In order to ensure compliance with university-wide information security policies, and to ensure that devices are adequately and properly tracked for audit and warranty purposes, Provost IT requires that users and departments we support comply with certain technology purchasing and procurement guidelines. Compliance with these guidelines helps ensure Provost IT can provide quality support that meets the needs of each user in every department that we provide technology services to.


These guidelines help departments understand the correct procedures for ordering new technology hardware in compliance with USC and Provost IT standards. They also help departments understand the reasoning and methodology behind such procedures.


All purchases of technology hardware and software must be approved, in advance, by Provost IT. Departments covered under the scope of this policy (who receive IT support from Provost IT) may not procure their own IT-related hardware or software without either a) the purchase being made directly through Provost IT, or b) the quote or purchase being approved, in the form of a documented helpdesk ticket or email, via a staff member from Provost IT before being made.

Types of technology and devices covered in this policy include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Desktop computers made by any manufacturer
  • Laptop computers made by any manufacturer
  • Tablets made by any manufacturer
  • Purchases of enterprise software, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, or any other piece of software already provided by Provost IT

Our criterion for approval includes, but is not limited to, the following characteristics:

  • Encryption capability: does the device have a trusted platform module chip which allows for hardware-based data encryption? Per USC policy, devices purchased with university funds must have this capability.
  • Alignment with department recommendations: does the device meet the characteristics recommended by Provost IT for laptops, desktops, or other technology?
  • Compatibility with central and department information systems: is the device compatible with existing USC systems, networks and applications? This will ensure that, for example, if the device is reassigned to another user in the future, it will continue working as a suitable computing platform.
  • Manufacturer reputation and purchasing policies: does the device come from a reputable manufacturer? Does that manufacturer (or an appropriate channel partner) have an existing relationship with USC or another USC department?

It is important to note that even if an item still meets the characteristics above, it may still be prohibited for other reasons. Provost IT will always provide guidance and work with departments to make purchases which comply with these standards and meet departmental technology needs.

Devices purchased outside of the scope of these guidelines will not be allowed to connect to Provost or USC systems, and Provost IT unfortunately cannot provide support for them. Individuals and/or departments which violate this policy can be subject to additional restrictions and actions as determined by Provost IT and the Office of the Provost.


This policy applies to all users and departments supported by Provost IT, and to departments which receive any level of help desk support from us. More specifically, it applies to any technology hardware or software purchases within these departments made with university funds, including research funds or grants.