IT Planning and Financial Challenges - University of Houston
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IT Planning and Financial Challenges

IT Planning is based on the synthesis of three sources of information:

the IT 10-year Plan, our strategic priorities and vision and input from stakeholders across the University. The IT plan tracks which major physical components are due for renovation or upgrade and where points of technology "stress" will occur. The president's statements provide direction for our medium- and long-term goals. Stakeholder requests are usually near- or immediate-term.

In 2011, the UH network supported approximately 10,000 devices daily.
Today, more than 89,000 devices access
the UH network each day.

Historically, UIT has been able to offset increasing expenses through good management practices and prioritization of projects. Reorganizing departments to increase efficiency, choosing technologies that provide the best return on investment and insourcing work typically performed by outside services has allowed for reallocations to enable priority projects each year. At this point, we have implemented all available large and medium efficiencies. UIT faces a budget deficit in FY2020 that cannot be offset without affecting our ability to deliver IT services critical to the University. Achieving an adequate and sustainable funding model is paramount to continue IT operations and provide state-of-the-art services.

To remain competitive, UH must simultaneously run, grow and transform its IT resources and the way services are delivered. With most of the IT budget consumed just by running existing services as they stand now, little is left for expected growth, and even less for transformation.

Peer Benchmarks: Percentage of IT Budget Spent

Source: Core Data Survey 2018, Educause
UH 90% 5% 5%
TAMU 77% 11% 12%
UT-DALLAS 85% 13% 2%


A decade of growth in enrollment, academic and research initiatives and new facilities construction has increased IT costs. As enrollment and employee counts rise, there is a corresponding increase in licensing costs for software, especially large, enterprise deployments that are essential, such as PeopleSoft and Microsoft. UIT has minimized the increases as much as possible by renegotiating agreements to reduce services to the bare essentials. These growth-driven increases rise by hundreds of thousands of dollars annually — without corresponding budget increases.