Other recommendations




A request for proposal (RFP) for a major Wi-Fi refresh has just been completed and award made; upgrades include specific work for campus, residences and some Affiliated and federated institutions of Waterloo (AFIWs).This represents a significant investment over the next 4-5 years; this is a typical cycle due to changing and increased demands. This should, with appropriate prioritization, address many of the immediate and overall concerns about this service.  

Business Analysis

As with the recent demand for greater project management skills and practice, the need for continuous improvement and necessary business analysis and business process skills across campus is evident. There is a growing capability, with more resources now in some ASUs, analysts in IST or as part of campus Lean/CI initiatives. A coordinated view of this practice, which is not strictly IT focused, would be beneficial.  


Elements of sustainability are indicated in the body of the report. There are specific initiatives or actions, such as those that might impact the IT ‘footprint’, which could be considered independently from broader recommendations.   

Business Continuity

The current pandemic will provide a number of important lessons and other information related to our overall business continuity planning and abilities in IT. A broader study will be worthwhile at the appropriate time and should consider questions on the value, approach and delivery of common central solutions and where flexibility and diversity might provide specific strengths to the campus. A number of surveys have been conducted or are in progress in the areas of access and connectivity, teaching and learning tools, enrolment intent and others, in order to assess the current state and for planning purposes.   



The review identified a number of concerns with respect to specific business or functional processes. A focused exercise which would solicit these from the community, combined with other known pain points and prioritize these for improvement, should be considered. Onboarding was one such example; this arose in technical discussions related to provisioning and authorizations, learning new applications, and processes which spanned units for individuals such as graduate students.  

Campus Services

Discussions on the broad set of support services identified a number of cases where IT staff, such as project managers or others with unique skills, were providing support for initiatives and other departments beyond a traditional IT mandate. As with business analysis, further study might inform how best to assess these needs, grow the various capabilities and determine whether these could be better served through a core ‘business office’ or other methods.  


Our web presence should comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level AA. Progress has been made in the migration of web sites with work expected to be completed in fall 2021. There may be other opportunities to leverage the central Drupal platform to help ensure compliance. A review should be conducted to ensure that all necessary applications and sites meet these guidelines well in advance of target dates. 


Several initiatives, now underway or contemplated, will alter the footprint for local server and overall data center needs. These include the move of the Waterloo Content Management System (WCMS) to Pantheon and other administrative systems to off-premise environments. This is a continuation of the general trend toward cloud provisioned services. Notwithstanding any overall cloud statement or direction, specific planning for server renewal and upgrades and other physical facilities should be undertaken given the amount of ongoing support and potential capital renewal costs. Consideration for other change, in part as a result of the pandemic and new service delivery methods, may be needed for classrooms and for student computing labs.