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Innovation in higher education: Beyond the social campus

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This research describes key forces of change facing higher education. We interviewed a dozen highly innovative CIOs to learn their lessons and present a roadmap for institutional change based on strategic alignment between IT and the business. The report was sponsored by Enterasys Networks.

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Innovation in higher education: Beyond the social campus

  1. 1. Photo by Michael Krigsman Innovation and Transformation: Going beyond the Social Campus Michael Krigsman Lydia Segal Lisbeth Shaw Enterasys Networks sponsored this research
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY  3 ABOUT THIS RESEARCH  4 Institutions We Studied  4 STRATEGIC CONTRIBUTION  5 Student Retention  5 Student Recruitment  6 Fundraising 6 Cost Reduction and Operational Efficiency  6 Classroom Innovation  7 TRANSFORMATION ROAD MAP 8 1.  Build the Right Infrastructure  8 2.  Provide the Right Applications and Services  9 3.  Transform the IT Organization  11 Develop a Service-Oriented Culture within IT  11 Adopt an Efficient IT Organizational Structure  11 Align IT and the Business  12 Develop IT Staff Skills  12 4.  Support Institutional Transformation and Culture Shift  12 Facilitate Open Relationships with Stakeholders  12 Exchange Ideas with Stakeholders  13 Foster Executive Relationships  14 FINAL THOUGHTS 15 ABOUT THE AUTHORS  16 SPONSORS 16 Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 2
  3. 3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Colleges and universities face economic, technological, and market forces that challenge the traditional ways in which they recruit students, raise money, and deliver educational services. In addition, rapid growth in online education and an explosion of new competitors, such as massive open online courses (MOOCs), have forced schools to boost fundraising and seek new means to attract students. At the same time, information technology departments in higher education face their own challenges: „„ Cloud-based software has empowered students and faculty to bypass IT and handle many computing tasks on their own, putting pressure on IT departments to remain relevant in this rapidly changing environment. „„ Social networking websites, such as Facebook, have created a generation of informed students who share information and demand greater transparency from schools and other institutions. „„ Pervasive use of mobile devices, including smart phones and tablets, has triggered the “bring your own device” (BYOD) phenomenon. Today’s students and faculty expect to use their own equipment on campus, driving IT investments in infrastructure and security. Given these changes, CIOs today stand at a crossroads: embrace stakeholder participation in technology decisions or risk becoming marginalized. This choice is difficult because IT’s historical role as guardian of corporate assets requires tight control over computing resources, even though users have come to resent this cultural style. Catalyst for transformation. Cloud, social, and mobile computing (including BYOD) have put pressure on CIOs to change their mindset toward users, although many IT departments still remain insular and unresponsive. The ubiquitous availability of inexpensive software delivered in the cloud has given users choices that were unavailable in the past. In response to rising numbers of empowered technology consumers, which include students and faculty, CIOs have little choice but to change how they relate to users. CIOs must reconceive their role and lead IT to collaborate with users while supporting their institution’s strategic plans and daily operations. In higher education, innovative CIOs have transformed IT from being remote and unresponsive to soliciting user input proactively, inviting constituents to help set the agenda and building services based on customer needs. Some CIOs have adopted cloud, social, and mobile to create a “social campus” that uses these technologies extensively. For these institutions cloud, social, and mobile are a catalyst that transforms the relationship between IT and users. When IT adopts a customer-oriented mindset, users see IT as helpful and valuable. The best CIOs can help their institutions gain market share, strengthen brand, improve student retention, support classroom learning, raise money, and create a better college experience for students. These results can happen when the CIO becomes a strategic partner to the institution. Examples and a road map. In this study, we interview ten CIOs (and one CTO) who are highly responsive to customers while meeting their institution’s business and operating needs. These unique CIOs go beyond social campus by participating in an executive capacity with the business issues of higher education. Whether helping drive market share or improving the lives of students, these CIOs offer important lessons to higher education. This report distills wisdom and experience from these innovative CIOs and presents a road map to transform higher education by applying modern technology, innovation, and relentless dedication to the customer. November, 2012 Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 3
