Researching the right IT solutions

Data driven solutions. Chris Reberg-Horton (right), Girish Chowdhary, Ranveer Chandra, and Steven Mirsky (left), examine an autonomous agricultural data collection robot. Reberg-Horton and Mirsky are co-leaders of a $10M grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to transform agriculture. Photo by Marc Hall. Video courtesy of the NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Data-driven inquiry has exploded across all areas of research at NC State. At the same time, the university’s need to comply with increasing data security requirements is juxtaposed against the need to readily collaborate with researchers locally and globally. That has made finding the right IT solutions all the more complicated. No longer does it suffice for researchers to have their life’s work stored on a computer under their desk. 

During the past year, OIT has stepped up its collaboration with the University Libraries and the Office of Research and Innovation to provide more support and guidance to researchers who increasingly rely on information technology to perform their research. The support is all the more critical for researchers to comply with complex federal contract and grant requirements to secure their data.

This spring, the Research Computing and Data Services Coordination Planning Team, co-chaired by Andy Kurth of OIT and Susan Ivey of  the University Libraries, was charged with proposing a service model to better coordinate campuswide services and resources needed to perform research. Their initial report is due this summer and an initial support structure is due by the fall. 

Simultaneously, as part of the revamped IT Governance process, the Research, Scholarship & Creativity IT Committee began meeting this year and has brought to the forefront both short and long-term IT infrastructure and support needs at the university. 

OIT continues to support the Secure University Research Environment (SURE) for research projects needing to comply with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-171 and related standards. As more federal granting agencies require stricter data security requirements, OIT is continuing to update university network, computing and storage resources to comply with these regulations.