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New process for expedited acquisition of qualifying software to continue

From: Division of Information Technology

The pilot for Low-Risk, Low-Cost Software Procurement has been extended to Feb. 15, 2023 while final reviews of the process are completed, and the process is made permanent.

Beginning in Aug. 2022, IT Procurement and Licensing Solutions introduced a pilot program to allow departments to follow an expedited process for purchasing qualifying low-risk software, software subscriptions, and IT services. This new process, which is part of the larger IT Transformation, seeks to balance the needs of employees to obtain needed software with the university’s responsibility to weigh the potential risk exposure when these tools are used in the university environment. Since the pilot began, more than three hundred software acquisitions have been completed, and users report a high degree of satisfaction with the process. 

To be eligible, requested software must meet low-risk, low-cost criteria and be approved by a department head. For software products where those requirements  are met, departments can acquire the software using their normal departmental purchasing delegation processes without further review by IT or University Legal Counsel. Procurement of free software can also be facilitated under this pilot, if it meets the criteria. The criteria include the following stipulations: 

  • Software must only involve low-risk data 
  • Software must not be integrated with any enterprise-level application (e.g., Canvas, Banner, Microstrategy, Login)
  • Total cost must not exceed $10,000 per year or for one-time purchase
  • Software must be sourced from trusted vendors
  • Software must be for use within one administrative area or research project

Software purchases that fall outside of these requirements are still subject to the standard software license agreement review. Users and their departments should review Virginia Tech’s departmental software list and software license database and select pre-approved software options to meet their needs when possible. 

A 30-minute training module for the Low-Risk Low-Cost Software acquisition process is now available on demand through the PageUp LMS. Users are also strongly recommended to have an up-to-date FERPA certification - the FERPA training module is also available through PageUp.

If you have feedback or additional questions, please contact lowrisksoftwareprogram-g@vt.edu.

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