  4. 4. ABOUT THIS RESEARCH This study describes educational institutions that use cloud, social, mobile, and advanced network technologies in the service of organizational transformation initiatives. Combining technology with organizational change enables these schools to be more responsive, efficient, and adaptive to the changing educational environment. Given the importance of technology as a business enabler, we interviewed ten Chief Information Officers (CIO) and one Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Each interview lasted one hour, based on open-ended questions provided to interviewees in advance. Discussions focused on how technological innovation impacts each participant’s institution. The interviews were recorded, with the interviewee’s permission, then transcribed and coded to facilitate analysis. Institutions We Studied The eleven institutions presented here represent a rich cross-section of American higher education. They include schools that are private and public, large and small, religious and secular, urban and rural, and research- and teaching-oriented. Some schools are located in union states; others, in right-to-work states that do not allow unions. Given the large volume of data we collected, this report includes a brief summary of the results. Future publications will explore the data in more depth and we plan additional research to examine administrative leadership and provide quantitative benchmarks. We interviewed the following people: INSTITUTION LOCATION CIO REPORTS TO Babson College Wellesley, MA Sam Dunn President Seton Hill University Greensburg, PA Phil Komarny President University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC Mike Barker (CTO) CIO Sinclair Community College Dayton, OH Ken Moore President (also Senior Vice President of Operations) Indiana University / Fort Wayne, IN Bob Kostrubanic Vice Chancellor of Financial Purdue University Affairs Georgetown University Washington, DC Lisa Davis Chief Operating Officer University of New Hampshire Durham, NH Joanna Young Vice President of Finance and Administration St. Edward’s University Austin, TX David Waldron Provost (Chief Academic Officer) Westmont College Santa Barbara, CA Reed Sheard President (also Vice President of Advancement) University of Wisconsin Platteville, WI Erich Matola Chief Financial Officer Florida State College Jacksonville, FL Rob Rennie President Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 4
  5. 5. STRATEGIC CONTRIBUTION To achieve maximum impact, CIOs should define an information technology strategy and business operating model that connects IT to the institution’s strategic plan and operational requirements. Such an alignment strategy can only succeed if the CIO is fluent with the business challenges facing the institution, so he or she must find ways to gain meaningful awareness of these issues. Of course, CIOs should also help advance their institution’s efforts to improve educational delivery to students. In addition, the CIO must think beyond technology to offer responsive service that benefits the various constituencies and stakeholders present in any institution of higher education. Strategic alignment, business orientation, and customer focus are key drivers of CIO success. CIOs who reject this view risk becoming marginalized and devalued, relegated to providing low value “feeds and speeds.” Conversely, strategic CIOs with a user-centric mindset bring tremendous value and advance their institution’s mission in important and diverse ways. The CIOs we interviewed for this study possess an innovative and strategic mindset that led to their making significant contributions in critical areas such as: „„ Student retention „„ Student recruitment „„ Fundraising „„ Reduced costs and higher operational efficiency „„ Greater classroom innovation Student Retention Student retention is an ongoing concern to many institutions, a problem that the economic crisis and competitive market in higher education have exacerbated. Innovative CIOs, however, can use technology to fight back. These CIOs have found numerous ways to improve retention, such as developing early warning systems to identify students before they drop out, using case-management systems to track students as appropriate, and generally supporting students during their life on campus. In fact, many of the initiatives they designed to support students not only help retention, but also create a compelling college experience for students that builds the institution’s brand and differentiates it from the competition. ‹‹ Phil Komarny, CIO of Seton Hill University, developed an early-intervention system to help identify at-risk students. He says: ...they [faculty] have an early-alert system that alerts this system about maybe a student’s doing badly in this class.... Now if we see a trend there ... they [can] intervene before there’s a problem.... our [student] retention rates are up two to five percent... ‹‹ Ken Moore, CIO of Sinclair Community College, developed a custom case management system to help preempt students from dropping out. He attributes the rise in student retention rates since then to the new system. …our retention has really gone up because of it. We’ve been using it now for about eight years… maybe seven years, after we built it, and our retention continues to climb. Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 5
  6. 6. Innovation and Transformation: Going Beyond the Social CampusStudent Recruitment CIOs who participate at a strategic level understand the challenges their institutions face in recruiting prospective students. These CIOs can contribute ideas on how technology can improve student recruitment, such as increasing the institution’s presence on the Web or identifying qualified prospects who are undecided about which school to attend. These efforts can help an institution conduct better marketing outreach efforts to attract more students. ‹‹ Erich Matola, CIO of the University of Wisconsin at Platteville, discussed IT’s role in enabling a social media presence for his university, which helps marketing efforts to prospective students: ...on the website, we’ve got a Facebook presence [with] Twitter [and] TweetDeck on the campus ... IT runs the back end of it and the public affairs office runs the front end.... we [have] really come to a realization that it’s huge. ‹‹ Ken Moore, CIO of Sinclair Community College, uses innovative technologies to predict which