Message from the VPIT-CIO

By | July 19, 2019
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A headshot of Ravi Pendse, U-M VPIT-CIO

Greetings, everyone!

In just a couple of weeks, I will be celebrating my first full year as your VPIT-CIO. It is a pleasure to be part of the vibrant Michigan IT community and I look forward to the year ahead.

Over the past year, I’ve met with many of you and have learned so much. Last week, I attended an ITS Unit Representatives meeting with nearly 50 IT and administrative leaders across U-M. We talked about the progress we are making toward ITS’s initial areas of focus, which include:

  • Improving the way we serve the U-M campus by providing proactive, laser-focused customer service
  • Appropriately protecting institutional and personal data in an open academic environment, while enabling innovation
  • Supporting an empowered community of data consumers with on-demand, role-based access to enterprise data
  • Supporting world-class research and teaching using frictionless interfaces to data and computation
  • Building a world-class, transformational network and systems that exceed university demands

The group asked many thoughtful questions and provided insights on what “proactive, laser-focus customer service” means to them and how we can collaborate to improve the support we provide to the U-M community. The group reinforced the importance of working together to communicate changes as we did with the Duo rollout, working with a sense of urgency to meet unit-driven deadlines, and coordinating across central offices to support academic needs.

Another topic of discussion was storage. IDC estimates, for example, that by 2020, the amount of data storage in the world is expected to consume 40 Zettabytes, and 90% of this information was generated in the last two years. For comparison, the world’s total storage in 2012 was about 2 ZB. At Michigan, our storage is following similar patterns. We are working on–and will need your partnership in creating–a cohesive storage strategy to meet our growing needs and help our community leverage the best options for their work. What opportunities do you see in your area to provide or tap into high-speed, secure, and sustainable storage at Michigan?

What kind of things would you like me to prioritize during my second year? I would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations for how we can work together to support the university’s core missions.

I also appreciated hearing the group’s recommendations for what else we can do to better support the Michigan IT community. Themes of our discussion included transparency of direction; continued focus on innovation (and supporting innovative work); operationalizing professional development; and encouraging teamwork and coordination across our many campuses, departments, and initiatives. What advice would you give to me? What kind of things would you like me to prioritize during my second year? I would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations for how we can work together to support the university’s core missions.

I am looking forward to more opportunities to learn from and participate in the community. I hope you will consider sharing your experiences at the next Michigan IT Symposium this November by submitting a poster or presentation. We have so much to learn from each other! Thank you for all that you do. I am grateful.

Best regards,

Ravi

Ravi Pendse PhD
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
University of Michigan
rpendse@umich.edu