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ESR Technology and Infrastructure

The Enterprise Systems Renewal program represents a fundamental shift in our use of and relationship to technology systems and infrastructure. Data will be more easily accessible as we become a data-driven enterprise. New services will come on line much faster.  
ESR's guiding principles for architecture, described below, explain how we'll make this a reality. But first it's important to understand why we're doing this, some fundamental changes, and key benefits:   

Adopting Industry Best Practices 

The enterprise systems that make UC San Diego run were developed decades ago. Custom development and workarounds have kept systems running, but this approach is neither scalable or sustainable. We must evolve in order to meet our strategic goals. The principles that guide our response to that need for change come from the following accepted industry best practices: cloud-first, modular, API-centric design.   

Doing More with Less

Each department and function at UC San Diego is increasingly asked to meet the needs of a growing customer base with a limited expansion of resources. Right now, we manage our technology on site, with key infrastructure housed in our facilities and key application maintenance and upgrades handled by staff. ESR shifts that responsibility off site, thus freeing up personnel to focus energy and effort on needs that are specific to UC San Diego and our academic mission.  

Working Faster

The result of adopting modern, cloud-based systems means we can be much quicker, agile, and responsive in adapting to change and releasing new services. We won't have to start development from scratch, nor will making changes cause a negative impact, or domino effect, to other areas. 

ESR Guiding Principles

The ESR guiding principles establish the framework for how we'll structure our program, identify solutions and meet our goals.  

Cloud-First Strategy

A cloud-based model means adopting the "as a service" concept, in which we'll tap into existing vended services, rather than owning them.  The three “as a service” models we’re pursuing are:  
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)– Gives users automated and scalable environments with extreme flexibility and control, without the need to manage local infrastructure 

Platform as a Service (PaaS) – Provides a framework for quickly developing and deploying applications by automating infrastructure provisioning and management, but without complexities of managing the supporting infrastructure​ 

Software as a Service (SaaS)– Makes uniform, scalable applications available through the Internet, eliminating need to install and run programs on individual devices; focus is on configuration for business needs versus traditional application development 

Modular Systems Architecture  

Our current architecture is monolithic, meaning all in one piece. Components are interconnected and interdependent. A small change in one area could have grave consequences in other areas. Modular architecture, by contrast, allows for changes in one area without affecting other areas. 

API-Centric Design 

An Application Programming Interface (API)-centric architecture enables applications to be built in an agile fashion, future-proofed for new front-end technology, deployed at scale, and easily connected to other applications and systems inside and outside the enterprise. As a result, we'll be able to build and meet customer needs much faster.    

Category: ESR Behind the Scenes