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Big Research Support from a Small IT Organization: Montana State University Billings
Friday, February 1, 2013
For the typical, small central IT organization with limited funding, finding the adequate resources to provide requisite infrastructure, equipment, software, and technical support can be challenging. At Montana State University Billings (MSUB), the task of supporting researchers’ technology needs falls to MSUB’s Information Technology (MSUB IT) organization, which accomplishes this through soft skills such as engagement to ascertain a researcher’s technology needs at a project’s start. This engagement, along with MSUB IT’s adaptability and responsiveness, has cultivated a sense of trust that encourages collaboration between the researchers and MSUB IT. In addition, MSUB’s centralized IT environment provides a technology baseline into which research support equipment, software, and services must integrate, and research support is partially underwritten by a funding model that supplements MSUB IT’s operating budget. Together, these practices maximize MSUB IT’s investment in research support while exploiting any broader benefits. To help other institutions experience similar benefits, this case study examines’ MSUB IT’s underlying research computing support practices.
Citation for this work: Pirani, Judith A. Big Research Support from a Small IT Organization: Montana State University Billings (Case Study). Louisville, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, 2013, available from http://www.educause.edu/ecar.