The higher education chief information officer's role is a complex one
Irvington, VA (Vocus) September 3, 2009
Edu1world, an online professional networking site for higher education technology professionals and practitioners, announced today the launch of the edu1world CIO Roundtable on edu1world.org. The purpose of this networking community is to bring together chief information technology officers and executives from colleges and universities worldwide for discussion and collaboration regarding the most effective approaches and solutions to campus technology issues. While list serve style discussion forums exist, edu1world is the first to offer a Web 2.0 platform specifically for this community.
What makes the edu1world CIO Roundtable unique? “As a web 2.0 platform, edu1world greatly expands opportunities for collaboration in an effective and efficient framework,” says edu1world CEO Vicki Tambellini, “On edu1world.org, we have the capacity to store multi-media presentations and podcasts and to deliver webinars. In addition, our inclusion of wikis allows for the continual updating and revision of posted content. At edu1world, we preserve the collected intelligence of the community in a simple, elegant system that makes later search and retrieval effortless.”
The edu1world CIO Roundtable will be open only to college and university CIO’s and to IT professionals in higher education who are being prepared to succeed the current generation. According to the 2009 CIO Study conducted by the Center for Higher Education Chief Information Officer Studies (CHECS), at least 45 percent of higher education CIO’s surveyed in 2009 are planning to retire in the next ten years. The CIO Roundtable is not only a vehicle for mentoring up-and-coming IT professionals but also for capturing and disseminating current wisdom before it is lost.
Wayne Brown, PhD, Vice President for Information Technology at Excelsior College and founder of CHECS, a non-profit organization which conducts research studies on higher education CIO attributes and effectiveness, will be moderating the roundtable. “The higher education chief information officer's role is a complex one,” says Brown. “There are always new challenges. But our colleagues have a great deal of experience, and working together in a group like the CIO Roundtable community gives us an opportunity to learn from our peers and avoid reinventing the wheel for all of our challenges. This Roundtable also gives us a venue for having conversations about the CIO role itself and the future of the profession.”
“Dr. Brown is uniquely qualified to lead and moderate our CIO Roundtable discussions. He has devoted his professional and academic studies to chief information officer effectiveness in higher education and technology governance,” says Tambellini. “He is also passionate about developing and mentoring the next generation. With Dr. Brown’s leadership and commitment to the future, the roundtable will make a real difference to both currently practicing CIOs and their successors.”
The challenges to higher education CIOs are unprecedented. They are being pushed to innovate, ensure system security, and maintain a high level of service -- all while facing large budgetary cut backs. They are, in short, being asked to do more with less.
In an article posted to edu1world, Lev Gonick, Vice President for Information Technology Services at Case Western Reserve University, likens higher education CIOs to portfolio managers. “Like their counterparts, CIO portfolio management is really about combining requirements for operational excellence, customer service, and selective innovation (r&d) activity. In a three-year secular downturn, there are going to be tough decisions ahead to keep strong performance in all three core activities,” says Gonick.
Higher education CIOs must weigh the costs and benefits of a vast array of available resources and decide how to best satisfy faculty and student demands for teaching and learning with technology without breaking the bank. And according to Gonick, there are “growing expectations that metrics, scorecards, and data analytics will be used to drive tough decision making on campus.” In other words, all decisions should be supported by evidence. Add to that a campus imperative for going green, and the complexity of the job is even more apparent.
According to edu1world General Manager Liz Dietz, “The job of a CIO is growing exponentially more complex. The challenges continue to mount while budgets decrease. It sounds trite, but we really do have to leverage every opportunity to ‘work smarter.’ The edu1world CIO Roundtable creates a networked community where CIOs can quickly contribute to and draw on the wisdom of their peers.”
While most edu1world communities are open to vendors and consultants, access to the CIO Roundtable will be limited to full time higher education institution employees only. Members can register on edu1world.org at any time at no charge.
For additional information on edu1world or the CIO Roundtable, please contact Vicki Tambellini.
Edu1world LLC serves higher education technology practitioners & providers, administrative professionals, vendors, associations, and faculty who are interested in and work with technology. The edu1world.org site is made up of virtual communities of practice where members from around the world connect, collaborate, communicate, and access the information they need to succeed. The edu1world mission is to deliver a state of the art web 2.0 SaaS application that builds transparency between technology vendors and educational institutions and unites the vendor community with the education industry for the benefit of all.
Edu1world is a project of The Tambellini Group, a consultancy providing trusted market insights through innovative tools, high-quality research and industry expertise that minimizes the risks associated with technology purchase decisions, improves vendor-customer relationships, and enables breakthrough results for decision makers who work in or serve the education, government and not-for-profit markets. The Tambellini Group, founded and led by Vicki Tambellini, is headquartered in Irvington, Virginia.