Dave Scott joined ITS as Managed Desktop Services (MDS) Manager on May 31. We checked in with him to see how his first months on the job are going.
What have you and your team been working on?
The MDS team has been hard at work pushing several initiatives that focus on workstation data security for the departments we support. Specifically, we have projects that encrypt the physical hard drive(s) of laptops, as well as deployment of password-less device login tools. Both initiatives not only apply best practice security processes but also make for a better user experience. We’ve also been meeting with our departments to review year-end inventory and billing reports.
Have you put forth some goals?
Yes, we have been busy looking at established goals (before I joined the team), as well as new individual and team goals. A good example of a new team goal is taking a critical look at and developing an action plan to organize our internal documentation. While Microsoft Teams is an excellent repository for important shared content, it (like other collaboration tools such as Google Drive and commercial products like DropBox and ShareFile) can lead to “sprawl” – where channels, folders, and files are spread and become cumbersome and disorganized over time. Our goal is to simplify our channel structure, consolidate our folders, and organize our files by putting them in logical channel/folder locations while eliminating those that are outdated and/or unnecessary.
Have you signed any new clients?
In my brief time (almost two months), we have not added any new clients. Rather, we are laser-focused on providing the very best service and support to our roster of supported departments. Hopefully, we will add new departments in the future to broaden our client portfolio.
Have you rolled out any new services?
In addition to the initiatives listed above, our team is constantly looking for ways to better serve our clients. As technology evolves, this has led us to look at several potential new service offerings that will enhance the level and nature of the support we provide. Stay tuned!
Have you made any big changes since you arrived?
We have spent a great deal of time during my initial weeks as manager talking individually and as a team about what has worked well in the past (that we would like to keep in place), as well as new collaborative ideas for process improvement. For example, we’ve had lively discussions about the frequency of and purpose of existing standing meetings. We’ve added structured agendas to make our meetings more time efficient and targeted to task/project-driven topics.
MDS has had unfilled positions for several years. What’s happening with filling those positions?
We have discussed staffing levels as we reviewed the billed services we provide to our clients. This enables us to look at real data to determine if our current staffing model is sufficient and sustainable. Covid changed everything and has caused an across-the-board re-examination of staffing models for all organizations. UNC-Chapel Hill ITS, and specifically, MDS, is no exception. Providing onsite and remote support in a hybrid workforce model is an opportunity for us to be flexible and adapt to the dynamic nature of the way people work. For now, we believe our staffing level is appropriate to meet and (hopefully) exceed our service targets for our current client roster. However, I anticipate staffing will be an ongoing evaluation for us, because the only constant in this world is change.
What do you want people to know about MDS?
The ITS Managed Desktop Services team is dedicated to our mission of providing a high quality, comprehensive set of services for our present and future client departments. Our talented and experienced team is maniacally focused on customer service to assist and enable our client departments to be more efficient and productive.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Personally, I am just so happy and proud to now be a part of the UNC ITS CE&E MDS (how’s that for a quadruple acronym?) family. These first two months have flown by, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for all of us.