- As colleges and universities continue their technological transformations, it's crucial that they formally adopt an IT strategic plan to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals.
- Lone Star College System Associate Vice Chancellor for Enterprise Applications Mario Berry and Darcy Turner, project director in the University of Michigan CIO's office, both told Campus Technology that crafting such a plan must begin with how tech can further the institution's mission and objectives.
- Key to assembling an effective plan are the process that goes into it; the engagement of faculty, staff and students for input; and brevity.
As with the incoming generation of students, who are conditioned to receiving information in easily digestible chunks, it shouldn't be expected that faculty and staff affected by a higher ed IT strategic plan will want to read a 30-page document. As Turner told Campus Technology, the ideal plan should be around five pages or fewer. Soliciting the input of the campus community at large is also key for gaining buy-in at all levels. When stakeholders have a hand in the process, that sense of ownership can contribute to more effective execution.
While these plans are particularly beneficial for large institutions without a centralized IT structure, they're increasingly mandatory for all institutions. CIOs and others with similar titles are only going to become more important to a college or university's overall business strategy, so it's never too early to start.