prospective students are likely to enroll and which are still undecided. This approach allows the university to target various prospective student groups and mobilize resources as needed to boost enrollment: …through our data mining process and some regression analysis we can actually say, ‘We know this 20%, they are going to register, don’t worry about it. We know this 20%, we could move heaven and Earth and they are not going to; but here’s this group in the middle and that’s who we go after.’Fundraising CIOs who participate at a strategic level also understand the challenges their institution faces in raising funds. These CIOs can contribute ideas on using technology to strengthen revenue generation in areas such as alumni giving. ‹‹ Reed Sheard, CIO of Westmont College, increased alumni giving by finding ways to connect alumni to the College and each other. He created a program bringing together data from the school’s ERP system with information from LinkedIn and Facebook, to give alumni a way to network not only with former friends and dorm mates, but also with any alumni who share common interests or experiences: …I had my fundraising hat and saw that there was a multi-year decline in giving to the college by alumni. …[and] I’m like, ‘Ok, so they love their alma mater more than ever and yet giving is going down.’ That’s interesting. ... We got into that question and what came out of that was the real reason, ‘The College could help us make connections with other alumni for personal and professional reasons.’Cost Reduction and Operational Efficiency Increasing efficiency and reducing costs are traditional expectations of IT and the CIO. Every school should use technology to achieve these goals. Administrative services, facilities, and curriculum management are among the areas in which the CIOs we interviewed have developed ideas that can save money or gain efficiencies, for example by using the cloud to increase efficiency and drive business improvement or using software to facilitate employee collaborative work processes and thus improve efficiency. ‹‹ Lisa Davis, CIO of Georgetown University, says her organization uses cloud software to increase efficiency for both IT and the institution as a whole: [We] are the first university to take our HR payroll and benefits and finance into a cloud solution, with the Workday product. ... Our quick wins have been the innovation summits, the launch of Georgetown mobile, the migration to Google Apps for Education, the Workday management. ... From an IT standpoint, cost, efficiencies, better integration, less maintenance, security considerations, all of these things are driving considerations as we consider ... cloud applications for our architecture. Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 6
  7. 7. Innovation and Transformation: Going Beyond the Social Campus ‹‹ Reed Sheard, CIO of Westmont College, stressed the importance of how cloud enables his organization to do more with fewer resources: Out of practical necessity, I looked at cloud computing because I could do it quickly and it was cost effective. ‹‹ Bob Kostrubanic, CIO of Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne, explains the efficiency that resulted when his school implemented software to streamline and facilitate the collaborative work process: …there are several teams that are using [collaboration workspaces]… So, for instance, one use that’s in place is when they are developing a new program and ... there may be only four or five people involved and they want to keep it to that, so that they can pass the ideas back and forth and then when they think that they have it at a certain stage they may include another five people or they can enlarge that network and allow them to see it and it moves through stages. ‹‹ Rob Rennie, CIO of Florida State College at Jacksonville, describes his strategy for costs savings and infrastructure within IT: …one of the things I did to fund the student side was I got rid of my mainframe.... we did that about seven years ago and we pushed a million dollars of cost out immediately. And, the cost avoidances have been that plus whatever the growth would have been in that operating cost for software.Classroom Innovation Institutions of higher education distinguish themselves in teaching students and supporting their educational needs. Innovative CIOs can use collaboration technologies and social networking to improve interaction between students and professors, enhance learning in and out of the classroom, and encourage stronger relationships between students and school. By applying innovative and student-centric technologies, CIOs can help create a learning experience that is more satisfying for students and better aligned with the school’s mission. ‹‹ Dave Waldron, CIO of St. Edward’s University, has deployed technology to provide students with opportunities to collaborate across physical, political, and cultural boundaries. The institution gives students in Austin access to the resources of portal campuses abroad using the “LifeSize” solution to: ... allow students in France and Austin to meet synchronously via advanced video conferencing. It makes the people who are remote appear life size.... Robust social media lets students talk to each other after class, for example, Google+ hangouts. ‹‹ Florida State College at Jacksonville is experimenting with using iPads to make class materials more convenient to students: Then we have a nursing pilot where ... they walk in [and] we hand them a fully populated iPads ... so they have all their books, their calculators, their reference material on an iPad and then when they go do their clinicals they have everything with them. So in our dental programs ... we’ve got all the videos in our content management system, with all the procedures that we have recorded over time. ‹‹ Ken Moore, CIO of Sinclair Community College, uses technologies to help students manage their own academic program, including course registration, pre-requisites, and required books: And every student now comes in and sits down with an academic advisor and lays out their entire map of courses. … [for example] when it’s time for them to register for courses, they bring it up and it says, ‘Here’s what you need, this is what you’ve already got, and here’s what you need to take now, and oh by the way, this is what’s available this term, and if you want to do that push the button’ and we automatically register them in the system. And we can even actually, we’ll go right back to the thing saying, ‘Here are the books you need…’ Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 7
