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what that reason is and whether the decentralized server is
truly unique enough to stay in place and --- if not --- to dis-
cuss "how to move forward in a more collaborative way."
The transition is going to take time, Krogull predicted.
"What we're hearing from other schools is that's a five-,
six-, seven-, eight-year endeavor by the time you really
understand what people are doing and you implement
some things that are not disruptive."
Along the way, the new data organization must earn
bankable trust among potential users. Maas' philosophy
is to not move any faster than what the "comfort level"
Krogull seconds that. "There are some things we're find-
ing that may not move for quite a while, because there's so
much local value or so much history around how a par-
ticular IT service is running inside the department. That's
okay. We're actually doing it very, very gradually and doing
it in a way that makes sense."
He recognizes that not all 97 data center locations are
truly ripe for aggregation --- but enough are. "The tail end
of that --- from spot 50 on out --- are very, very tiny opera-
tions. There are a lot of efficiencies there that I think we
can do fairly rapidly --- if we get past the trust issue."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for
A Security Tool
it's allowed them to realize a lot of programmatic value."
The low-hanging fruit right now is shared storage. "Every-
body needs shared storage," proclaimed Krogull. How-
ever, the details of how shared storage should work are up
for debate. "Is it high-performance? Is it archival? Rather
than having us go out and just buy a bunch of storage and
then sell it as a commodity service, we're actually trying to
figure out where we can add value as a central resource
and then where there are unique opportunities," he said.
The bigger issue, he added, is that "no one service can
be all things to everybody. Let's define the exceptions as
a business need rather than a just-because-we-can
need. That's a very different kind of conversation at a
campus level than we usually have."
6) Develop Trust and a Shared Vision
With 43,000 students, nearly 22,000 faculty and staff and
13 schools and colleges, UW-Madison is a large, distrib-
uted campus. Finding a way to have people come togeth-
er around a shared vision is expected to be a major chal-
lenge. Figuring out the common threads, said Krogull,
becomes "a very complicated conversation just because
there are so many players."
Yet to Krogull, those conversations may just be the most
interesting part of the entire project. "Everybody that fired
up a 'room' did so for a reason." His team's job is to find out
management stewardship" drivers were.
After the team has a fundamental understanding about
what the situation is, they can "put a matrix around that" to
figure out the opportunities, explained Krogull.
In that situation, the department was willing to let the
DCA take over a few systems "that were less risky to try
out the relationship," he said. "Can we be responsive?
Can we offer the performance and accountability metrics
that are needed? Can we engage effectively with their
team? Can we provide 24/7 response in emergencies?
They started off with a few systems to test the waters."
5) Add Value
While Krogull's organization has reorganized itself to
accommodate the new focus on centralized data manage-
ment, the university's schools, colleges and departments
have also made some interesting changes on the IT front
as they start to use the new centralized data resources.
"They're leveraging our sys admins and DBAs, which is
freeing up their staff time to add value back into the depart-
ment," Krogull said. The departments are retooling some
staff to work more closely with users --- the faculty, staff
and students. "What I'm hearing," he added, "is that they're
not really saving any money, but what they are doing is
redirecting staff toward pent-up demand for other servic-
es. It's not changed their personnel or IT costs as much as
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