Mission, values, and stakeholders
Mission, values, and stakeholders#
Our mission is the guiding principle behind everything that we do. It defines where we should invest in our capabilities, what kind of impact we want to have, and what kind of work we say yes (or no) to.
Our mission is currently defined in the About pages of our brochure site.
Our values are ideas that we believe are important for 2i2c to follow as it works towards its mission. We strive to make decisions that align with our values, though recognize that they are sometimes in tension with one another and cannot be followed perfectly.
Our values are currently defined in the About pages of our brochure site.
2i2c defines some key stakeholders that it uses to assess impact and progress in accomplishing our mission.
Here’s a short-hand description of our stakeholders in one sentence:
We serve global communities of practice that are dedicated to creating and sharing public knowledge.
Below we describe a few major qualities and types of the key stakeholders we serve.
Long-tail of communities#
2i2c aims to serve both large and small organizations, but in particular it aims to serve the long tail of communities. This is because these communities have the most to benefit from managed cloud services.
Here are a few qualities for what this means:
They are not the biggest or the most well-resourced communities.
They likely would have no access to similar infrastructure without a hosted service.
They tend to exist outside of North America and Western Europe.
They are not already “cloud native” and require guidance to move into the cloud.
In practice, we will serve both large and small organizations. Our goal is to use the experience and resources generated from working with well-resourced organizations to subsidize the cost of working with under-resourced organizations. This might mean that there is a mismatch in who we serve in our early years, but we commit to developing a sustainability model that is not only accessible to well-resourced institutions.
Use cloud infrastructure to facilitate the creation of knowledge with data.
They often need access to higher-performance computing and data infrastructure that is not accessible locally. This is because their local infrastructure is not flexible enough to accommodate their needs, or because they lack the resources to access this infrastructure at all.
They work at vertically-oriented institutions (e.g., a university with an in-house IT department), but their communities are organized horizontally across institutions (a researcher may identify more with colleagues in their field than with their co-workers at the university). This often creates tension when community needs conflict with institutional policy.
They make few assumptions about the consumers of their work because they are spread across a global network of institutions and workflows. As such, they value workflows that are maximally accessible, portable, modular, simple, and long-lasting. This allows them to define a shared set of practices across their institutional boundaries without requiring a lot of vertical decision-making.
They often organize around domain-specific technical stacks. For example, a Python package that wraps XArray and scikit-learn to do domain-specific machine learning. They often wish to use infrastructure to develop and standardize community workflows.
Below are a few user archetypes of individuals in a Research use-case:
End-user researchers do their own work or collaborate with others using cloud infrastructure. Post docs, graduate students, staff scientists, research enthusiasts, etc.
Principal investigators oversee teams and communities of end-user researchers. They write and deliver on grants, empower communities to do good work, and provide leadership in their organizations and fields.
Use cloud infrastructure to facilitate sharing knowledge about working with data. They utilize the cloud to facilitate access to the computational environments needed to learn. They also utilize it to centralize learner workflows in a single space to facilitate the distribution of materials, to encourage collaboration, and to connect with other services for learning (like grading or course management sites).
They tend to be organized within a single institution with other institutional services. For example, they use an institutional authentication service or an organization-wide system for course management.
They need to do a combination of sharing material, facilitating student collaboration, collecting material, and evaluating and grading work.
They want to teach skills that are useful in the real world, though they often lack the direct technical infrastructure and data needed to mimic “real-world” data workflows.
They are organizationally conservative, but with ambitious individuals. At an organizational level, they tend to take the least-risky / uncertain path, though there are often individuals inside that wish to experiment and champion new ideas.
End-user students utilize the cloud infrastructure to learn on their own or as a part of class activities. They may have no experience with coding or cloud infrastructure.
Instructional staff provide support to instructors in a classroom setting. This includes helping individual students as they have problems, debugging, assisting with grading, etc.
Instructors create and teach the source material for a course. They utilize the cloud infrastructure to make it easier for others to follow along with their ideas and to get experience doing the work themselves. They create content that needs to be distributed to students.
Administrations are tasked with providing technology for communities of learners that facilitates learning. They make procurement and service contract decisions. They are concerned about data retention, learner safety, and organizational risk.