IT Services Operating Plan

IT Services Operating Plan

A Message from Our CIO

I am thrilled to note that the collaboration across Queen's IT community has grown only stronger over the past year, and I am told regularly that what we do brings value – and I agree! These are challenging times in higher education, but I am a firm believer that every crisis presents opportunities. I am excited to explore the ways in which technology and digital innovation can assist the University in finding efficiencies and alleviating some of our current pressures. My priorities this year reflect this focus, as well as my continued commitment to invest in my amazing team. I am confident our IT community will work together successfully to meet the moment, through which we will build even stronger partnerships with our stakeholders.

Marie-Claude Arguin

People working at a desk with laptops.

About Our Operating Plan

The purpose of our Operating Plan, published annually, is twofold. It provides direction to all IT Services staff members on the departmental priorities for 2023-24; and it informs our external stakeholders of the key activities being undertaken by IT Services during the current fiscal year.

A shot of staff in the IT Support Centre at their workstations. They are facing the camera.

Target Audiences

We invite all members of the Queen’s community to review our Operating Plan, published by the CIO & AVP (ITS), to provide transparency and accountability on the activities to be undertaken and prioritised by IT Services during the current fiscal year. Through this Plan, our Directors are empowered to allocate resources to sustain existing services and to undertake new initiatives identified and prioritised by our stakeholders to serve the needs of the Queen’s community.

A group of IT Services managers meeting in an open space in Mitchell Hall. They are standing and talking.


This plan focuses on what will occur during the current fiscal year; however, the Activities Table portion includes work that may span beyond the current year. Although the detailed resources required to complete the opportunities have not been allocated for all items in that section, the activities have been included to facilitate planning at all levels.

Queen's Strategy

In 2021, Queen’s released its new strategy which encompasses the mission, vision, and values of Queen’s through six identified strategic goals. IT Services’ own mission, vision, values, and drivers are well-postured to support and deliver on the university’s key priorities.

More detailed information on the strategic goals is available on the Principal’s website.

Principal's Website

The table below demonstrates the alignment between Queen’s strategic goals and IT Services’ drivers.

Queen's Strategic Goals Mapped IT Services Drivers
1 | Aiming to increase the university's research impact

An icon representing research intensification. Links to a description of the research intensification driver.

Research Intensification

2 | Advancing the student learning experience

An icon of a graduation cap representing the student experience. Links to a description of the student experience driver.

Student Experience

3 | Growing the interdependence between research and learning

An icon representing research intensification. Links to a description of the research intensification driver.

Research Intensification

4 | Strengthening the university's global engagement

An icon representing research intensification. Links to a description of the research intensification driver.

Revenue Generation

5 | Deepening the university's relationship with the local, regional, and national communities

An icon representing research intensification. Links to a description of the research intensification driver.

Research Intensification

Icon representing digital agility and resilience. Links to a description of the digital resilience and agility driver.

Digital Agility and Resilience

6 | Improving Queen's organisational culture

An icon with a ribbon representing operational excellence. Links to a description of the operational excellence driver.

Operational Excellence

Our Drivers

Our drivers help us to stay aligned with the larger Queen’s strategy. Proposed initiatives and projects should align with our drivers to achieve both IT Services’ and Queen’s goals.

An Icon representing the student experience.Queen’s students’ lives are enriched and deepened by their learning journey, by experiencing an extraordinary sense of community, and by a desire for a better humanity, while also growing the knowledge, professional skills and digital literacy for the workplace.

To be achieved through:

  • Timely insight though integrated analytical data into their progression and pathways;
  • Easy-to-use and seamless integration of learning tools and campus life resources;
  • Student-centric service design and delivery across the institution with self-service, on-demand, and customised services and resources for different personas’ needs;
  • Mobility and equity: anywhere, anytime, any resource, any device and any accessibility need met;
  • connected, participative, and informed through meaningful personalised notifications, customizable feeds and integrated web presence, contributing to a happy, healthy, home experience whether on campus or online; and,
  • outcome-driven adoption of teaching technologies with first-rate support for faculty.

An icon representing research intensification. Links to a description of the research intensification driver.Queen’s researchers are empowered to pursue opportunities and to conduct impactful research through digital support services closely connected with research success.

