The purpose of undergoing the visioning process is to create a framework to ensure the alignment of technology priorities with institutional priorities, to inform priority setting, to build further understanding of how IT resources are deployed, and to guide annual IT project planning.
Planning Horizon: In terms of the planning process itself, a five year horizon was selected in order to identify what major technology developments will likely have the greatest impact on the University, and to identify ways in which the University could use and manage technology differently.
Steps: Five planning steps were used over a year to organize the process.
- Organize the planning process (summer 2010)
- Discuss vision with groups throughout campus and scan similar planning at other Higher Education Institutions (fall 2010)
- Document the preliminary vision report (December 2010 – January 2011)
- Share the draft preliminary report and extend and refine the vision with groups throughout campus (Spring 2011)
- Document the final version and begin preliminary implementation planning (Summer 2011)
Preparation: IT Vision@2015, co-led by the Provost and the Vice President for Information Technology, was developed through a year-long collaborative process that engaged faculty, students, and staff. The process used existing information technology governance committees, faculty governance committees, open forums, and some meetings were focused around strategic topics (e.g., sustainability) to generate ideas and insights to the IT Vision@2015. Individual participation was also invited through a project web site that provided regular updates on the progress and collected comments and contributions through a blog. In addition, a significant portion of the 2011 Information Technology Annual Survey for faculty, students, and staff featured questions regarding the future use of technology.
The IT Vision@2015 process began with a scan of key trends in information technology and higher education IT strategies. Articles, white papers, and plans envisioning the future were reviewed and shared with the University community. The discussion then turned to envisioning how major technology developments may impact the University, how we may use technology differently to support University priorities and how we will increasingly need to manage technology differently in the future. These questions were explored broadly and some were more focused on specific topics including data, analytics and decision-making, operational effectiveness, and the commercialization of technology.
A set of core questions was drafted to use with most IT Vision group meetings. More focused questions were developed around themes, including paperless and sustainability. At each session, notes about the meeting were gathered and were summarized in the Interim Report.
To organize the logistics of generating discussion and capturing what was discussed, multiple governance group and committee meeting dates throughout the fall semester were identified as times when Vision discussion would be one of the agenda items. Special open forums (faculty, staff and student) were scheduled outside of the regular governance meetings.
To support communication, an “IT Vision@2015” page was created on the IT website. It contained a summary and timeframe for the planning process, a blog with some of the same baseline questions, and reading materials that were collected as background information to stimulate thinking prior to discussions.