Centrally-Coordinated/Locally-Directed: An Innovative IT

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  • 1. Centrally-Coordinated/Locally-Directed: An Innovative IT Management Model for Decentralized Institutions Raechelle Clemmons Director, Specialized Technology Services California State University, East Bay [email_address] CSU Quality Improvement Conference February 29, 2008
  • 2. Pathway to Transformation
    • Dark Ages & IT Fiefdoms (pre-2004)
      • Every College & Admin Division had their own IT tribe
    • Enlightenment (2004-2005)
      • Two Colleges, One Admin Division, & Library willing to test new IT management models
    • Reflection
    • Creating a New Future for IT@CSUEB (2006)
      • Centrally-coordinated/locally-directed
    • Transition Plan (2006)
    • Service Level Agreements
    • Living the New Model (2007-Present)
      • The New Organization, Win-Win Outcomes, Lessons Learned
  • 3. Dark Ages & IT Fiefdoms
  • 4. Dark Ages & IT Fiefdoms (pre-2004)
    • Twelve decentralized IT Tribes:
      • 4 colleges, 1 library, 1 satellite campus, 4 admin divisions, plus 2 auxiliaries
    • One central IT tribe camped out within Academic Affairs
    • Uncoordinated, distributed, ad hoc IT funding and budget allocations
      • zero multiyear budget allocations
    • No culture of accountability
  • 5. Enlightenment
  • 6. Enlightenment (2004-2006)
    • One college in crisis after their IT director resigned
      • College databases and reports in shambles
      • E-portfolio-based accreditation preparations far behind schedule
      • Unsatisfied faculty
      • Panicked dean calls CIO for help
      • CIO and dean draft a MOU to test a radically different IT support model for the college
      • 3 months later (1 st Quarterly Review) the dean and CIO are delighted with results
  • 7. Enlightenment continues
    • After dean shares success story, another dean wants in
      • MOU tweaked, success reported at 1 st review
    • Library plus one administrative division become frustrated with local IT management performance; asked for CIO help
      • MOU tweaked, success reported at 1 st review
    • News of these successes spreads quickly
      • Reactions are mixed (some fear the potential loss of local control, while others welcome the opportunity to shift responsibility to the CIO)
  • 8. Reflection
  • 9. Reflection
    • Our old IT management approach had become counterproductive
    • We could no longer afford to waste our resources on duplication and fragmentation
    • And, we could not embrace a centralization model that would not be agile and responsive enough to adapt to an ever-changing IT landscape and the needs of all colleges/units
  • 10. Reflection
    • Positive outcomes from the MOU-based IT management and support experimentations convinced us that the appropriate balance could be achieved using a hybrid model the best of both worlds, centralization and decentralization
    • We identified 3 critical success factors for such a model to work
      • Operational excellence
      • Helpful/supportive relationships
      • Open-minded, receptive collaboration
  • 11. Creating a New Future for IT@CSUEB: Centrally-coordinated, locally-directed
  • 12. Creating a New Future
    • Centrally-coordinated is facilitated by:
      • Including all IT staff (central plus local) as full members of the universitys IT Services (ITS) Division
      • Giving all IT staff direct access to the universitys collective pool of IT resources and skill-sets
      • Providing all IT staff professional guidance and development via direct interaction with the universitys IT leadership team
      • Funding IT infrastructures and core services centrally
      • Conducting semi-annual in-progress-reviews of all services, projects, and performance of IT teams
  • 13. Creating a New Future
    • Locally-directed is accomplished by:
      • Collaborating with deans and VPs to create local IT plans
      • Leaving local IT teams physically located within local unit areas
      • Affirming the authority of deans and VPs to establish the work priorities for local IT teams
      • Including the deans and VPs in recruitment and performance review processes
      • Enabling individual deans and VPs to purchase higher levels of support services
  • 14. Creating a New Future
    • University & Unit-Level Wins
      • Coordinating, aligning, and managing IT investments efficiently and effectively within a decision-making and performance-assessment framework that advances university, college, and administrative goals and objectives
      • Establishing the requisite dual accountabilities for the new IT@CSUEB collaboration to be successful unit managers are accountable for establishing goals, setting priorities, and funding non-core services, while the universitys IT management team is accountable for the professional delivery of the required support services
  • 15. Transition Plan
  • 16. Transition Plan: Governance
    • CIO appointed to Presidents Cabinet and Provosts Council (given direct access to VPs and deans)
    • University IT advisory committee shifted its focus to strategic planning and policy advice -- vis--vis tactical level issues related to implementation of an IT product or function
    • Academic Senate appointed members of the university IT advisory committee serve as liaisons to the faculty
  • 17. Transition Plan: Action List
    • Engage in regular communication and consultation with Cabinet, Provost Council, University IT advisory committee, and Academic Senate executive committee
    • Develop service level agreements (SLAs) for IT infrastructures and core services
    • Conduct college/division needs-assessments, and skills-inventories (for local IT teams)
    • Develop division-level transition agreements, and a comprehensive budget model for the new IT services division
  • 18. Transition Plan: Resources
    • Reallocation and realignment of central and local IT resources
      • Reexamine and modify legacy service delivery structures, processes, and staffing within central and local IT teams to meet current and future needs
      • Consolidate central and local servers, systems, and other expensive IT resources where possible and appropriate
      • Focus support on single/standard products and services wherever possible and appropriate
      • Align priorities for growth in staffing levels with university goals