To be achieved through:

  • Enhancing and integrating faculty, graduate and post-doctoral supports across the institution with a research-centric view;
  • Facilitating access to world-class computing services that advance research outcomes, collaborations, and impacts;
  • Facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations;
  • Promoting research at Queen’s; and,
  • Creating a dynamic environment for all researchers.

Icon representing revenue generation.Queen’s fully capitalises on its opportunities.

To be achieved through:

  • Reinforcing enrolment strategies through data-driven decisionmaking; through building quality, well-managed constituent relationships, and through presenting a modern web presence;
  • Assisting advancement efforts with high quality data on all Queen’s constituents’ engagements across the institution and throughout their lifetimes;
  • Enabling the expansion of on-campus, remote, online and hybrid delivery of exceptional teaching and learning experiences for credit and non-credit courses, including revenue administration automation and efficiency; and,
  • Supporting reporting to funding organisations through automation of performance metrics.

An icon with a ribbon representing operational excellence.Optimising and transformative measures continuously support a culture of high performance across all levels of the University.

To be achieved through:

  • Fostering equity, diversity, inclusion, indigeneity and accessibility by design through the thoughtful implementation of digital resources;
  • Active community engagement that recognises the University as a human institution that exists for a planetary good;
  • Including digital literacy and profiency planning and activities throughout our digital journey;
  • Facilitating informed decision-making through the development of business intelligence capabilities, including data governance, data literacy, data integration, data analytics and AI;
  • Continuous improvement through the ongoing evaluation of betterment opportunities, through process re-engineering, and by seeking synergies across Queen’s;
  • Modernising service delivery to respond to the journey toward a pervasive digital curriculum.
  • Supporting reporting to funding organisations through automation of performance metrics.

Icon representing digital agility and resilience. Queen’s has achieved a dynamic state of continuous evolution within its digital environment, seamlessly adapting to change and encouraging its community members to pursue opportunities.

To be achieved through:

  • Continuously evolving the digital environment to fulfill the University’s aspirations as they emerge:
    • Modernised core capabilities and robust infrastructure set the foundation for Queen’s digitalization journey;
    • People are skilled, connected across communities, united around a common understanding of Queen’s values, vision and goals; and
    • Adaptive governance is in place to allow for rapid innovation while maximizing value for the institution.
  • Mitigating cyber risks by cultivating risk-informed communities, maturing cybersecurity practices, ensuring regulatory security compliance, practicing responsible asset management, and enhancing continuity planning.

Mission, Vision, Values, and Principles

Our mission statement describes our purpose and overall intention. Our vision provides a vivid mental image of where we imagine ourselves to be in the future, while our values and principles are the beliefs and philosophies that drive the culture of our department.

To strengthen student success and research impact through enabling information and technology services.

A Queen's community that is empowered and enriched by evolving digital technologies, and experiences first-rate service.

  • We are professional, curious, forward-looking, and open to new ways of working.
  • We are responsive and transparent to the community, and demonstrate awareness of their business needs.
  • We exercise leadership at all levels and build strong stakeholder relationships.
  • We collaborate effectively with people of diverse perspectives and experiences, and create safe space in which to share ideas.
  • We adopt an informed and risk-aware approach to timely decision-making.
  • We continuously invest in ourselves to grow competences.

The following are IT Services' design principles:

  • Student experience comes first.
  • Institutional outcomes before technology.
  • One identity.
  • Enter data once.
  • Intuitive, accessible, and secure.
  • Self-service and automation.
  • Fiscally responsible.

CIO's Priorities

IT Services has processes in place to ensure that all of the work we take on, whether large or small, supports the strategic goals of the University and adds value to the community. However, every year there are always a handful of objectives that "rise to top" as priorities for the CIO. This may occur because the delivered solutions are foundational or transformational, or address a particularly high visibility or thorny problem, or require significant investments - or in some cases, all of the above. These are the objectives that fall into this category for the current fiscal year.

Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) refers to the tools and strategies we use to manage our relationships with various groups of stakeholders, such as students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors, and community partners. The goal of CRM is to build and maintain strong relationships with these groups by tracking their interactions, preferences, needs, and using that information to provide more personalized and effective communication and services.

