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Cornell University

Service Streamlining Initiative (SSI)

The Service Streamlining Initiative (SSI) was a 2016 IT@Cornell effort in support of Cornell's Administrative Streamlining Initiative. The goal was to reduce the duplication of information technology services that exists between CIT and units. Additional goals were to:

  • Yield estimated real-dollar savings and liberation of local IT staff from the burden of non-differentiating work to allow a more strategic focus on unique mission-based technologies.
  • Simplify and clarify service delivery expectations and models, improving quality through well-defined service level expectations, and defining roles and responsibilities in the delivery of technology services and support.
  • Modify CIT services in order to improve adoption in cases where feedback from the IT Service Group leadership indicates there is a cost or value proposition issue.


Demonstrate better value by being transparent in how CIT services are funded, what features they include, and how they provide a clear economy of scale and/or scope. Catalog and perform a thorough cost analysis (in total cost and cost per unit metrics) of CIT's full set of 60 services in 11 discrete categories. 

Articulate the specific security benefits of CIT services that provide security. 

Through costing templates, service level expectations (SLEs), and usage metrics, enable all units to perform an "apples-to-apples" comparison between their IT services and CIT's. CIT will provide cost analyses and costing templates to units to facilitate this benchmarking.

With the IT Service Group leadership across campus, review CIT's "common good" services (e.g., wireless networking, email, etc.) that are supported entirely by allocated costs. Determine the level of adoption of these fully appropriated services. 

  • Currently, approximately 40 of the 60 CIT services are "common good."
  • Uniform adoption of these services has the potential to create significant savings.
  • Some CIT services may need to be moved to a cost-recovery model to minimize upward pressure on allocated costs and to provide service cost transparency.

With the IT Service Group leadership across campus, review CIT's subsidized or full-cost recovery services. Understand how the value or cost structure of these services might be improved to increase their adoption across the university.

  • For units, the value proposition is to substitute funding required for locally provisioned services with the lower fully loaded "price" of services brokered by CIT.
  • Some services can be subsidized to encourage adoption or mitigate risk.
  • Services with a limited potential audience and/or that do not provide risk mitigation value will be entirely cost recovered so the cost is borne by the user.

Understand and realize CIT service benefits through broad adoption across the university.

  • As CIT presents each of its services, each unit will respond with a report indicating current adoption and potential adoption. Regarding CIT services that provide a security benefit, the unit's report will also indicate how that security benefit is provided if the CIT service is not being used. These reports should be reviewed and accepted by the Streamlining Initiative Council.
  • CIT will use these reports to establish a baseline for each unit, and then track unit adoption of each service and work with units to demonstrate the cost/benefits as their adoption rate increases over time.


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