What inspires change? Giving someone the opportunity to innovate
and be recognized for their accomplishments.
Open to all CIT employees and organized by the CIT Professional
Development Committee, CIT IGNITE is an innovation challenge. Five
cross-functional teams from various CIT departments present
proposals for new services that best demonstrated innovative uses
of IT to improve the UB experience for faculty, staff or students.
All CIT employees were invited to watch the presentations and vote
on each proposal.
In addition to providing a proposal, the contest required teams
to pitch their idea and produce a timeline and budget. Teams
were judged on impact, usefulness, originality and creativity.
The proposals were judged by a combination of scores from the
audience and the following panel:
- Tom Furlani, Interim Associate Vice President for
Information Technology (CIO)
- Robert Orrange, UB Career Services
- Kevin Cleary, CSE System Administrator
A total of five proposals were judged, but Team iCode, which
consisted of Andrew Gianni, Irene Holohan-Moyer, Joe Grupp,
Kevin Eye and Andrew Ryan, was ultimately victorious. Their
proposal for securely exposing select institutional data to UB
“citizen developers” and encouraging app development
captured the imagination of judges and attendees. Resources have
been committed to develop a proof-of-concept.
"We are actively working on the planning phase of the project,
defining the project plan and identifying resources for
implementation," said Andrew Gianni, Application Development
Analyst with Enterprise Application Services (EAS).
According to team member Kevin Eye, also an EAS Application
Development Analyst, team iCode hopes to develop a UB Application
Programming Interface (API), which will allow controlled access to
specific university data. An example of other APIs spurring citizen
development is Facebook. Facebook created its own API that allows
limited access to an IT data warehouse and, since its release,
hundreds of innovative apps using Facebook data have been created
by developers outside of Facebook. Team iCode hopes to see this
sort of grassroots development here at UB.
Andrew added, "While public APIs are offered by many commercial
enterprises, there are a limited number of universities that are
currently offering this kind of service. Citizen developers could
range from University staff members, who might develop an
application or data-driven Web page for their department, to a
student creating a new application using the API."
Although team iCode won out in the end, many great ideas were
proposed during the IGNITE competition. Among them was a proposal
for an app to simplify UB events and groups, better facilitating
campus involvement. Another idea was to combine different
communication tools into one unified suite to improve collaboration
across UB departments. A cloud computing system was also proposed
to help researchers utilize UB’s computing resources in
addition to a new way finding system to help people who could
otherwise be easily lost roaming the halls of Capen Hall.
Organizers believe IGNITE has the potential to encourage greater
collaboration with the campus community given the external interest
shown this year by some groups including UB’s School of
Management and Infotech Niagara.