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Report recommends moving A&M System's information technology systems to cloud - The Eagle: News

Report recommends moving A&M System's information technology systems to cloud

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Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2013 12:00 am

A report commissioned by the Texas A&M University System recommends overhauling how some of its information technology systems are administered. The report recommends relocating major systems offsite to "the cloud" -- a move that system officials say could save money, boost computer security and allow the system to lay off personnel.

The second and final report by Omaha-based Deloitte LLC was released this week. It began last November and assessed the IT departments for the system's 11 universities and nine state agencies. The first half of the report was made public in July.

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  • jer2 posted at 11:08 am on Thu, Oct 24, 2013.

    jer2 Posts: 314

    Another phony faculty member. How does migrating IT to a cloud based system affect your "advanced math class" that you allege to teach? LOL. Explain.

  • Slag posted at 9:45 pm on Tue, Oct 22, 2013.

    Slag Posts: 32

    If you feel I can be replaced, you are more than welcome to teach my advanced math classes.

    You hat is dumb.

  • Slag posted at 9:43 pm on Tue, Oct 22, 2013.

    Slag Posts: 32

    I understand that the ultimate manifestation of this nonsense will be a website where faculty can request computers paid for by grants. You will just enter in your name and requirements (high performance, need this or that software, operating system, etc.), push "I'm feeling lucky" and be offered your choice of Dell Optiplexes.

  • allknowing posted at 12:42 pm on Tue, Oct 22, 2013.

    allknowing Posts: 44

    Jer2, don't let the disgruntled faculty off the hook. Welcome back after the three week break. We need people like you to evaluate the efficiency of our college, trim the fat, too.

  • jer2 posted at 10:32 am on Tue, Oct 22, 2013.

    jer2 Posts: 314

    Perhaps the university was too fat in the amount of employees it has on the payroll already! Corporations do this all the time to remain efficient and state run universities should not be spared. Of course the usual crowd of moaners and complainers show up on the scene and accuse this plan of being part of cronyism, the usual retort and accusation when they don't agree with something. The ad hominum attacks are really getting old.

  • elf posted at 7:45 pm on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    elf Posts: 1568

    For all Aggie Students that want to know why John Sharp spent $900,000 (of your tuition money) on a 29 page report (with problems) he will hold an open meeting to answer your questions. "The forum will be held November 5, 2013 in
    Rudder Theatre from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Chancellor Sharp will review the cost
    savings after outsourcing Dining and Facilities Services. The University Staff
    Council encourages staff to participate and attend. You may submit questions for
    Chancellor Sharp to address in the forum via email to" Questions must be submitted before October 30 to the above email.

  • The Borg posted at 2:59 pm on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    The Borg Posts: 1

    Prepare to be assimilated.

  • carbonunit posted at 11:00 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    carbonunit Posts: 5

    not belligerent. you do it for your local machine. now do it for the internet infrastructure and for servers run by a low bidder. servers you have no access to and have zero control over.

  • elf posted at 10:55 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    elf Posts: 1568

    I wish I would be paid $800,000 for a 29 page report. This whole thing is pure cronyism of Perry's minions.

  • ITAG posted at 9:27 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    ITAG Posts: 1

    The report is what the Chancelor's office was needing to move forward to further outsource the University Staff. This gives them the ability to further move funds to their pet projects and lower their benefit costs. Greed now drives those at the top in the name of progress.The fact they are using Deloitte just further shows the contempt towards the University Staff. The shame is everyone is actually praising Sharp for this.

    IT definitely needs to be centralized and streamlined however the problem does not lie with the Staff, it is with the administration. It is all the red tape at getting anything done and wasted money on pursuing ideas and upgrades that will never be let to come to fruition. The true investigation should be made at the top levels to remove the dead weight. Streamline the administration if you wish to find fluidity in IT and in any other department on campus.

    This will continue on and the University will dig itself deeper into what it is now a poorly run business. Aggie Community indeed.

  • FromAfar posted at 9:12 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    FromAfar Posts: 445

    The higher ups claimed that they saved money by having OSR take over grant management. What they did not count as expense are the salaries units had to pay the new staff hired to do what formerly was done by TAMRF and the agencies. Basically there was a transfer of funds from departments to the central administration.

  • master of disaster posted at 4:13 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    master of disaster Posts: 513

    I already have to do this certification for the machines IT won't touch, including my compute cluster.

    You are kind of belligerent, no?

  • master of disaster posted at 4:10 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    master of disaster Posts: 513

    This is the beginning of the slippery slope, pal. Standardization will likely mean standardization in all things, including computers.

  • carbonunit posted at 1:03 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    carbonunit Posts: 5

    your macs dont connect to a different internet buddy. this isnt the individual computer they are messing with, its the infrastructure you use.

  • carbonunit posted at 1:02 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    carbonunit Posts: 5

    the same thing compass found out. the cost to replace those personnel you lost is 2 to 3 times what you were paying before. They discovered that master electricians dont work for starting salaries of 25k. people with professional licenses tend to want to actually be paid for their skills. funny how that works.

  • carbonunit posted at 12:59 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    carbonunit Posts: 5

    does that meet federal student privacy laws? can you meet the audit requirements that campus IT already has to deal with? didnt think so.

  • obasfirst posted at 12:56 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    obasfirst Posts: 632

    correction: I mean they were being sued when they got the bid.

