It is hard to believe it is almost 2010. As the School has expanded over the past several years, so has the IT department. As we continue to develop our services, I thought now would be a good time to re-introduce the IT department to you. In the past 10 years, the IT department has been through a lot of changes. I believe we’ve gone from 1 full-time IT staff in 2000, to 3 in 2003, to 0 in 2006, to now, as of today, 7 in 2009. Originally, there was 1 person at the Center for Social and Community Development who supported both Livingston and College Ave. Eventually I was brought on board in 2002 as the 2 nd full-time IT staff, and Rube Rahman was hired on a grant. By 2005, Rube had left, CSCD had separated from the School, and Dwight was providing support for SSW while I remained at CCF.
IT Department does more than just solve problems. Help Desk is just one aspect of our jobs. There are several different ways to break it down, so here is just one of the simpler ways we can illustrate what we do. In the 10 minutes I have for my presentation, I want to help everyone visualize the scope of what we do, and then talk to you about some exciting new services we are working on.
It was only a few years ago that there was less than 1 person in our IT department. Dwight Lige, as some of you will remember, had just left for a new position at Hurtado Health Center. We had contracted part-time support from MSSG. After a string of consultants at IFF, Doug Richardson came on board to the NJCSI project. John Hindle was hired to replace Dwight Lige. I was hired on the NJCSI project in 2007. Jordan was hired to IFF in 2007. Cary was hired in 2008. Wade Cardinal was hired in 2008. Steve Millett was hired in 2009, several months ago. Aditya M. was just hired last week.
Including College Avenue, Livingston, Newark, Camden, the NJCSI project, and our new off-site locations, SSW is now present in 10 buildings around the state. Blue represents our on-campus locations, and orange represents our off-campus locations.
And this is what the School looks like to us. These organizational units represent the primary users that we support. There are a few smaller grants that are not listed, so I apologize if I left you out.
So hopefully that gives you an idea of some of the challenges we face as an IT department, and demonstrates a clear need for some of the changes we will be implementing. That brings us to the present There are 4 things I want to highlight. Many of these have already been mentioned via email, but I know long emails from the IT department are boring, so I’m not sure if you all get a chance to read them.
Help Desk is something new to our department. We’ve been working on establishing one for about the past year. To help us standardize our operation, we purchased the SysAid help desk system. It will help us respond to and resolve your problems. It allows us to identify common problems and patterns, so we can address those. It provides us with reporting so that over time we can gather statistics and be better able to predict and plan for the future. This was launched at IFF almost 1 year ago, and will be launched on College Ave soon. More details will be emailed in the coming weeks.
I don’t have exact numbers, but I feel like we have doubled in size in the past 3-4 years. Simply adding more bodies is not enough. Addressing the complex relationships and varied needs of units and sub-units requires a standardized approach. SysAid will help us achieve that.
VPN is software you install on your computer. It allows you to connect to the work network wherever you are – home, hotel, Starbucks, Panera… Many of you use this now to access network drives from home like the U and X drives. There is a website which contains instructions. All you need from the IT department is the access file. There is another use for it.
This is software that is included with all versions of Microsoft Windows, including XP and Vista. It lets you connect to another computer while you are working on your current computer. So by combining VPN and Remote Desktop, you can use your work computer from remote locations.
The last thing I want to introduce today is virtual machines. You may recall emails from several months ago talking about this. Basically, just like the graphic on the right shows, a virtual machine is the equivalent of a physical computer, but you have it running on a server that holds 5, 10, or even more of these virtual machines. So you have one computer split into multiple “virtual computers”. This allows us to save money and resources since we don’t have to buy new computers every time there is a need. We are just learning how to use this technology appropriately, so the rollout has been slow. We are now ready to start using it for specialized, costly research applications like certain SPSS plug-ins, qualitative research software, etc. In other words, we are centralizing and sharing. This makes obvious sense in our current financial environment. More details coming.
Unit Computing Manager Unit Computing Manager Unit Computing Specialist IT Department Unit Computing Specialist Unit Computing Specialist Application Developer Application Developer Who We Are SSW IFF NJCSI NJCWTP/TFY SSW IFF NJCSI
Who We Support SSW 536 George St. Riverstede 542 George St. Downtown 390 George St. Newark Camden Continuing Education Parsippany Princeton Parsippany Cherry Hill Institute for Families College Ave Annex 502 George St. Livingston NJCSI State
Who We Support Dean’s Office Faculty Student Services Field Education PCWIW Business Office Information Technology Institute For Families Continuing Education NJCSI NJCWTP FDC CISW VAWC NPMG Gambling TFY School of Social Work Centers Internal PCC
What This Means <ul><li>From home </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Connect to VPN </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Map network drives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remote Desktop to your work computer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From work + home </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remote Desktop to virtual machine </li></ul></ul>