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Provost Robert A. Brown and Executive Vice President John R. Curry have announced that the MIT Information Technology (I/T) Architecture Group has been formed to address I/T architecture and design issues for the Institute.
The decision was motivated by work of the Council on Educational Technology, co-chaired by Professor Harold Abelson of electrical engineering and computer science, as well as several ongoing projects in administrative computing.
The group, which has 16 members from several offices and departments, will maintain oversight of information technology infrastructure, including hardware, operating systems, networks, databases and infrastructure services. Working with the community, group members will set strategy, policy, standards, principles and guidelines related to I/T architecture, infrastructure and design of applications. It will also promote an understanding of the current architecture and the use of the infrastructure within the I/T community.
The group will review any I/T system or service that meet any of the following criteria:
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ It is critical to MIT's educational or business mission
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ It will be used by MIT community members outside the originating MIT department, lab, center or organization that is developing it
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ It adds to or modifies the I/T infrastructure
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ It requires significant use of MIT's I/T infrastructure
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ It entails substantial costs or special Institute funds to implement, operate or support.
By formally recognizing an I/T Architecture Group, the Institute strives to ensure a single coherent I/T architecture. In the past, I/T architecture efforts at MIT have been associated with informal cross-organizational groups, central organizational units, large Institute projects such as Project Athena, or some combination of these efforts.
This new group will be instrumental in forming the I/T foundation for many important projects in both the academic and administrative areas of MIT.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 7, 2000.