ITS planning for the future

10 May 2023
By Janet Scannell

Now is the time to dust off the technology initiatives that were paused during the pandemic and assess the future of technologies whose use was accelerated. It is also the time to articulate how ITS will need to allocate resources to support the goals of the college’s ten-year strategic plan. With that in mind, ITS launched a three-year strategic planning process a few months ago. 

Identifying Campus Needs

To identify current campus technology needs, ITS did a number of things, including: review the MISO satisfaction survey data from 2022, offer two tabling sessions for students, have small group conversations with several dozen administrative department heads, offer a survey for academic department feedback, and review the intentions of the Carleton 2033 strategic planning initiative.

Here are samples of the kind of feedback and suggestions we have received:  

  • People appreciate our guidance about which technologies to use to meet their needs.
  • They are aware of the time and capacity pressures on ITS while also indicating that resource availability (and managing the workload) is a big part of the underlying issue.
  • Staff commented about support tickets falling into deep silence. This may be about resource availability, but it is also about communication. 
  • At the student tabling sessions, the most commonly reported issue was difficulty with access to or capacity of the campus WiFi network.
  • Students mentioned interest in more technology loaners (including laptop chargers), more Zoom technology in more classrooms, and more closed captioning/accessibility. 
  • Students expressed interest in more self-help options on the website and more awareness of available technology services, including the repair service (Drop-Off Center).
  • Key stakeholders have indicated that there will be increasing future demands for specialized (and isolated) networks for research and teaching.
  • Demands for storage and backup will increase, especially as more scholarship develops around simulations and large data-set based analysis.  
  • Clear and reliable audio is one of the biggest concerns for faculty and academic department staff, especially in BYO laptop classroom and meeting spaces.

Defining Six Goals

Our project team grouped these needs (and many others) into the following six categories: 

  1. Provide enhanced student support
  2. Support the efforts to create integrated learners and creative problem solvers
  3. Provide and support a variety of flexible learning & collaboration spaces
  4. Build campus relationships that lead to project success and a greater ability to align priorities
  5. Provide a robust and secure network that meets campus needs
  6. Provide infrastructure and practices that support responsible and modern data stewardship

What’s Next? 

The ITS project team is now developing a set of initiatives for each of these goals. Over the summer, and early Fall, the team will be:

  1. reviewing the Carleton 2033 plans to identify any necessary changes to our thinking, and
  2. working with the senior leaders in TP&PC (Technology Planning & Prioritizing Committee) to focus these initiatives.

Community members who would like to engage with this process can contact Janet Scannell at