  8. 8. Innovation and Transformation: Going Beyond the Social CampusTRANSFORMATION ROAD MAP Many of the institutions that participated in this study have served their community for over one hundred years. To endure into the future, these schools must adapt to meet the expectations of all stakeholders including students, faculty, and donors. Although external challenges can encourage an institution to change, transformation based on technology requires a CIO who understands the school’s business needs. An innovative CIO can serve as a catalyst to help the institution evolve. The transformation road map presented below is based on lessons learned from the innovators we interviewed. This structured approach aligns business goals, strategy, and technology to meet the challenges presented in the previous section. Build the Right Transform the Infrastructure IT Organization Provide the Support Right Institutional Applications Transformation and Services 1.  Build the Right Infrastructure To become a credible innovation partner, IT must deliver information technology services and projects to help the institution conduct daily operations and realize its strategic plan. Without the right infrastructure, it is difficult or impossible for IT to deliver the applications and services that students, faculty, and staff demand. Infrastructure planning requires that a CIO anticipate his or her organization’s needs over a relatively long time horizon. These decisions must balance anticipated organizational need, budget, and expected usable life for each technology component under consideration. Choice of on-premise or cloud software deployment may also have a significant impact on infrastructure decisions. In summary, the CIO must plan an infrastructure portfolio that strikes the right balance between competing priorities such as business requirements, budget, and scalability. Components of a higher education infrastructure portfolio typically include: „„ Local (and/or cloud-based) servers and storage „„ Wired and wireless networking with flexible access to institution resources „„ Strong mobile device support, including robust BYOD (bring your own device) capabilities „„ Voice communications „„ Network security and access control „„ Infrastructure to support online learning and collaboration Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 8
  9. 9. Innovation and Transformation: Going Beyond the Social Campus „„ High-speed Internet access „„ Disaster recovery „„ Project management capability ‹‹ When Rob Rennie became CIO of Florida State College at Jacksonville, he started by evaluating the existing infrastructure: The first thing that I did when I came here was to take a look at the physical Infrastructure. [It] was wholly inadequate…you can’t build anything on top of a weak foundation. …we have five major campuses in the northeast Florida area and we have seven major centers plus we have our global operations everywhere. And what we did is we made sure that we had a robust infrastructure in terms of the physical plant. ‹‹ Lisa Davis, CIO of Georgetown University, stresses the importance of modern infrastructure: As we migrate and leverage cloud solutions, launch mobile apps, and provide anywhere, anytime access to information, we must build upon a core foundation of quality service. If we think about Georgetown Global, and digitizing and providing online education – that has to sit upon a solid modern infrastructure and architecture to be able to run. One of our primary focus areas is modernizing that infrastructure here at Georgetown. ‹‹ Westmont College recruited CIO Reed Sheard, in part, to modernize IT and “get some stability within the overall infrastructure.” He did both (and managed to save the College money in the process): …we had a bunch of Cisco infrastructure that was deteriorating due to age, hadn’t been refreshed. So the newer infrastructure we brought in to replace it used 55 percent less energy than the infrastructure we were taking out. … I wanted to grow our wireless coverage… We …have 100 per cent wireless coverage everywhere… 111 acres of wireless across the campus… then I pulled a terabyte and a half out of my local SAN, which was quickly filling up, and moved that into [the cloud] and delayed for almost three years now having to upgrade that SAN with more storage.2.  Provide the Right Applications and Services Users depend on applications and services that IT provides, so the choice of which ones to support is a significant decision for CIOs. As Reed Sheard, CIO of Westmont College, notes: To deliver greatest value, IT must supply necessary infrastructure and then deliver applications that support the institution’s highest goal-setting levels. Although infrastructure is the foundation, if the CIO cannot provide useful applications, the credibility needed to support innovation and transformation will remain unattainable. Application and service portfolios in higher education typically include: „„ Back-end applications such ERP, financial systems, human capital management, and business intelligence „„ Administrative tools such as course selection systems for students „„ Online learning applications, including remote teaching, and learning management systems „„ Collaboration tools such as video conferencing, activity streams, and instant messaging „„ Email and other communications tools „„ Apps for mobile devices and phones Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 9
