It’s hard to believe, but the World Wide Web is now 25 years old! And over the past quarter century, web technologies have really grown organically here at UofT. In anticipation of that milestone, last year we began an analysis of our enterprise web hosting services. What we determined was that our current enterprise web hosting services are out of date and don’t reflect current needs and the way in which divisional web services have developed at our University. We also recognized that cyber risk and protecting our websites from cyber attacks needed to be more of a priority.
To move us forward, we have begun working towards a Next Generation of Enterprise Web Services. But we are not re-inventing the wheel. The services we are proposing are based on contemporary best practices, and we’ve already shown the benefits of this with the migration of the University’s main webspace through our strategic partnership with Digital Creative Services (formerly Strategic Communications). Now we need to move the rest of the enterprise web space.
Moving forward, we want to move away from sites that do not use standardized software or controls as the default. We want to make sure clients have access to vetted and tested technologies. That plugins and themes are patched in timely ways. We want to make sure new functionality can be rolled out easily but in a managed way, and as an enterprise service, we want to move away from building custom websites, working with our divisional partners to provide those kinds of context-specific services.
At the same time, we want to ensure that clients that need to do more high-risk activities, like collecting personal information or selling things online, have a way to do that in a highly secure environment.
That, in a nutshell, is the essence of the Next Generation Enterprise Web Services initiative.
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