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Software Acquisition, Development, Upgrade and Distribution (DRAFT)

1.0 Objective: What we want to accomplish

This document outlines the policies and procedures for managing the software procurement, upgrade, development and distribution processes for Lehigh University. It will serve as a guide for University faculty and staff who would like to request new academic and administrative software as well as procedures and guidelines for requesting software to be developed, upgraded, supported and maintained.

2.0 Purpose: Reason behind policy

This policy:

  • Supports the acquisition and distribution of academic and administrative software licensed by Lehigh University, or by an individual using Lehigh University funds, to carry out its administrative, academic, teaching, learning and research activities;
  • Supports software asset management best practices by collaborating with departments, faculty, and staff in procuring, managing, and complying with the terms of licensed software;
  • Acknowledges that members of the Lehigh University community that use or purchase licensed software in compliance with this policy are accepting the terms and conditions contained in the license agreements.
  • Establishes guidelines for the request, evaluation, and development of in-house software.
  • Establishes the guidelines for requesting software upgrades
  • Outlines the policies and procedures for distributing software

3.0 Audience & Scope:

Library & Technology Services (LTS) acquires, develops, maintains, supports and distributes software that is requested by Lehigh faculty, staff and students, and/or recommended by LTS staff for campus-wide or departmental usage. Decisions regarding purchases and planning are undertaken by the LTS Software Committee in close consultation with faculty and staff. Funding priority is given to applications that address mission critical applications within the University, for both the administration and academic stems. Applications used for enterprise, instruction, academic research, productivity and software to be used with a course or for development of course materials will be considered. Items considered when evaluating software for acquisition and support include, but are not limited to: the number of potential users on campus; initial and ongoing costs; the ability of the software to run on Lehigh's computing systems; comparisons with other software of the same type; industry trends; and the level of staff support needed.

LTS provides two levels of academic software support to Lehigh computing clients: full and limited. Each operating system and application that is made available by LTS falls into one of these support levels. This is true for all platforms and distribution methods including the Application Servers (serving Windows and Macintosh based software to the public computing sites and classrooms, university departments, and STAR/student residential), and Research Computing servers. In selected cases, LTS will also provide limited support for software not installed on LTS computing systems.

3.1 Full Support

Full support is given to software useful to broad segments of the University. LTS encourages clients to adopt fully supported software whenever possible. LTS staff and consultants provide installation services, technical support, and training for this software. LTS strives to develop in-depth knowledge about these applications and will pursue solutions to problems that may arise in their use at Lehigh. Training is provided, based on need, through the LTS seminar series or cooperative arrangements with departments. LTS may have vendor documentation for reference, and may have developed local documentation.

LTS also provides within a reasonable time current versions of fully supported software on its computing systems. Software upgrades are executed with a view to minimizing disruption for clients. Before an upgrade, appropriate user groups are contacted by Client Services team members to ascertain potential problems and arrive at an upgrade date. Software upgrade requests need to go through the LTS Change Management Process prior to being performed. Upgrades to software that is available on virtual distribution systems and that affect clients will be performed during breaks only (summer and winter) and will be announced a semester prior to execution.


3.2 Limited Support

Limited support is assigned to software for which there is less need to recommend a standard or to provide a full range of services. This category of software is generally useful to fewer clients than is the case for full support software. The assignment of limited support is based on current client needs and LTS resources. The consultant(s) will be familiar with this software and will provide installation and technical support. If a consultant is unable to answer a question, she or he may suggest strategies for resolving problems, or suggest other sources of assistance such as a vendor knowledge base or user groups. Training is not provided for limited support software. LTS may have vendor documentation for reference, and may have developed local documentation.

LTS has limited funds available for software purchases, so departments must outline how the costs will be covered including the initial purchase as well as any annual maintenance costs. If LTS concludes that it is not possible to provide support, then the requester must assume local responsibilities. The policy is in place to ensure that any change that affects one or all of the environments that Lehigh University relies on to conduct normal business operations are protected.


4.0 Policy:

Library and Technology Services seeks to maximize effectiveness in the acquisition, development, distribution, maintenance and use of software resources. All Lehigh University faculty and staff must consult with Library and Technology Services before purchasing, inquiring, developing or contracting for information technology software. This set of guidelines applies to any software (stand alone, network or cloud based) that is to be installed on any device(s) connected to Lehigh University’s networks, or installed on university owned hardware that is supported by Library and Technology Services. All acquisition, development, distribution and maintenance of software at the University must conform to these guidelines in order to maximize functionality, minimize conflicts and avoid duplication of resources.


4.1 Software Request Procedure and Assignment

All faculty and staff inquiring about the acquisition, development or upgrade of software at Lehigh University must first complete a request form through the LTS help desk system located at: www.lehigh.edu/go/softwarerequest. Upon completion, each request is forwarded to the Chief Technology Officer and the Assistant Director, Computing and Distributed Support Services, who will then assign to an LTS staff member ("Assignee") within Library and Technology Services. The Assignee will first determine whether or not a solution already exists at the University. If a comparable solution exists, the Assignee will contact the requester and offer comparable solutions already owned by the University. If a suitable solution does not exist, the Assignee will work with the requestor, ISSC, Legal/Purchasing, LTS security office and the Software Committee by following the ISSC Software Acquisition Process. Next, a Software Acquisition Team will be assembled who will be tasked with identifying vendors, starting the RFI (Request for Information) process, identifying the business processes and the stakeholder and functional requirements for the software. Ongoing maintenance costs and how they are to be covered must be identified prior to the request being submitted to a Software Acquisition Team.


4.1.1 Development Procedure

If a suitable vendor is not found, and it is determined that the software may be developed in house, the "Assignee" will investigate the feasibility of developing the software and determine if LTS or the University has the necessary staff resources and skills available to complete the request. If external (consultants) need to be used, the "Assignee" will work with stakeholders to determine the feasibility and scope of the project.


4.2 Upgrade Requests

If a request is for a software upgrade, the "Assignee" will work with the LTS Software Committee, LTS Technology Infrastructure and Maintenance as well as the Endpoint Engineering Team to determine resource requirements, costs, and feasibility of the request. If approved, and funding is available, the software will be made available for local downloads on http://software.lehigh.edu (if applicable) and for LUapps (virtual delivery). Upgrade requests will be fulfilled during winter and summer breaks only. More information is available at: https://lts.lehigh.edu/services/software.

5.0 Exceptions:

 

6.0 Enforcement:

Any member of the University community who does not adhere to the policies and procedures listed above will have their software acquisition request revoked.

7.0 Definitions:

 

8.0 Reference Documents:

ISSC SOFTWARE ACQUISITION PROCESS
Consultant Software Support Levels and Specialists

9.0 Additional Contacts:

Subject Contact Phone Email
LTS Software Committee Gale Fritsche 8-5038 gdf2@lehigh.edu
LTS Contracts/Software Specialist Jane Nigrelli 8-6247 jmn418@lehigh.edu

Responsible University Official: Eric Zematis, CISO
Responsible University Office: Lehigh Library and Technology Services (LTS), 610-758-3994
Effective Date: 04/--/2019
Revision Number: 1

For additional help, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-4357 or helpdesk@lehigh.edu