call explaining a governance model related to centralized/decentralized IT services.

1. Roll Call
2. Agenda Bash
3. Accept minutes of last call
4. EDUCAUSE Meeting - Jim
5. Data Management Follow-on - Mike and Klara
6. Centralization vs. Decentralization: No longer relevant?
      1. Decentralization = innovation, Centralization = effeciency
      2. Interoperability, integration
      3. ECAR Bulletin - Centralization/Decentralization
7. Next steps, next call

Future Agendas:

  •   Social Software - LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, et al

Items on the shelf:
1. Architecture Tool discussion (All)
     1. UC-Irvine's work with Protege (
     2. Chicago's I.T. Ecosystem Tool (Tom B)
2. Paul's piece on Standards for Arch Documents - standards for architectural documentation (Paul H)
3. UC-Berkeley Roadmap document (Hebert)

*EDUCAUSE Meeting*

The ITANA session at the EDUCAUSE conference in Orlando will take place Thursday, October 30, 4:55 - 6:10 p.m. The room will hold a maximum of 60. The agenda will include outreach and introducing people to ITANA, and reporting out on the data management survey. It would be helpful to have two or three short case studies completed for this session (Jim plans to have one written from UW-Madison). Jim asked for volunteers to help determine the rest of the agenda. Abstract and details here:

Leo De Sousa mentioned that he is part of an all-day session at EDUCAUSE on enterprise architecture Tuesday, October 28. Details are here

For those going to EDUCAUSE, Jim Phelps will create a wiki page as a way to communicate and arrange for an informal get-together.

*Data Management Survey*

Mike Fary reported that the draft of the survey is complete. The survey uses a 1-10 scale for responses and includes examples of what a "1" response means and what a "10" response means. Mike reported that descriptions/examples of a "5" response have also been added. The survey will also ask respondents about the area most critical to their campuses, and provide a place for open-ended responses at the end.

The survey will be web-based and the DASIG (data administration) EDUCAUSE constituent group will be the first group invited to participate. Jim Phelps suggested several other potential groups of respondents, including ITANA, the CIO list, and lists for the CSG and CIC.

Results of the survey will be reported at both the DASIG constituent group meeting and the ITANA meeting at EDUCUASE.

*Governance and Data Management*

There was a short discussion about campus planning activities related to governance and data management. In general, there is a need to educate campus organizations about the concept of data management. Many times, concerns among campus constituents center on accessing specific information in the data warehouse, for example, as opposed to the larger access, management and security issues involved.

Part of the reason for the survey is to discover campuses that might have reached more mature levels of data management and governance.

Leo De Sousa reported that the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) has had some success in tackling data management concerns, but generally only when there is a specific problem to address. An example is having constituents reach some consensus on who owns an address - that it is not always the registrar. The working group discussed that the question of "owning the address" is interesting, because there is generally a lifecycle, with address ownership having the potential to move from admissions to the registrar, then potentially on to HR (if the student becomes an employee) and the alumni office.

Mike Fary mentioned that, in his experience with the EDUCAUSE data administration constituent group, there are institutions that are well along the maturity path, including the University of Maryland, UNLV and Indiana University. He mentioned that Barbara Hope from Maryland will present a poster session at EDUCAUSE on the changing role of data administration.

*Centralization vs. Decentralization*

The working group discussed whether the concept of centralization vs. decentralization is a helpful way to look at how IT is distributed across the campus. Whether central IT or a department sets up a new application or service, for example, it typically must be integrated with the identity management system, requires some type of hosting and may need a presence, for example, in a portal. So, there are fewer and fewer applications that are truly and completely decentralized.

A lifecycle may be a more useful way to look at the progression of a technology. Something new may start as a centralized service, then become integrated in other parts of campus or in a departmental infrastructure, then finally matures to something that can be outsourced.

Leo De Sousa reported that looking at applications and services from a governance perspective may be more helpful. What can an IT department offer and what can't it offer? What are the areas in which campus IT can provide adequate service and support? He uses a model that takes into account the source of funding, the level of service/support available, and the responsibility for risk management. (AI) Leo offered to make a presentation explaining this model on a future call. Leo will also provide a link to the BCIT core services catalog, which outlines the enterprise services provided by central IT.

*ITANA Face-to-Face*

The next ITANA F2F is tentatively planned for Boulder, Colorado, January 6, 2009, in conjunction with the CSG meeting (which starts on January 7). The working group needs to determine if there is enough interest to hold this meeting and discuss potential agenda items.

*Next Call, Thursday, September 18, 2008, 2:00 p.m. EDT*