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Mission-Critical Campus IT Services

2012-04-26

You are committed to providing innovative technology to your students and faculty, and you value a “flexible delivery” of learning experiences. Is your campus IT service reflecting this mission? 


Today’s pressures in campus IT

If you have a traditional campus IT service, it looks like this: Your IT organization evolved out of real institutional needs. Products and services were likely added on as-needed basis rather than across the board, and certain IT services have become redundant over time. Perhaps your organization is purposefully structured to embrace autonomy; as a result, it’s common for performance measures to be inconsistent throughout the organization. 

Your existing IT services need upgrades, at the same time that the demand for new campus IT services is ever increasing. IT-related income streams tend to be disappearing across the organization, creating a need for cost savings. The challenge is to increase efficiencies without diminishing the quality of your IT service delivery. 

Facing the future with agile IT 

To create an IT service that better supports your mission and future growth, you can begin by optimizing the delivery of IT services. But it is just as important to enhance the development and support of IT staff across campus. An agile campus IT service will:

  • Promote an IT service culture that is adaptive and customer-service oriented. 
  • Enable an adaptive IT community that is prepared for changes in services. 
  • Increase the responsiveness of IT service delivery while identifying cost savings and efficiency gains where possible. 
  • Identify opportunities for coordination and collaboration among IT service providers. 
  • Address areas that require enterprise-level oversight for maintaining the appropriate level of security over systems and data. 

Assessment as a prelude to IT change

Before you make any changes, perform a thoughtful assessment. Look for actionable opportunities to improve IT service delivery: 

  • Analyze potential gaps in service delivery where changes are needed.
  • Identify changes or alternative methods of service delivery where it appears to be warranted.
  • Assess appropriate classification for IT staff positions, and ensure correct and consistent classification of IT personnel.
  • Evaluate the suitability of professional development and technical certification.
  • Conduct research to support your analysis.
  • Facilitate the updating of IT staff position descriptions to reflect current responsibilities.
  • Document processes for evaluation of IT staff to provide a methodology that the IT community can replicate in the future.

Let’s talk numbers

The justification of technology and staffing investments is an institutional challenge, not just an IT organization matter. You want to plan for the delivery and costs of IT services at the institutional level because your priorities are driven by the need to align IT with the overall strategic mission of the university. Communicate the cost of delivering each IT-related service with your institution’s leaders and the campus community. Transparency is the first step, not the last. 

Base your decisions about investment in IT and staffing on the value the technology is expected to bring to achieving your institutional goals. In short, every IT service should be viewed through this lens: “Does this service support the core mission of our school?”