Web-based Services

​Prior to signing up and paying for any web-based (online) services, you must complete the Technology Acquisition Checklist (TAC).  Securing appropriate approval for technology purchases is ultimately your responsibility. Failure to adhere to the technology purchasing policy may result in ​you being charged for the cost of the software or service.​

We understand that it is likely that your purchase and intended use of a web-based service is perfectly reasonable.  However, as the availability of online services and applications continues to expand, so do the legal, technical, and business complexities regarding purchasinthese services for use in university-related business.

Approximately 10% of the purchasing requests we receive for software and online services are not simple purchases, but full-fledged projects – in order for the purchase to be leveraged effectively, its implementation may require integration with CMU systems, significant access to CMU data, and extensive access to OIT technical resources.  Though they may be submitted through the Technology Acquisition request form ("the TAC form") linked above, these high complication, high risk projects must be evaluated by OIT's Project Management Office and can take a year or more to complete.  In order to expedite these requests, you should be submit the TAC form or a separate ticket request at the inception of your project, not at the end.   

CMU is primarily concerned with services that conflict with legal obligations or university policy; involve off-site storage of university data; or closely replicate services already owned by the university.  The review process is intended to protect both the employee and the university by identifying any conflict prior to making the purchase​.

Below you will find some examples of software and services that meet the above descriptions as well as rationale for why these are inappropriate to purchase for university use.  This list is not exhaustive and is simply meant to provide common examples of these categories of software.​

​Package/Service ​Rationale
All Adobe Software
Available to faculty and staff.  CMU has an active licensing agreement with pricing discounts for all Adobe Creative Cloud, including Acrobat.  Contact the Help Desk at 989.774.3662 or by clicking here.
Dropbox Available to faculty and staff.  CMU has an active licensing agreement with pricing discounts for Dropbox.  Contact the Help Desk at 989.774.3662 or by clicking here.
​GoDaddy ​​CMU's Web Policy requires use of university content management system for official sites. Personal sites should not be charged to university accounts.
​​​SquareSpace​ CMU's Web Policy requires use of university content management system for official sites. Personal sites should not be charged to university accounts.
​Weekly CMU's Web Policy requires use of university content management system for official sites. Personal sites should not be charged to university accounts.
​Wix​ CMU's Web Policy requires use of university content management system for official sites. Personal sites should not be charged to university accounts.

You should be aware that OIT and Purchasing work together to ensure compliance of web-based services with CMU requirements, and you should report to OIT and Purchasing any performance concerns or deficiencies you might encounter with services you purchase.  You should also be aware that OIT and Purchasing require regular review of on-going contracts for Web-Based Services.  A “repeat” review will typically be conducted when an existing contract is renegotiated and lengthened, but, as these contracts take many forms, might be required every third year or even on-demand.

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