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Planning Overview

ISC's fiscal year planning, program review, and goals are aligned with the overall planning direction set forth in Penn's Strategic Plan,"The Penn Compact: From Excellence to Eminence." The result is an interaction between University goals and IT capabilities that improves operational performance, facilitates community outreach and service delivery, and reduces administrative costs, while at the same time helping to secure Penn’s place as one of the great universities at the forefront of education, research, and scholarship in the 21st century.

Four themes shape ISC's vision for Penn's IT environment:

Demand for spontaneous, ubiquitous, contextual computing
Tools for teaching, research, and administration will increasingly evolve to media-rich interfaces, taking advantage of the rapid proliferation of computing devices and of advances in speech recognition, visualization, high-resolution displays, wireless technologies, and “follow-me” profiles. With advancements in wireless and convergent networks (where data, voice, and video share a single digital path), we will see extended access to information and services from home, car, and office, along with “anytime/anywhere” access through highly portable or wearable systems.

Collaboration within integrated, interactive, environments
New tools for shared access, as well as tools for integrating core data, systems, and applications, will enable collaborative learning, research, and administration. Technology plays a growing role in instruction (including distributed distance learning), research, and administrative work processes, minimizing constraints of time or place.

Moving to common underlying databases will allow greater sharing of resources between academic and administrative functions in the future. Library resources, for example, will be incorporated cafeteria-style within academic web sites; educational activities and administrative functions will be delivered together seamlessly to students.

Flexibility within a connected framework
Students, faculty, staff, and the broader campus community have the flexibility to choose personal tools and local implementations that fall within a framework of standards and stewardship designed to ensure a common, secure infrastructure for communication and collaboration.

Alignment of University objectives and information technologies
ISC works with the University’s leadership and its technology community to plan and build the bridge between present and future. Setting priorities for investment requires collaboration by academic, administrative, and IT leaders to explore Penn’s academic and business goals in light of emerging technologies. There should be no isolated technology planning, but a focus on overall University goals. Crucial aspects of information architecture and institutional presentation cannot be addressed by hardware and software alone. Our future will require us to embrace change at all levels of research, instruction, and administrative support. Our plans must reflect balanced investment across varying levels of time, payback, and risk.

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Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
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