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Issue #8: Transforming the Institution's Business with Information Technology

Many institutions have already used information technology to achieve efficiencies. But "transformation" is a word du jour. Information technology allied with process reengineering and continuous improvement is the pathway to transformation. All aspects of higher education are being transformed, including teaching and learning, scholarship, research, institutional advancement, admissions, and administrative services. Information technology is never sufficient, but is almost always necessary, for those transformations to have both efficient and effective outcomes.


We seemed to struggle a bit with that word "transforming" and what it means in the context of higher education, in the context of the "institution's business", and in connection with the roles and responsibilities of information technology.  There were some links with the previous governance discussion. 

We most clearly identified with the "efficient and effective outcomes" point.

Transformation in our environments has traditionally been slow, as Rob noted, and (can be) filled with strife, as Luke reminded us of the disruptive events at UVA, noting the word "transformation" is used more than once in the article:

We could spend some time talking about these key points:
  • What type of transformation should CIO's be supporting? 
  • How can we work with and engage our governance structures on transformation?
  • How do successful CIOs work with senior leadership on alignment with transformational objectives?
  • How can we assist our institutions with organizational assessment for transformation?
  • How do we go about assessing current practice to reveal the areas in need of transformation? 
  • How do CIOs lead an organization to move beyond expert ERP implementation to process re-engineering, lean process management, and other efficiency improvements?
  • What are useful and measurable success criteria to assess if a shift (i.e. transformation or innovation) is actually beneficial (valuable, more efficient) to the organization? (Patrick reminds us about the need to identify useful metrics.) 

It seems, as Eric notes, that we need a sense about our institution's readiness for transformation.

 Assessment and Analytics for Institutional Transformation.

Related pod-cast --

Kudos to Patrick for sharing a new term:    "Too often we fall into "trendsformation," i.e we promote and implement trends in technology with an expectation it will lead to beneficial organizational transformation: remember Google Wave? " 

Thank you all for your comments!
Theresa Rowe
Chief Information Officer
Oakland University
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