November 30, 2020
Daren Hubbard

Time flies. According to the calendar, I have served as your vice president for Information Technology and chief information officer (CIO) for almost three months. As I wrap up my third full month, I’m eager to share takeaways from what has been an eventful November.
 
While best efforts were made to distribute my first CIO blog entry nearly three weeks ago, I had to shift my focus during the second week of November to address several technical challenges to student registration. These challenges included delays and downtime of important student services such as Banner, DegreeWorks, and OSCAR. As your new CIO and someone who takes the experience of our students seriously, I was extremely sensitive to the frustration that these issues caused, so this became first priority for the Office of Information Technology. Throughout the week that incidents were reported, the team implemented several emergency changes to address technical issues. Last week prior to the Thanksgiving break, we completed an upgrade of our Banner system and database to improve the security and performance of Banner Self-Service.
 
This major incident, along with previous outages and issues, revealed a need for us to get back to the basics in OIT and not only address, but reshape how we handle technical problems at Georgia Tech. As a result, OIT has launched an Operational Excellence initiative to review processes for incident management, problem resolution, and change management with an ultimate goal of addressing gaps, adopting proactive processes, and providing uninterrupted service to the students, faculty, and staff we serve. I have talked with many of you about Operational Excellence in the aftermath of the technical issues, and I appreciate your feedback and your support.
 
Ultimately, I want to make sure this message is clear – major technical issues that impact academic and/or operational effectiveness cannot be taken lightly. Therefore, our mission is to build a culture that is rooted in the core values I shared with you in my first message to the Institute: continuously improving what we do and how we do it; creating excellent experiences; building strong partnerships; and fostering a great work environment.
 
I will share an update on Operational Excellence in my next entry along with our plans to establish IT strategic goals that support the Institute’s new Strategic Plan. If you believe others may benefit from this blog content, please invite them to subscribe so they can be added to the mailing list. In the meantime, please remember to visit my webpage, From the Desk of the CIO, or connect with me any time via Twitter @GeorgiaTechCIO.
 
Thank you for your continued partnership. 
 
Daren Hubbard,
VP of Information Technology & CIO