From the CIO

From the CIO

Kelly Block serves as Interim Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the University of Illinois System.

For more information about Kelly, visit About the CIO.



Recent Posts

(Reprinted in part with permission of evolllution.com)

Expectation management is important with abundant cloud services. When the random vendor talks to the president of the university and exclaims that their company can save 80 percent of the IT budget by going to the cloud, who is there to ask, "Which budget is that?" The cloud does save money, and it takes careful analysis to determine where and when to move services to the cloud. Paralysis by committee and turf protection cannot guide the decision making. There needs to be a rational process that includes academics, budget leaders, IT professionals and the customer to provide input to the decision. Ultimately, the provost, chancellor or president needs to have enough comfort to make the right decision, and IT professionals can help with this decision making process.

While the cloud may help alleviate some infrastructure and software development costs, there is no end in sight for integration. Application administrators are still needed regardless of where the hardware lives, data scientists will work hand-in-hand with developers to provide cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-school integrations, mobile computing still needs to be supported, and customers will still expect everything to "just work." I'm not sure we've seen a time in history where there is more of a need for IT professionals than today.

Cloud-based planning tools are now available to facilitate the strategic planning process. There are workshops, focus groups, town halls and all sorts of collaboration that takes place during the planning process. Then, once you're done, you need to keep your plan alive and implement your priorities. When we did our last two IT strategic plans, we developed all of the strategic directions and initiatives in the cloud, and we assigned ownership of the initiatives to many people within the organization so that progress could be tracked. Once the plan was online, updating it was a collaborative update process, and you can click "print" at any time if you need to show an old-school planner the current progress report.

How we embrace the Internet of Things as IT professionals will determine how comfortable our customers feel with using so much data from machines. In part IV, I’ll offer my insight as to what choices we really have.

Posted by Wendy Bertram  On Feb 03, 2016 at 9:11 AM 2 Comments