The UBC IT plan honours and reflects the extensive community input provided through external reviews, the emerging digital framework, the UBC Strategic Plan, and the perspectives of the advisory bodies that guide our efforts.

As UBC IT, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to empower our community with the tools and resources they require to achieve excellence in learning, teaching, and research excellence. A strong technology foundation, effective departmental capabilities, and a skilled and engaged IT workforce are integral.

While the digital landscape and expectations of students, faculty, and staff continue to evolve, the three-year plan will serve as our compass, providing internal focus and direction while enabling us to continue to shape and adapt to the needs of our stakeholders. We look forward to continuing the conversation and our evolution as technology leaders, service providers, innovation enablers, and strategic and operational partners to the UBC community.

At the heart of our plan is an unwavering commitment to UBC students, faculty, and staff

Four broad themes bring balance and focus

1. Community Support

Ensuring UBC students, faculty, and staff have access to the technology they require to succeed in their respective roles is UBC IT’s most visible contribution to the university. Consistent with the UBC Strategic Plan, our goals are to:

  • Support excellence in teaching, learning, and research
  • Promote and facilitate effective collaboration across the university
  • Enable and enrich the student, faculty, and staff experience

2. Technology Foundation

UBC IT is accountable for establishing and maintaining a robust and secure technology foundation for the university, a task complicated by ever-escalating cyber threats, rapidly emergent needs and spiraling systems costs. Our goals are to:

  • Strengthen the university’s technical core
  • Protect UBC’s digital assets
  • Maximize the value of technology investments

3. Team Enablement

Strengthening the UBC IT team is crucial amid rapid changes and a competitive talent market. Supporting team growth, ensuring timely access to resources, and exemplifying our commitments are vital for retention, recruitment, and service delivery. Our goals are to:

  • Leverage and celebrate the strengths of our people
  • Hire and retain top IT talent
  • Foster a culture of responsibility, partnership and alignment

4. Organizational Capability

Focused on enabling the UBC community and strengthening the IT foundation, a renewed focus is needed in advancing internal processes. Growing organizational capability is paramount for positioning to support emerging needs. Our goals are to:

  • Optimize department processes
  • Mature UBC IT practices
  • Increase transparency and accountability within UBC IT

Each theme is articulated through goals that outline our objectives and will be operationalized over the next three years through initiatives. Specific deliverables will be defined annually to direct efforts and ensure we adapt to the priorities of the university. Each year, some deliverables will focus on assessment and strategy, and others on mobilization and implementation.

While enabling students, faculty, and staff is at the core of all UBC IT activities, a heightened emphasis on bolstering our team and maturing our internal processes is also required if we are to strengthen and extend our services successfully.

It is important to note that the plan does not explicitly reflect the operations of a large-scale, complex IT organization (i.e., “keeping the lights on”). We must also continue to commit significant resources and effort to ensure foundational services are supported on a day-to-day basis.

enabling students, faculty, and staff is at the core of all UBC IT activities and IT capital investments

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1. Community Support
Application Renewal Modernize applications that support education, research, and operations capabilities. The capital planning process provides UBC IT with clear direction on the priorities in respect of replacing and upgrading community-facing applications to remain current and support the core mission of the university.
Hybrid Environment Develop and implement a technology roadmap to aid effective hybrid environments. To keep pace with evolving models in education and work, we will continue to mature the IT ecosystem to support and balance current and emerging in-person and remote environments.
Process Improvement Identify, automate, and integrate key UBC processes and workflows. Especially in the current fiscal context, operating effectiveness is a key consideration. As technology solutions in automation and integration evolve, UBC IT has a pivotal role to play in promoting and enabling process streamlining throughout the university.
Reporting Develop and implement a strategy for enterprise reporting. Progress has been made to confirm data definitions and ownership through the Integrated Renewal Program, improving the university’s ability to leverage data consistently and effectively for decision making. This is a key requirement in both the academy administration.
Innovation Support Identify and facilitate access to technology that enables academic and administrative innovation. As faculty and staff continue their steadfast pursuit of greater effectiveness and efficiency through new ways of teaching, learning and working, UBC IT must support their efforts by understanding, providing leadership, and enabling emerging technologies .

2. Technology Foundation
Cloud Adoption Develop and implement a hybrid cloud service and migrate on-premise workloads. To modernize the IT ecosystem and increase our agility, scalability, and resilience, we will continue to invest in multi-cloud services. Implementation will include such deliverables as defining cloud technology and security standards, processes, and tools to manage resources and services, as well as the transition of select administration workloads to the cloud.
Cybersecurity Operationalization Define and implement technical security standards that embed practices in IT operations. As cyber threats continue to intensify, we will ensure security practices are integrated across the IT lifecycle, from ideation to delivery and maintenance, increasing compliance with university security standards
Solution Streamlining Confirm leadership alignment and address opportunities for consolidation and deprecation. To support cross-university operations and manage costs, UBC IT will partner with university leadership to consider application rationalization (i.e., minimizing duplicative solutions and decommissioning legacy systems).
Network Evolution Establish a technical roadmap for enterprise network infrastructure modernization and maintenance. We must continue to evolve the network to maintain a secure and responsive foundation and keep pace with the changing IT landscape.
Identity and access management (IAM) Refresh architecture vision and roadmap for IAM services. To stay abreast of the changing security landscape while enabling seamless student, faculty, and staff access to the data and systems they require for their respective roles, we will continue to mature our approach to IAM.