  10. 10. Innovation and Transformation: Going Beyond the Social CampusRob Rennie, from Florida State College at Jacksonville, explains how his organization focused on applicationsand services when modernizing its software infrastructure: We did XML SOAP like on steroids, right; we built the services-based enterprise from the very beginning because we thought that was the way to integrate systems. And we also wanted to do legacy modernization without replacing those administrative systems; we simply wanted to extend them into new possibilities for mobile technologies. So we built... we had about 2600 services, library catalog and production services seven years ago. So, we have leveraged that tremendously. So, what we did was our portal and our ERP and our student system and all the things that we needed to bring together through services that are consumed then and wired up in Microsoft BizTalk [application server] as a workflow engine.Several of the institutions we interviewed use cloud-based services to enhance the classroom experienceand make content available online. Cloud software in this context offers innovative solutions to deliveringeducation, in contrast to earlier discussions of cloud as a driver of efficiency and cost reduction.‹‹ Bob Kostrubanic, CIO of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, said his institution adopted: ...Tegrity, which was a completely cloud-based capture system. It captures all of the classroom activity; it disseminates it to students, captures whatever is on the workstation, projector, dock and camera and so on.... [The university also adopted] Kaltura, [which] is a media vault that is located out in the Cloud. It allows us to program it so that there is a deposit box and the faculty member says ‘Look, when I hand you this format of a video I want to translate it into this format and I want to put it out on YouTube and I want a URL put into blackboard.’‹‹ Reed Sheard, CIO of Westmont College, says his organization: ... make[s] extensive use of iTunes University and have a publishing workflow in place, so that we can take video to iTunes in just a matter of a few hours... [which] we push simultaneously to our YouTube channel....Many of the institutions we interviewed deploy cloud-based services to support administrative and student-related activities.‹‹ The CIO of Babson College, Sam Dunn, outsourced all student email to Gmail, for instance.‹‹ Seton Hill University created a portal that gives access to retention models, financial aid models, and a system that alerts faculty and staff about students at academic risk, which faculty and staff can access on an iPad. CIO Phil Komarny notes: It alerts everyone on the faculty that the [at risk] student works with. It says ‘Hey, Sally’s doing badly in this class, how’s she doing with these other ones?’ ... they [can] intervene before there’s a problem.‹‹ Reed Sheard, Westmont College CIO, developed a cloud application to track the location of campus shuttles: …we GPS-enabled the shuttles and then we wrote a little app, stuck it up in Amazon’s cloud. And, you can go to your iPhone and you can see real-time where the college shuttles are, and if it’s coming towards you or if it’s moving away, if it’s on schedule or behind schedule and that sort of thing. Students just love that.Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 10
  11. 11. Innovation and Transformation: Going Beyond the Social Campus3.  Transform the IT Organization Having the right infrastructure, applications and services in place makes IT a credible technology provider. However, the challenges facing higher education require IT to be a catalyst for change rather than only a provider of technology. Becoming a strategic partner demands that IT meet stakeholder expectations, provide a high level of service, operate efficiently, and think strategically. To achieve these goals, the CIO must create an appropriate organizational design and cultivate the right cultural dynamics. Because a strategic IT group functions differently than one focused primarily on feeds and speeds, the CIO must shape the dynamics within his or her organization. Develop a Service-Oriented Culture within IT A service-centric IT organization demands that employees readily adapt to changing circumstances and customer needs. Therefore, the CIO should create a culture within IT that encourages flexibility and a positive relationship with IT’s varied constituencies. This is a major evolution from the historic attitude of IT as insular and unresponsive. Developing a service-oriented and flexible relationship with users demands that IT staff learn and adopt new attitudes toward interacting with customers. ‹‹ Discussing flexibility, Dave Waldron, CIO at St. Edward’s University, describes the need for IT to become a “learning organization:” So, much of my attention is devoted to creating an organization, and I think it would be appropriate to say, creating a learning organization, in the Peter Senge kind of meaning, that is capable of handling the many, many things that a complex organization, with a complex mission and a complex strategic plan needs from technology. Adopt an Efficient IT Organizational Structure The CIO must determine whether existing staff and roles are sufficient for IT to develop a strategic role in the institution. Creating a responsive and efficient IT organizational structure requires the right personnel and roles to be in place. ‹‹ When an institution moves to cloud-based software, it can often reduce the number of IT staff, creating an opportunity to reallocate these workers to higher value activities. For example, Westmont College CIO, Reed Sheard, says: I was able to reposition all these people in different roles that were aligned with the strategic map ... because they weren’t spending their entire day just keeping the wheels on the train. ‹‹ Rob Rennie, CIO of Florida State College at Jacksonville, strongly believes it is better to keep positions unfilled than hire the wrong person: ....another one of those tenets is that a vacancy is more valuable than an average employee. And the reason is, I mean, there has always been tremendous pressure to have all your bullets loaded, but the reality to me is that as soon as you fill a position, unless you get a star, you’ve lost the opportunity to get a star. We know that stars perform in orders of magnitude, greater quality and quantity of work than an average employee. Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 11
