- That change in higher ed IT is constant and a given, but that doesn't make it any less rocky at times — and Ed Tech: Focus on Higher Ed offers two tips to ensure leaders successfully guide their teams through any transition.
- Keeping people at the center of a change strategy can ease the process, and University of California, Santa Barbara, Division of Student Affairs Associate CIO Joe Sabado suggests seeking out those willing to embrace change and take advantage of organizational social networks, especially when it comes to getting social influencers in your organization to spread positive word about the change.
- Additionally, ensuring the process is managed from start to finish can ensure all potential stakeholders who might be impacted by the change are accounted for, keeping in mind the broader benefits for the campus community and the impact even small steps can have.
Despite the constant nature of IT change in higher ed, the space is often seen as notoriously slow to adapt overall. For college and university CIOs, that presents another layer of complexity to the job.
Those leading higher ed IT teams must forge relationships across the C-suite to ensure the business case is made for expenses like modernizing legacy systems, communicate openly with and educate the campus community around preventing evolving cyberthreats from compromising their networks, and manage bandwidth on those networks, as the number of new devices trying to connect to them grows.
Beyond their own teams, CIOs can look to offering their expertise in the classroom to build connections with faculty and better awareness of their concerns and experiences. And on their own teams, they have the benefit that many in higher ed IT chose their profession because they valued the mission, making it easier to build common bonds — which can also be strengthened across institutions via the willingness many college and university IT leaders have to share advice and best practices with peers on social networks, email or face-to-face at conferences like Educause.