Have you ever wondered what’s actually supported by DASA Technology Services staff when it comes to software that you install on your computer?
Approved, Not Reviewed, Not Approved
NC State’s Office of Information Technology must certify all software applications that are installed on devices across campus. This helps ensure the university is not exposed to unnecessary data security and legal risks. In addition, if there was a case of an unanticipated security issue with a piece of software, they will know to inform groups like DASA Technology Services of issues we may need to address!
Consequently, all software must be approved by NC State’s OIT Security & Compliance group prior to implementation and installation. Employees are encouraged to review the list of approved software, colloquially referred to as “Clickwrap Approved,” at https://go.ncsu.edu/clickwrap.
Software can be searched and is listed as one of the following statuses:
- Approved – Ready for use, but please review any notes about its usage.
- Conditional – Ready for use, but you must meet the conditions listed in the table.
- Under Review – Not ready for use, but you can check back at a later date to see if it has received full or conditional approval.
- Denied – Not approved for use and a note will explain why at a broad level.
If you cannot find the software you’re interested in installing, then chances are that it has either never been approved for use on campus or the approval has lapsed and the application will need to be submitted again. Please submit a request for support to firstname.lastname@example.org to begin this conversation so that DASA Technology Services can submit the application for Clickwrap Approval on your behalf. This process can take anywhere from 3 – 6 weeks depending upon the complexity of the review and the level of cooperation that the vendor provides to NC State staff.
Support from DASA Technology Services
DASA Technology Services is happy to provide installation assistance for applications that are “Clickwrap Approved.” That said, given the sheer number of applications on the list, we are unable to provide tutorial assistance for those applications. As a result, they are provided with limited support meaning that we are happy to troubleshoot your computer, and ensure that you can install the application(s) if your machine meets the minimum software requirements, but we are unlikely to be able to provide support beyond that.
DASA Technology Services is unable to provide any level of support for software listed as Denied or Under Review. Likewise, items on the list will need to first be submitted for review and approved prior to DASA Technology providing limited support.
From time-to-time, DASA Technology is asked about what productivity tools and application suites we support. NC State University is a Google Workspace Enterprise campus and, consequently, we provide support for Google Workspace tools (Drive, Docs, Sheets, etc.). While other tools such as certain versions of Microsoft Office, Teams, Dropbox, and others may exist on campus they are provided with the same limited support as “Clickwrap approved” software. In fact, DASA Technology is unable to even request support for these non-standard tools from OIT support.
We strongly encourage staff to use the approved and supported Google Workspace tools to ensure consistency across our division and to minimize confusion on which group of people use which productivity tools and in which situation. This is both problematic from an operational standpoint and also because tool interoperability remains challenging between many of these systems.
Hosted (Cloud-Based) Applications
You may have some “cloud-based” applications that don’t require any local software installation to use. Hosted applications require the same kind of approval that installable software requires. In fact, while you’re reviewing “Clickwrap Approved” software, you’re likely to see hosted and installable applications co-mingled on the list! Please know that, depending on the implementation within your department, DASA Tech Strategic Partners will have conversations with departmental leaders about the level of support we are able to provide.
Generally speaking, if an application is the core enterprise-grade hosted application that drives the daily operations of your entire department, we will provide more than “as-is” support. Our Systems and Operations (SysOps) team will be assigned to provide back-end support, and we have staff who can support any data feeds from NC State data sources like Housing or SIS to ensure your team has the best possible experience.
If a hosted application, however, serves a niche purpose like project management or supports a single workflow for a subset of staff in the department, the same as-is support provided for installable software will apply to hosted applications.
All cloud-based software is subject to prior approval by the Office of Information Technology’s Security & Compliance team. This is referred to as the IT Purchase Compliance process and it can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 8 weeks depending on the complexity of the hosted application, vendor cooperation, and the classification of the data that will be stored by the vendor. Often, these reviews require weeks of information gathering with the vendor and their 3rd-party vendors to ensure we have provided the Security & Compliance team with sufficient information to make a decision.
“Wrapping” IT up…
In short, we are happy to provide installation and advocacy for “Clickwrap approved” software either on your computer or hosted. We will absolutely ensure that your core enterprise hosted software applications receive an additional level of support and care from staff once it has been approved through the IT Purchase Compliance process. By aligning our practices with OIT practices, we are ensuring that data and information systems security of NC State remains strong.