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Technology Services: From the CIO

September, 2017 CIO Update »

With the school year in full swing and Fall officially arriving, I thought I would highlight several new initiatives that help to ensure that all of the services we offer can be easily accessed and utilized and that our user community can access and handle VCU data easily but also safely.

The Learning Systems Academy

Learning Systems AcademyThe Learning Systems Academy was created to support VCU faculty with technology for teaching and learning. It contains a library of videos on topics ranging from beginner Blackboard to using VoiceThread. The short clip format makes it easy for faculty to get quick help on things like “how to create a test in Blackboard” or “how to start a Collaborate Ultra session.” They can search for a specific topic or simply click on a clip they are interested in learning more about; each video is 5 minutes or less. The Academy differs from other TS offerings, because the videos are created by subject-matter experts on the Learning Systems team, and are recorded and delivered using VCU-supported tools. These tools are available for faculty to use, making it easier for them to relate it to their own courses or content.

Technology Services’ IT Service Catalog is now LIVE!

IT Catalog Screenshot

Technology Services launched the IT Service Catalog, which is housed under the IT Catalog link on the Technology Services webpage. The Catalog is a comprehensive listing/inventory of the external and internally managed IT services available to the VCU community (only those services which are currently available and in production are listed). The IT Service Catalog derives from ITIL, which is a framework of best practices for IT Service Management. You can use the latest versions of most modern day web browsers or your mobile device to access the catalog. Please visit https://www.ts.vcu.edu/ and click on the IT Catalog to view and utilize the Service Catalog.

The IT Catalog is maintained by the IT Service Management Office (ITSMO) and Hope Adams, the ITSMO Program Coordinator. The Service Catalog Manager can be reached at itsmo@vcu.edu.

 

Coming October 4, 2017 – Google Drive Gets Easier with Drive File Stream

Google’s Drive File Stream is a new desktop application that allows you to quickly access all of your Google Drive files on demand, directly from your computer, meaning you use almost none of your hard drive space and spend less time waiting for files to sync. It will look and function similar to a mapped network drive on your Mac/PC.

Google Drive File Stream ScreenshotDrive File Stream features:

Quickly see all your Google Drive files in Finder/Explorer. Browse and organize Google Drive files without downloading all of them to your computer.

Choose which files or folders you’d like to make available offline. Open files in common apps like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.

Please visit https://goo.gl/7SypcN for more details

VCU is going HTTPS

You should prepare to see more GREEN security lock icons in your address bar when visiting VCU web properties.

HTTPS Green Lock

Beginning this month, all HTTP web traffic will be redirected to use the secure HTTPS protocol. By making this improvement, Web Services is ensuring that the communication between a visitor’s web browser and a VCU website is encrypted and secure.

Automatic redirection will be turned on for the primary Web Services’ managed servers on September 26th, 2017.

IT Policies and Standards Project

The VCU Information Security Office has been working with the VCU Technical Advisory Committee, VCU Integrity and Compliance Office, and various subject matter experts on a project to review, revise, and create IT policies, standards, and baselines.

The project intent has been to inform and educate the university community regarding the current local, state and federal requirements and best practices for the safe and proper use, handling, storage and transmission of data and information. The results of these efforts are now contained in the VCU Policy Library (https://policy.vcu.edu/) and in the newly created IT Policy Framework.

In addition to the IT Policy Framework, the Information Security Office has developed an interactive application (Data Management System) designed to provide information on university approved resources for the handling, storage, and transmission of university data and information. The DMS can be accessed at go.vcu.edu/dms.

Thanks to the Technology Services teams and all others involved in advancing all of these great initiatives!

Alex

August, 2017 CIO Update »

Welcome to the new academic year!  After all of our summer preparation, classes have begun and VCU is once again bustling with new and returning students "making it real."  This month I'd like to highlight a couple of improvements we've made as well as provide a reminder: TS Training Rooms Refresh This summer, the Labs and Classrooms Computing . . .

July, 2017 CIO Update »

The new academic year is fast approaching, and there are multiple efforts underway to prepare.  Our migration to multi-factor authentication continues to progress; we now have more than 15,000 registered users of DUO.  We continue to maintain and upgrade fiber and network infrastructure; we are progressing well in the upgrade to Banner 9; we have succ . . .

June, 2017 CIO Update »

Earlier this month the Technology Services team, along with our Administration colleagues in Human Resources, Facilities Management, Police, Parking & Transportation, and Safety & Risk Management gathered to celebrate our accomplishments and to recognize those who this year exemplified great service.  I would like to thank Technology Services . . .

May, 2017 CIO Update »

As we successfully close another academic year and begin to close another fiscal year, the Technology Services team is now beginning to perform various maintenance and upgrade tasks to multiple systems and infrastructures as well as plan for the fall.  Over the summer months I will highlight some of those efforts.  For this month's entry, I will co . . .

April, 2017 CIO Update »

For the past week or so, I think I've been living in Seattle. However, the sun has made an appearance today and I believe that all of the April showers will in fact lead to May flowers.  For this month's update, I would like to highlight two significant changes being driven by Microsoft and Google. Windows 10 & Classrooms This summer the Labs . . .

March, 2017 CIO Update »

It is definitely March, and I have a busted bracket and the start of some spring allergies to prove it.  Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend another excellent annual ACCS (Association of Collegiate Computing Services of Virginia) conference in Portsmouth.  It was great to see so many VCU staff benefiting from the professional develop . . .

February, 2017 CIO Update »

Compromise of data and IT systems through the use of stolen credentials continues to be one of the top cyber threats faced by our University. A compromise may not only place University information at risk, but can also jeopardize your personal information that is protected by these credentials.  In order to reduce the risk associated with stolen creden . . .

January, 2017 CIO Update »

As the New Year comes into full swing, Educause (the primary professional organization for Higher Education IT) has released its Top 10 Issues list for the coming year.  This year's list and associated materials are particularly helpful in contextualizing our priorities and initiatives in Technology Services with trends across higher education, and the . . .

December, 2016 CIO Update »

As we wind down the year 2016, please accept my best wishes for a safe and joyful holiday season and a wonderful 2017!  For this month's update, I thought I would share information about a project being completed over the break as well as mention a change we'll see in January. Border Router Replacement/Upgrade The border routers that connect VCU . . .

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