IT Decision-Making Principles


These are the principles that govern IT decision making at Princeton University.

  • We should invest in new technology to further the mission of the University, to support business requirements, to implement best practices, and to maintain regulatory compliance. We should “make haste deliberately.” Investments in new technology should be made as “early followers”, not on the “bleeding edge”, unless there is a compelling University need or directive. 
  • We should leverage our existing investment in technology, infrastructure and interoperability standards. 
  • IT investments should be evaluated based upon a cost/benefit analysis. The investment should be assessed by the following criteria:
    • Value – does the investment meet University stakeholders’ needs at a reasonable and sustainable cost?
    • Strategy – does the investment provide a distinct competitive advantage for the University?
    • Flexibility – does the investment improve the ability to be responsive to changes in technology, the University, or the environment?
    • Creativity – does the investment improve the ability to introduce new innovations?
    • Risk – does the investment enable the University to comply with regulations or to minimize institutional risks?
    • Sustainability – does the University have the resources to sustain the solution after initial investment? 
  • Solutions should be designed with an integrated view of University business processes and should reflect the needs of faculty, students, and staff working in departments. We should strive to eliminate the need for shadow systems and duplication of data. 
  • The University should address security, business continuity, accessibility, and usability as part of the selection/implementation of new systems. 
  • The selection of locally, centrally, or externally provided IT solutions should be based upon how best to deliver these services to meet business needs and optimize resource allocation. 
  • Departments should review, and where appropriate, modify business practices before making technology decisions.