  12. 12. Innovation and Transformation: Going Beyond the Social Campus Align IT and the Business To understand the goals, priorities, and challenges facing stakeholders, it is imperative for IT staff to spend time with students, faculty, staff, and administrators – rather than holed up in IT headquarters. Frequent interaction with stakeholders is the best way for a CIO to develop a collaborative relationship with them. ‹‹ For Rob Rennie, CIO of Florida State College at Jacksonville, “walking around” is the best way for staff to understand the institution’s business issues. He explains: …I wanted folks going to the rest room to have to see students and classes and to see Faculty members. I wanted people to be able to grab them and say, ‘What the hell is going on with this?’ and get back in touch with what was going on and feel good about what they were doing. Beyond interaction with stakeholders, CIOs who want to cultivate a responsive IT department should examine the governance and policies that guide IT decisions and affect users. ‹‹ Rob Rennie, CIO of Florida State College at Jacksonville, streamlined the bureaucratic approval process on smaller projects requested by users. By setting aside funds from his own budget to pay for these requests, he enabled the IT organization to be more flexible and responsive to user needs. Rennie explains: Every person on my team can do any project that doesn’t take more than 12 hours; it’s their decision.... We do have a governance structure that includes a committee for prioritization of jobs that are bigger than 12 hours. However, that doesn’t include strategic initiatives. So for example, if there is a contra-initiative and you need our help, we help you. There is no need for some committee to decide. Develop IT Staff Skills The CIO should create an environment that encourages employees to acquire the skills they need to meet customer needs. Individuals in key roles must possess the ability to execute information technology strategy and conduct IT operations with a high degree of excellence. CIOs should mentor staff and recommend further education to ensure they can fulfill their roles. ‹‹ Reed Sheard, from Westmont College, for instance, sometimes pays for staff to complete a masters degree in academic technology.4.  Support Institutional Transformation and Culture Shift CIOs must run IT as a business that provides computing, information, and communication services to the entire institution. Ultimately, however, IT must justify its role based on how well it supports core institutional goals and enables operational efficiencies. That said, the highest value a CIO can offer to any institution is being a catalyst that drives strategic and transformational change. By following the path described earlier in this paper, IT can develop the trust and credibility needed to influence the institution as a whole. Once the institution sees IT as a reliable partner, a skilful CIO can gradually take on the role of trusted advisor and agent of change. The CIOs we interviewed used the approach described in this section to develop trusted relationships with their institutions. Facilitate Open Relationships with Stakeholders As we mentioned earlier, institutions must seek better ways to cultivate, create, deliver, and sustain a competitive school experience for students. Because schools are democratic in many respects, they require the cooperation of faculty and other constituents. For example, faculty committees perform much of the governance in higher education and many decisions are put to a vote. For a CIO to be successful, he or she requires the support, and ideally the active engagement, of faculty and other constituents. The more receptive Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 12
  13. 13. Innovation and Transformation: Going Beyond the Social Campusan institution’s culture is to technological innovation, the easier the CIO’s task will be. As Dave Waldron of St.Edward’s University notes, “more than anything else, organizational culture defines what is possible and whatis not for an organization.”Although the top decision-maker and other senior executives shape an institution’s organizational culture,IT can take a variety of steps to facilitate opening the culture to improvement and innovation. However,IT’s historical reputation for being insular and unwelcoming may create negative perceptions that requiresignificant effort to overcome. By establishing processes and workflows for listening to, and engaging,stakeholders, IT can create the relationships needed to support institutional change.Adopt an accommodating and welcoming attitude to faculty and administrators; being approachable is thefirst step in fostering positive relationships between IT and other departments.‹‹ Rob Rennie, CIO at Florida State University in Jacksonville, believes a welcoming attitude can change the institution’s view of IT. He said, “... we had to create an environment where [faculty] knew that they could come to us.”Expose faculty and staff to current industry practices regarding technology, to help them understand thelatest trends.