3. Team Enablement
Strategic Workforce Planning Implement and sustain a framework to align university needs with department capabilities and structure. We will mature and embed our existing workforce planning framework to ensure we have the appropriate organizational model, roles, and skillsets in place to meet the current and future needs of UBC.
Leadership Development Create and deliver a program to build leadership capacity. To foster opportunities for career and personal growth, we will create an approach to internal leadership development centred on non-technical skills, such as communication, coaching, and critical thinking.
Recruitment Develop and implement an attraction and recruitment strategy. We will renew our approach to hiring to address the challenges created by the highly competitive talent landscape.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Articulate and advance measurable improvements to EDI. To help ensure our work environment is fully inclusive and reflective of the diverse UBC community, we reaffirm our commitment to EDI.
Communications Consolidate and execute an internal communication and change management plan. As the department grows and our activities become increasingly multi-faceted, it is important to create a structured and consistent approach to internal communications to ensure team members understand our direction, practices, and priorities.

4. Organizational Capability
Planning Capacity Refine and communicate UBC IT’s approach to funding, governance, and risk management. The university has made strides over the last several years, but we must continue to enhance planning and management efforts to support greater effectiveness and accountability.
IT Automation Automate transactional and repeatable UBC IT departmental processes. As technology and artificial intelligence allow, we will assess and pursue opportunities to automate our operational activities to create internal capacity and increase efficiency.
Configuration Management Database Define and implement CMDB capabilities within UBC IT. To enhance our ability to manage risk, increase security, and effectively upgrade and implement solutions, we must improve the management of our assets.
Service Management Determine and put in place priority service management (ITSM) capabilities. To help ensure resources are appropriately allocated, confirm priority services, and manage community expectations, we will refocus on ITSM.
Business and Technology Resilience Develop and implement a strategy to ensure availability of critical functions. We will formalize our approach to business and technology resilience to increase security and agility, both of which are paramount in today’s context.

UBC IT three year plan deliverables

Community Support
Technology Foundation
Team Enablement
Organizational Capability

Year 1    2023 - 2024

Identify and address initial candidates for administrative process optimization and automation

Define and launch hybrid cloud service, including technology and security standards, and operational processes

Complete enterprise network automation and orchestration tool replacement

Create standard operating procedures and accountabilities to support operationalization of technical security standards

Develop high-level roadmap for enterprise network infrastructure, incl. readiness assessment for IPV6 and IoT

Initiate network infrastructure refresh program

Assess UBC IT communication requirements and streamline channels

Update job descriptions, with a particular emphasis on EDI language

Deliver certificate automation services for public certificates

Harmonize critical incident process

Assess compliance as part of UBC Compliance program

Year 2    2024 - 2025

Revise and socialize strategy for reporting and data stewardship framework

Develop CRM platform strategy and roadmap

Develop a framework for exploration and incubation of emergent technologies

Develop plan to centralize management of UBC IT servers (OS, configuration, patching, logging)

Increase privacy and information security awareness training

Develop IT Asset Management capability within UBC IT

Phase 1: applications

Develop technology and process resiliency strategy

Define scope and plan improved endpoint management capabilities

Continue to develop and expand risk management framework and support adoption

Develop and implement consistent and scalable UBC IT service cost model

Ensure compliance as part of UBC Compliance program

Year 3    2025 - 2026

Develop a unified telecommunications strategy

Identify current skills and competencies, applying the SWPF in readiness for upskilling & reskilling to support emerging needs

Modernize the career framework (in readiness for attraction and recruitment strategy)

Review and improve UBC IT employee on- and offboarding programs

Assess current service management practices within UBC IT, and develop improvement plan


While the digital landscape and expectations of students, faculty, and staff continue to evolve, the three-year plan will serve as our compass

Providing a framework for planning and a foundation for action

In early 2023 more than 80 UBC IT leaders got together to develop the three-year plan. Their contributions reflected their respective expertise and experience across the university. Several inputs influenced these conversations, including the UBC Strategic Plan, external service reviews, existing commitments and operational requirements, the UBC IT risk register, and the university’s emerging digital framework.

Guided by the 2016 “IT at UBC Strategic Framework”, accomplishments over the past several years have positioned us well to advance

  • Operationalization of a comprehensive and transparent governance framework that defines the roles and decision-making processes related to university technology strategy and investment. Several cross-representative advisory committees inform cybersecurity, enterprise architecture, teaching and learning technologies, research computing, and enterprise IT services.
  • Improved information privacy, security awareness, and protection, including mandatory training within UBC IT, introduction of various cybersecurity tools and services, policy development, and a compliance program to help improve our security posture and establish clear accountabilities across the university.
  • Provision of digital research infrastructure (DRI) to enable world-class research. UBC Advanced Research Computing Sockeye is a high-performance computing (HPC) platform available to UBC researchers across all disciplines. With nearly 16,000 CPU cores, 200 GPUs, and three petabytes of storage capacity, Sockeye is designed to increase the university’s computing capacity and supplement the national DRI platform.
  • Talent acquisition, reskilling, and upskilling to accommodate advances in cloud-based services, robotic process automation (RPA), Internet of Things (IoT), interoperability and integration services, reporting, and HPC.
  • Transformation of existing business practices, such as establishment of the Integration Enablement Centre (IEC) to manage the integrations between applications across UBC, as well as a data governance program and data model to support more effective university-wide practices and analytics.

Our Commitment to Accountability

  • Before the beginning of each fiscal year, UBC IT will connect as a department and collaborate with stakeholders to define the annual deliverables that will progressively advance the three-year plan. These will be championed by sponsors within UBC IT and scoped to be achievable within a 12-month period.
  • The initiatives and annual deliverables will be shared annually.
  • UBC IT will share formal status updates with the Information Technology Advisory Council (ITAC) twice per year and ad hoc reports with additional key stakeholder groups as appropriate.