Having successfully engaged a CRM integration partner (Huron Consulting Group) in early 2023, this spring and summer will be devoted to an assessment phase that will deliver a roadmap of multi-year 6-month release phases, and will also assist us to properly gauge readiness for change to ensure adequate resources are in place. The early phases of implementation will focus on four key capability workstreams:  Enterprise CRM Technology & Program Governance; Enterprise Constituent Communication & Engagement; Recruiting & Admissions; and Learner Success. 

For further information:


Building on the work to establish foundational capabilities over the past five years, IT Services is launching Cybersecurity Action Plan 2023+ this spring. This program encompasses 17 projects across 11 unique capability areas that will be executed over multiple years. These projects are scoped to deliver new capabilities/services; to extend existing capabilities/services to the larger Queen’s community; and to continue maturation of existing capabilities and tools. These initiatives will mitigate known security gaps and vulnerabilities in a manner that moves the University’s security profile closer to our target state as effectively and efficiently as possible.

As the scope of services offered by IT Services continues to expand, it is crucial that diverse systems run efficiently and stay aligned with University goals. To facilitate this transformation on an ongoing basis, IT Services has initiated a multi-year program focused on maturation of IT Service Management Practices. The first phase of this program kicks off this year and will focus on modernising the IT Service Catalogue to enhance its use through a user-friendly platform built on an interactive and simplified database of IT services. This will allow our community to better understand the services that IT provides.

We are all aware of how much data is being generated through activities and interactions in systems across the University; this data will only increase in scope and volume as more digital services are enabled. Queen’s needs a common strategy to manage data assets and develop insights to enable Queen’s strategic goals. Foundational to all of this is establishing an enterprise-wide data governance structure to more effectively use data as an organisational asset, a critically shifting our culture from ‘my data’ to ‘Queen’s data’. Establishing Queen’s common data governance strategy and its associated governance structure will be key activities this year. 

At its heart, operational excellence reflects a culture that consistently strives for continuous improvement, that is dedicated to providing great constituent experiences, and where employees feel motivated and empowered. A key aspect of continuous improvement includes business process efficiency and alignment of enabling digital tools. To facilitate this, updating and enhancing digital governance across the enterprise is a priority activity that is necessary to ensure that technology decisions and investments are made with increased visibility, alignment and transparency across the organisation. During this time of constraints, the University will look towards our IT community to better understand how reimagining processes and their supporting technologies can be leveraged to find enterprise-wide efficiencies. Updating Queen’s Digital Roadmap this year will be a key output that assists in defining the way forward.

It may be a cliché, but it is one I hold dear:  our people are our greatest asset. It remains a priority of mine to continue investing in our people to foster a capable and engaged IT organisation. This means following up on the employee value proposition activities of recent years with a focus on adaptability and continuous improvement. With the sudden and significant changes the pandemic brought to both the workforce and the workplace, it is critically important to ensure that we optimise our ‘new normal’ of predominantly remote and hybrid workers. This includes finding ways to maximise the opportunities presented by having a geographically-diverse workforce while at the same time creating intentional, meaningful and vibrant in-person encounters; creating flexible and collaborative workspaces to enhance onsite activities; continuing to invest in training and professional development opportunities at all levels of the organisation; and ensuring that communications throughout the department are trusted, timely and transparent. 

Activities Table

This section provides high-level direction for teams internal to IT Services to guide them in delivering the priority initiatives, projects, and activities, at the right time.

Just as importantly, it is meant to inform the Queen’s community of all the ongoing activities within IT Services. Such information-sharing has historically enhanced collaboration.

We are leveraging a web-based, dynamic tool to allow for updates to specific fields throughout the year. Also, newly approved activities will be added to the table quarterly. 

Activities Table

Departmental Accomplishments

In IT Services, we believe in celebrating our successes. The start of a new year is a great time to pause and reflect on all that was accomplished over the past one, from the implementation of new technologies to the strengthening of collaborative relationships to the sheer volume of activities that were completed. We invite you to celebrate with us.

Departmental Accomplishments