everyone’s got it all figured out. so why do we still have problems?

[needs some editing, but something I want to get out]

I attended a rather interesting session today at the AJCU-CITM conference on the future of technology and how CIOs at today’s universities needed to respond. We had an article on Gartner’s Predictions for Technology Trends in 2011 addressing the “consumerization” of highly capable mobile technology necessitated a change in how we managed technology. The article itself deserves a long post itself, but the session was the interesting part.

In a room of CIOs at major universities, supposedly all facing tremendous challenges in managing tight budgets, administrative pressure, and creating productive teams that would change the nature of IT, everyone apparently had it all figured out.

“How many of you have Business Analysts in your group to examine processes?”  Lots of hands.

“How many of you have strategic plans that outline your organization’s goals?”  Lots of hands.

“Do any of you have dedicated project management offices?”  Lots of hands.

If, in fact, these are the elements for a successful IT shop, and one that increases the Information part of IT, why do schools still face such challenges?  If everyone has it all figured out, why do we even fact problems at all?  Why are we not already the most nimble, agile organizations that will take higher education technology into the next 15 years?

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have any of these answers.  After the session, I’m not sure whether I’m even doing my part in providing the right information to our students.  I’m not sure that we’re providing the right services to our community, and maybe whether I’m actually doing right by the students themselves.  I’m full of doubt.

But no one else in the room seemed to be.  Yet we all face these problems and no one is perfect.  So why did the conversation seem to repetitive?  And anti-climactic?

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