2019-2022 Strategic Report and Plan

Closer than you think: The future of technology is already happening.

VPCIO J. Brice Bible and Sciences Dean Robin Schulze.

VPCIO J. Brice Bible, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Robin Schulze and Anderson Gallery Acting Director Robert Scalise gather together to announce the completion of the Anderson Gallery's fiber connection to the university.

What will the campus of 2030 look like? UB is just starting down the path towards becoming a cognitive campus. Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer the way of the future -- it's here today. By 2030, our campus could be fully automated and intertwined with augmented reality. From an IT perspective, there will be little to no on-premise systems and applications within 10 years. Technology is shifting to rely on algorithms vs. application development.

Many of today's IT work tasks will simply not exist in another decade. This is why it is crucial to attract and retain critical, adaptable, independent thinkers. Training and retooling will be key for IT staff as we focus on minimizing "technical debt" or legacy systems that can be retired or replaced with streamlined, cloud-based technologies.

At the same time, Gartner predicts 90% of current applications will still be in use by 2023. Services that we implement today need to be designed to last.

Today UB has an opportunity to build quality IT services that anticipate and withstand the frenetic path of technology in the coming years. As of 2018, UBIT is working with a platform on a pilot program exploring how AI can help us better support the campus community. By tapping into our extensive customer service knowledge base -- both in the minds of our Help Center staff and the tens of thousands of requests  they process each semester -- we can train the AI platform to provide answers to customers' most common IT questions, like how to reset their UBITName password or find and download free software.

From finance to facilities to student success, AI could make UB more efficient by solving our most common problems, freeing up our staff to work on creative problem solving.

With our AI pilot, UBIT is laying the first bricks of our cognitive campus, and building the expertise needed to advise our partners on campus about how to best deploy these tools to get the greatest return. AI has the potential to be every bit as transformative as the Internet in how we work and learn.

UB shouldn't just be ready for the future -- it should lead the charge.

J. Brice Bible
Vice President and Chief Information Officer  (VPCIO)