The Policy on IT Acquisitions was created under the direction of the Information Technology Council (ITC), an organization comprised of representatives from Tufts' schools and divisions. The policy is a manifestation of the ITC's authority over information technology areas having a potential impact on more than one school or division and of the recognition that in the Tufts' environment, technology decisions made without central oversight can have unexpected, negative consequences. Therefore, the Policy on IT Acquisitions establishes conditions under which a contemplated information technology acquisition would be subject to review by Tufts Computing and Communications Services (TCCS) division prior to going forward.
Although not a requirement, it is highly recommended that TCCS be consulted in the initial phases of any significant technology planning.
The provisions of the Policy on IT Acquisitions are subject to change with the review and approval of the ITC.
The objectives of the Policy on IT Acquisitions are threefold:
- To ensure that IT acquisitions integrate well into Tufts technology environment and facilitate the ability to carry out Tufts's business.
- To ensure that any risk, security exposure or liability associated with an IT acquisition is identified and managed.
- To ensure that Tufts University achieves the maximum value from any information technology investment.
The University's business, which includes instruction, research, service, administrative functions, student and campus life activities and the exchange of ideas, is increasingly reliant on technology. TCCS, a division of Tufts University, has as its charter to acquire, develop and maintain computers, computer systems, networks and telephony systems in support of the University's business.
The acquisition and use of computing resources at Tufts is not limited to TCCS. All schools, divisions and departments at the University need, from time to time, to acquire, install and use technology resources. Nonetheless, TCCS 's core competencies are focused on the acquisition, implementation and support of information technology. In order to fulfill its obligations to Tufts, TCCS staff maintain tactical knowledge of the University's systems and infrastructure and strategic knowledge of the University's information technology initiatives. This expertise and knowledge can help TCCS staff evaluate IT purchases for their ability to integrate into Tufts's existing and planned technology environment, avoid or limit risk to Tufts and enhance their cost effectiveness. The Policy on IT Acquisitions enables TCCS to share in decisions regarding IT acquisitions.
To further assist schools and departments contemplating IT acquisitions, TCCS has prepared and maintains an IT Technology Buyers Guide. (Click here to read the guide online or here to download a copy.) The guide identifies resources in TCCS who can provide consultative assistance on planned IT acquisitions and outlines some things to consider when an IT acquisition is contemplated.
The Policy on IT Acquisitions applies to all IT purchases or acquisitions made on behalf of Tufts University. The policy covers planned acquisitions of information technology hardware, software, firmware and services or any combination of these things and applies regardless of the funding source (e.g., budgeted item, grant, gift, etc.). Those engaged in detailed budget planning, whether requesting University funds or applying for grant money, should proactively incorporate the Policy on IT Acquisitions into the planning process.
The only exceptions to the Policy on IT Acquisitions are acquisitions consisting entirely of commodity type items such as laptops, workstations, telephones, desktop software or personal digital assistants (PDAs) and servers. Use of servers at Tufts is governed by Tufts's Guidelines for Connecting Devices to the University Network.
Note that any acquisition of wireless network equipment by a group outside of TCCS is always subject to formal TCCS review. For details, see the Tufts University Wireless Policy.
Policy on IT Acquisitions
Any acquisition involving the purchase or acquisition of computers, network equipment, software, applications or information technology services including but not limited to software development, installation, implementation or provision of ASP services and satisfying any one or more of the three (3) criteria listed below must be reviewed by TCCS. The review must occur before the acquisition may take place.
- The contemplated purchase duplicates functionality or services that are already available at Tufts.
- The purchase includes one or more computers that are to be maintained by TCCS's Computer Operations group or that are to be housed in the TCCS data center.
- The initial value of the IT acquisition is more than $25,000 or the total-cost-of-ownership for the first 3 years (taking into consideration such things as initial value, installation, implementation, maintenance and support, and ongoing personnel costs) exceeds $100,000.
Anyone who is uncertain about whether his/her planned acquisition is subject to the terms of this policy should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
To initiate an IT acquisition review, the person coordinating the acquisition has a number of options. He/she can phone TCCS IT Support Services at 617-627-3376 or complete the first three items in the Acquisition Review Form, attach it to an email message and forward it to email@example.com. All requests for review will be acknowledged within one business day.
Based on the nature of the planned acquisition, the request will be assigned to the appropriate TCCS director, and (s)he or his/her designee will contact the individual submitting the request. Together, they will determine how best to review the proposed acquisition. In most cases, the review will be completed during this initial contact. An IT acquisition review will, under normal circumstances, require no more than one week to complete. The individual requesting the review will receive a written response which will also be maintained on file in TCCS.
If the review process determines that the planned acquisition should not go forward, TCCS will work with the individual requesting the review to identify alternatives that are acceptable to TCCS and to the individual, department or school. In those rare instances when no agreement on an alternative can be reached, the request will be reviewed by the Vice President for Information Technology and the appropriate information technology administrator for the unit, department or school that made the request.
In order to facilitate compliance, the terms of this policy have been incorporated into the Capital Expenditure Authorization (CEA).
Click here to read instructions
and download a review form.