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.

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Technology changes. The stakeholder’s demand for technology changes. We know it. That’s what motivates IT professionals to keep going, right? How we handle this change, however, is what makes the difference between innovation and just going through the motions. In the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” So, what do we do when we’re faced with change? At AITS, we adapt and keep moving forward.

In recent posts, I’ve shared how AITS has embraced the changing IT needs of students, faculty and staff through strategic planning, and how we adapt to the changing landscape of IT in higher education as outlined in the annual EDUCAUSE report of Top Ten IT Issues; but, how do you plan for changes in leadership?

The image below provides a visual representation of the extent of the leadership changes during my time at AITS. As is often the case, a change in personnel likely translates to change in IT focus, priorities and strategy, which, at times, can make strategic planning seem more like an exercise in futility.

Actually, I have experienced the opposite to be true. The constantly changing environment of higher education is precisely the reason IT strategic planning is so important because it plays a vital role in the success of the university and the primary stakeholder, our students. At AITS, change does not deter our focus on supporting our strategic directions of saving time, fostering ease of use, improving speed of delivery of IT services, delivering targeted and pervasive information for users, and collaborating with units throughout the University of Illinois System. We embrace it, plan accordingly, and keep moving forward.

Have you had similar changes in your organization? How did you navigate those changes and was strategic planning a part of your process? Next time, I’ll share how small changes in IT speak versus customer speak have positively impacted our ability to communicate with the stakeholders we serve.

As always, comments, questions and other feedback are welcome at any time.

Posted by Michael Hites  On May 22, 2017 at 12:00 PM