‹‹ For example, Georgetown University hosts an “innovation summit” to discuss technology with its broad academic community. CIO Lisa Davis said, “All of these things I think play into changing the mindset and culture of how we use technology here at Georgetown.”Elicit and implement innovative, grass roots ideas. The best ideas often come from people facing realproblems, so institutionalizing consistent practices to evaluate and prioritize suggestions from stakeholders ishighly beneficial.‹‹ For example, CIO Sam Dunn of Babson College created an “innovation pipeline” process to request suggestions from stakeholders. He uses a software “ideation platform” to review and approve ideas for implementation. Dunn says that even a “zany ” idea “may have some benefit that you are just not seeing; or it may trigger a thought in someone else’s mind that is an incredible idea.” Babson’s process creates filters to prioritize the best ideas for implementation.Use positive and negative incentives as appropriate. Rewards and disincentives can help encourage desiredbehaviors, such as convincing faculty and staff to contribute ideas and adopt recommended changes.‹‹ The Provost of Florida State College at Jacksonville rewards innovative ideas, a system that CIO Rob Rennie duplicated within IT. Rennie explains the awards “created a culture of thinking about things differently....” Rennie also creates disincentives when needed. For example, he persuaded the president to disallow paper “bubble sheets” for grading, which encouraged faculty to adopt email and computer-grading software.Exchange Ideas with StakeholdersSoliciting ideas from stakeholders and including them in decisions is critical to gaining buy-in and commitment.This commitment is a necessary, and often overlooked, ingredient for achieving success with any organizationalchange initiative. Large projects, in particular, suffer when managers do not involve those who will be affectedby process changes arising from the project. Stakeholders without sufficient commitment may not executenew processes as expected or may actively impede adoption of new technology.CIOs who institutionalize listening to constituents gain an understanding of their needs, which can fosterstrong relationships and positive feelings among users. Gaining an accurate sense of stakeholder objectivesand challenges is an essential step in creating solutions they will accept and embrace. CIOs should take thelead in inviting stakeholders to trade ideas and participate in decision making as appropriate.‹‹ Dave Waldron, CIO of St. Edward’s University, notes that engaged faculty are more likely to support IT when it deploys new technologies.Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 13
  14. 14. Innovation and Transformation: Going Beyond the Social Campus‹‹ Although stakeholder input is important, IT should remain accountable for making decisions. Florida State College, for instance, involves stakeholders in decisions on many matters, but reserves final judgment in areas such as deciding which devices to buy.Many of today’s students expect transparency and want to be involved in technology decisions that affect theirlives on campus. To meet these expectations, the CIOs we interviewed created formal processes for solicitingand evaluating new ideas. Formal programs for gathering and evaluating ideas enhance the innovation processand strengthen relationships with students.‹‹ For example, Georgetown invites students to submit suggestions, which other students can vote on using an application called Idea Skill. Lisa Davis, Georgetown’s CIO, says these ideas and recommendations are then “discussed weekly at senior staff calls.” University leadership examines the top ideas and posts status updates on a web page. Georgetown also invited students to prioritize the first dozen applications launched on “Georgetown Mobile,” the school’s mobile framework.Foster Executive RelationshipsA CIO who helps form strategy for the insitution as a whole is almost certain to suggest disruptive changesthat require cooperation and support from other senior executives. For this reason, a reporting structure thatconnects the CIO to senior decision makers is a key success factor for innovative CIOs.Reporting structure. To ease difficulties associated with change initiatives, the CIO should ideally reportdirectly to the president, dean, or provost. This reporting structure helps create the relationships, credibility,and stature necessary for the CIO to participate at a strategic level.‹‹ At Seton Hill, CIO Phil Komarny said access to the top is: “... a very key part of being able to infuse or change a higher education university or higher education model.... You’re going to need that leadership or that high level buy-in to ... [be] able to make this dramatic of a change.”A CIO who participates in the institution’s goal-setting process naturally begins to think deeply about broadpolicy questions that can create competitive advantage for the institution.‹‹ Westmont College CIO, Reed Sheard, says that sitting at the table stimulates him to ask himself questions such as: ’What are we trying to do in fund-raising?’ ‘In securing resources?’ ‘What are we trying to do in the academy?’ ‘What are we trying to do with student life?’...Participate on non-technology committees. Whether or not a CIO reports to the top executive, he orshe should find other ways to participate in broad policy decisions. For example, senior-level committeesunrelated to technology can enable the CIO to engage other executives and bring credibility to IT, especiallyfor CIOs who do not report to the top decision maker. These activities can help the CIO develop a comfortableand trustworthy relationship with peers and superiors.‹‹ CIO Reed Sheard, of Westmont College, participates on councils with alumni and parents: I get to spend time with them. It’s given me just a wonderful insight into things that they’re interested in.‹‹ Indiana University/Purdue University’s CIO, Bob Kostrubanic, who reports to the vice-chancellor of financial affairs, is also involved with the chancellor’s leadership council. He says: We make suggestions to each other constantly.... I stop by and see them; they stop by and see me. ... It’s really vital that you do that.Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 14
