An IT Update from Our CIO — 2016 Fall Blackout

A Message from John Slot, Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

First, I’d like to express my appreciation to you, Valencia family, for the warm, kind and informative reception to our College.

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) team has spent June and July preparing our IT utility for a higher level of stability. I am very proud of our team for the hard work that has gone in to preparing and identifying areas where we can make a difference in the IT experience for our students, faculty and staff. We still have a long road ahead of us to continue to stabilize and improve our IT utility, but the journey has begun and our team is excited to take on the challenge.

What is IT utility, you may ask? Great question. Let me explain. The utility includes the following components:

  1. The network (the technology that connects our campuses to each other and to the outside world)
  2. Phone system
  3. Wireless environment
  4. Classroom/conference room technology
  5. Web and mobile experiences
  6. Support for BYOD (bring your own device)
  7. Enterprise applications, i.e. Atlas, Blackboard
  8. Information system security and privacy

As you can see, this will be quite an undertaking. We have begun to address priority items one and two of the IT utility components to stabilize the experience for all. As we move through this journey, we will look to not only stabilize, but to enhance the experience.

Over the coming year, the OIT team will also develop an enterprise-wide strategy and plan for our information technology environment. This will be a collaborative process focused on giving voice to all the constituents of the College and building a thoughtful strategy and plan to achieve our shared goals.

As we continue to prepare for the fall semester, our OIT team would like to provide the most stable information technology environment possible. One of the most common ways to improve the IT utilities’ stability is to suspend any changes or updates for a specific time window called a “Blackout Period.” OIT will not make any changes or updates to any IT technology during this period, except if we experience an unplanned outage.

We have reached out to key constituents on our campuses and different functional areas at the College to validate this idea. Our colleagues throughout the College agree that this is a good idea and are ready to move forward.

To this end, we will conduct a fall semester “Blackout Period” from Monday, August 15 to Monday, September 5, 2016.

I want to share a big thank you to our OIT team for taking a learning-centered approach to improving the experience for all students, faculty and staff. We look forward to continuing to improve the stability of our IT utility and wish you all a joyful end to summer.

Please feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me directly at wslot@valenciacollege.edu or extension 1988 if you have questions or concerns.

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