Michigan’s data revolution: Message from the VPIT-CIO

By | November 2, 2017

“As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.”

— Benjamin Disraeli

Or to put it in Michigan terms: “Our most successful student, most accomplished researcher, most engaged citizen, is the one who has the best information.”

Information comes from data, and the data revolution on campus is real. We all feel it as we support our incredibly creative and industrious faculty and students across the University of Michigan. At last week’s Campus of the Future Bicentennial event, our students imagined the next century for Michigan with ingenuity and teamwork. They envisioned campuses built on more and better connections, more data, and many more interactions between smarter machines and ourselves. It was an inspiring event, with a GoBlue spirit as bright as the Hail Storm light show on Friday night.

In reality, the next century’s data revolution is already here. For most of us, wearables such as Fitbits are gadgets to get us moving more. But now, they are also being used to generate algorithms that could potentially predict serious heart arrhythmias, or track patient outcomes after surgeries. As part of U-M’s Academic Innovation initiative, our faculty and students are using data to personalize learning support through applications such as eCoach. Our own Michigan IT Symposium will showcase many more examples and provide opportunities to hear more about how you can contribute to Michigan’s data revolution and third century as Leaders and Best.

A good deal of Michigan’s third century will be fueled by this data revolution, and across Michigan IT we need to be ready to support it. Our systems have to be more resilient and able to handle larger datasets and workloads. It is something we are working on, but we need to accelerate the pace. Our reliance on information systems requires us to think differently about disaster recovery and resiliency requirements. Across the world, organizations are leveraging cloud platforms to address these needs. Cloud systems provide us with the opportunity to create standards, build common architectural frameworks, and design services and supports that simplify Michigan’s IT infrastructure.

Ultimately, the cloud is not a place, but a way of doing things: A different mindset about how we do computing, respond to challenges, and support this data revolution. 

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or ideas, please reach out. I’d love to hear from you.

Go Blue!


Kelli Trosvig
Vice President for Information Technology and CIO
University of Michigan

Send questions or comments to Kelli through the Office of the CIO website or via email at trosvig.cio@umich.edu.