  15. 15. Innovation and Transformation: Going Beyond the Social Campus Create informal relationships with institutional leaders. For CIOs who do not report to the top decision- maker, it is especially important to cultivate relationships with other executives. These informal relationships can help the CIO participate in discussions on important issues facing the institution. In addition, CIOs can use these relationships to support various departments in building coalitions around shared technology needs. All these activities can increase the CIO’s influence and build credibility for IT as a whole. ‹‹ At Indiana University/Purdue University, Fort Wayne, representatives from the IT organization meet with administrative staff almost every week. ‹‹ At Sinclair Community College, IT meets regularly with every academic and administrative department to discuss needs, options, and solution rollout strategies. Sinclair’s CIO/COO, Ken Moore, describes it as a “partnership” relationship. ‹‹ Georgetown’s CIO, Lisa Davis, reports to the COO; she participates in discussions about the institution’s larger goals while attending meetings and retreats with other executives. These close relationships enable her to engage in similar policy discussions as CIOs who report to the senior executive. In her words the objective is, “to really frame the discussion of ‘what are Georgetown’s goals, how do we align this with our strategic values and goals.’” ‹‹ Although Joanna Young, CIO at University of New Hampshire (Durham) reports to the Vice President of Finance and Administration, she: ... forge[s] my own relationships, if I want… I have a very strong relationship with the provost office, a very strong [relationship] with student affairs and I pretty much work directly with whoever [is necessary].FINAL THOUGHTS Changes in society, technology, and user expectations pose a challenge to CIOs in virtually every sector of the economy, including higher education. Despite the many challenges, this period of transition creates tremendous opportunity for institutions that learn to embrace change. As the CIOs we interviewed demonstrate, innovation and new thinking can benefit foundational areas such as educational delivery, creating a satisfying environment for students, and fundraising. The significant role of technology in driving these changes demands that academic, administrative, and technical leaders cooperate as never before. Communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing – the hallmarks of strategic partnership – are the path forward. This paper offers many examples of strategic partnerships that deliver impressive and valuable results; we urge you to study these examples and bring the lessons back to your own institution. Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 15
  16. 16. ABOUT THE AUTHORS Michael Krigsman, CEO of consulting and research firm Asuret, is an international authority on creating IT project success and related CIO issues. He has written one thousand posts on enterprise software, cloud, CRM, ERP and alignment between IT and lines of business. In addition, Michael has created thought leadership reports for major analyst firm, IDC, on project portfolio management, CRM, social business, and cloud computing. Michael has been mentioned over 600 times in important blogs, newspapers, television, trade publications, presentations, academic dissertations, and other media. He has also been quoted in almost 20 books and has written on social business for the Wall Street Journal CIO blog. Michael has worked with companies such as SAP, IBM, Lotus, and many others to create consulting tools, methodologies, and implementation strategies related to business transformation success. He often attends and presents at enterprise software conferences and has presented to Harvard University, Babson College, University College London, Boston University, and Suffolk University. Lydia Segal is associate professor of business law and ethics at Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School in Boston. With degrees from Harvard Law School, Harvard College, and Oxford University, her specialty is organizational stewardship and integrity. Her latest books are Making Schools Work with William Ouchi (Simon Schuster) and Battling Corruption in America’s Public Schools (Harvard University Press). Her articles have appeared in outlets such as Public Administration Review, Organization Studies, Administration Society, Harvard Journal on Legislation, City Journal, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News. Lisbeth Shaw, Vice President of Asuret, has managed education, training, and business process methodology projects for over 100 companies, ranging from global organizations to venture-funded startups. Lisbeth is an engineer, by education and experience, who develops research and reports for Asuret. She is an experienced consultant and analyst and has also written reports and case studies for global analyst firm IDC. The next phase of research will allow colleges and universities to perform quantitative benchmarks. For more information, send email to mkrigsman@asuret.com. Sponsors The authors are grateful to Enterasys Networks for sponsoring this research. We also thank salesforce.com for its assistance. Asuret does not endorse any vendor’s product or services. Copyright © 2012 by Asuret, Inc. All rights reserved. Page 16