From the Desk of the IT Director – TPayne

Happy 2020! – I am excited about a new year, a new decade, and a new opportunity to right my wrongs, and finish what I left undone last year.

Last year went by like a flash of lightning yet so much took place – fast rewind with me. 2019 began with the completion of an extensive project which involved SSW applications and websites transitioning to CAS2, and similarly, it ended with transitioning those same applications and websites again, but this time to SSO. UGA’s SSO is a single sign on service which incorporates two-factor authentication to improve and harden the security layer that protects access to our online information resources. If you are new here or haven’t noticed, the past two to three years have been focused primarily on information security which has become a major priority at higher ed institutions due to the rise of data and information breaches each year. The CAS2 and SSO projects were mandated by UGA’s VP for IT, Dr.Chester, and I am pleased that our IT team was able to complete the transitions in a timely manner and can start 2020 with SSW major applications and websites in compliance with UGA security standards and before the March 2020 deadline.

Another mission critical project last year was launching the School’s main website which required the collaborative efforts of several groups. Its development and implementation evolved into a tedious and demanding challenge and somewhat of a juggling act because it required content maintenance and ongoing updates on both the old site and the new site. Links and pics had to be updated and relinked, and all pages were edited or rewritten, relocated, proofed, and tested numerous times.Additionally, our website’s home was migrated from EITS servers to its new home at AWS – Amazon Web Services, and lastly, a security layer was incorporated before the site would go live. It would be remiss of me to mention the School’s main website project and not mention Laurie Anderson and our Dean for numerous hours of meetings and endless contributions and hard work on our site’s content and organization, and also Rob for his many hours and parts in making sure the site was online.

Yes, 2019 was a very fast paced year but we kept up and kept it moving. Even though, SSW’s ITS unit endured almost a year span without a full-time application support specialist, we were fortunate to hire Yue Li mid-year 2019. Yue has been a great addition to the IT team and was most instrumental with the SSO transition and a key player in the launch of the School’s new website. Please be sure to check it out at https://ssw.uga.edu. Other SSW web applications and site URLS including SSW’s intranet can be found on the right sidebar of this site’s home page.

This year, the IT team still begins 2020 with a list of major projects. In addition to our day to day tasks and business operations, we will attend to desktop deployments, content management workflow and approval processes, WordPress training, hardware and software purchases, and inventory management.

Contact SSW ITS at helpdesk@sswits.uga.edu if you have any special needs or requirements for technical support and service.

Wishing you a wonderful, happy, and productive 2020!!!

Best, tp