If you're involved in Higher Education IT, then there's an article over on CIO.com.au that's worth a read. The story is about the way that Monash University (Australia's largest university, with 60,000 students) has consolidated their IT service requests function, moving from supporting users through 50 different IT teams, to just one. Here's a key section from the article:
“Everything was locally determined and this gave an inefficient delivery model,” Tebbett said of the IT infrastructure prior to the transformation.
“That started to be recognised in 2007. It got more serious in 2009 when it moved to a shared services view, and that led to the definition of the CIO role which hadn’t existed until that stage.”
Tebbett said the dispersed nature of the university’s networks was reminiscent of a traditional approach towards technology in the higher education sector and Monash was heading towards a shared services model.
“The higher education sector is probably one of the last to get real about it,” he said. “We’ve got a number of expectations in the higher education sector. There’s a lot more collaboration going on between disciplines, other industries and other institutions.”
Over the last three days, the CCAEducause conference has been running in Sydney, attended by hundreds of CIOs, IT teams and information specialists from universities across Australia - and what's clear is that there is a shift happening in the role of IT in learning support - and in how the IT team are shifting to a 'business support' mindset - as opposed to a historical 'IT support' position.
Time to reset your historic perceptions of the IT team's role in Higher Education…