  • obasfirst posted at 12:32 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    obasfirst Posts: 632

    Security threats would be much more of a threat in the cloud because it's a prime target for cyber criminals and terrorists. Besides that there is also the issue with cloud outages ( previous outages have left companies in the dark for days in a row).

    cloud security:

    cloud outages:

    I don't think the system cares about improving quality and/or efficiency. It's just a political game of privatizing as much as possible to boast how much money they saved the state ( even if it negatively affects quality and leads to greater total cost in the long run)

  • carbonunit posted at 12:31 am on Mon, Oct 21, 2013.

    carbonunit Posts: 5

    what they arent telling you is first they will strip IT people out of the departments. then they will raid the departments budgets to pay for cut rate service. This is already in process in engineering.

  • obasfirst posted at 11:57 pm on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    obasfirst Posts: 632

    depends on your perspective

    From Sharp's (and his privatize-anything-you-can-find base) point of view: "saving tax payer money, trimming the fat, reduce number of employees".

    From the students point of view, low quality food, expensive, unusable meal plans, no healthy options, dining locations closed down by health department because of cockroach infestation and rodent droppings.

    What do you think is more important to Sharp?

  • obasfirst posted at 10:05 pm on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    obasfirst Posts: 632

    Trusting Deloitte might be risky. They are being sued by HP share holders for completely messing up their assessment of Autonomy.

  • elf posted at 9:03 pm on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    elf Posts: 1568

    Several "donations" (10) were made to the Perry/Abbott fund, all from out of state, all from employees of the Deloitte LLC. These totaled several thousand dollars.

    In addition, the Deloitte LLC is not an IT corporation. It is a general management corporation. One would think with all the money we are spending on Sharp an all his assistants, we would not need a management corporation.

  • Kade posted at 7:45 pm on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    Kade Posts: 57

    You are right about IT on campus having problems. I've said for years it's going to affect proper recruiting if word ever gets out about the IT problems. One of the major problems is that CIS isn't adequately funded, working on cost recovery basis, meaning they have to charge depts for everything thing they do. About 5-6 years ago, CIS was given money to hire Microsoft to do an analysis of the Exchange server situation on campus. Microsoft recommended centralizing exchange servers into two clusters on campus, and hiring more people to be in charge of running it, freeing up departments from having to run their own exchange server. The university looked at the recommendation and said "sorry, no money for it." It all comes down to money. The legislature won't adequately fund A&M so that it can have a first class IT environment. The proposal that Sharp will be pushing won't help things either. Saving money in a rigged spreadsheet will do nothing more than seriously erode the quality of education and research at the university.

  • because posted at 7:29 pm on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    because Posts: 308

    I agree with your assessment of our current system..
    Nevertheless the question is whether outsourcing would make things better.
    Given the recent examples I do not think so.

  • elf posted at 5:40 pm on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    elf Posts: 1568

    ...And just why do we trust the opinion of Omaha-based Deloitte LLC? Did a faculty committee investigate them? Did ANYONE but Sharp look into their integrity or for that matter their reputation? How much were they paid and how much came back as Perry/Abbott campaign donations? And finally (and I bet it's true) how much will Omaha-based Deloitte LLC make implementing the deal?

    These are questions that seem at the time to be big secrets both from the faculty, the lower administration and of course from Texans.

  • elf posted at 2:57 pm on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    elf Posts: 1568

    ...and the other outsourcing John Sharp has done has worked out so well? I think not.

  • techag posted at 10:30 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    techag Posts: 200

    I actually agree with this. Our system is far behind on IT related issues. Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

  • TexasEagle posted at 9:28 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    TexasEagle Posts: 139

    John Sharp can't wait to "save money" and layoff people. Firing people in the name of efficiency is his chief goal. But, we will spend millions supporting jobs in other communities for those running the cloud...opps, forgot, these will be FOP (Perry) companies that will profit. Kade is right, the smart IT people should and will get out now, leaving A&M with a weaker workforce...Efficiency does not always trump time my computer breaks down, I will just call Sharp's can bet HE will still have IT people.

  • Kade posted at 7:58 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    Kade Posts: 57

    Not surprising. It's what IT personnel on campus have been expecting. The University is already working on moving all email to a cloud based system, either with Google Apps for Education or Microsoft Office 365. How much that will save will depend on what the per account charge will be for the email. I worry about how much data mining these services will do. They say they won't, but we know they lie. What we'll see are server administrators being laid off, which will be a serious brain drain and a lost of institutional memory since many of these people worked their way up through the departments. What is important for the end user will be if local hands-on IT people be affected. If they try to reduce or outsource the people who hook up your computers, install stuff, or do repairs then there will be some serious productivity problems. They also need people who can handle special projects, like setting up special systems for laboratories, video services, etc. A lot of these projects requires servers and the server admin is usually the point person for configuring these. Who will do that under this proposal? What about the networking group at CIS who handle all the campus ethernet wiring and wireless? There is already of exodus of IT people from campus because of worries about job security. People are deciding to retire early or leave for other jobs, worried that in a year they will be laid off. Already some campus-wide services are being adversely affected.

  • citizen1 posted at 7:42 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    citizen1 Posts: 253

    gmail and dropbox for me... thanks!

  • dogma posted at 7:35 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    dogma Posts: 86

    I like how they believe "the cloud" will increase security? Just how is that done? The cloud is not some mystical being, the information still resides on physical hardware, hardware which can break down and/or be compromised.

    I also noted the words, "layoff personnel", well isn't that just the bottom line, that is where the real saving comes from doesn't it. What happens when you find out the cloud isn't what you expect and you need to beef up security, adding those positions you eliminated?

  • roy g posted at 6:33 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    roy g Posts: 751

    Let the fun begin.

  • master of disaster posted at 4:46 am on Sun, Oct 20, 2013.

    master of disaster Posts: 513

    Well, I guess I'd better buy my grant-funded Macs now.


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