Higher ed is really good at doing things the way we’ve always done them, yet most can’t answer the question as to why that is. We fell that every college has room to dust off their customary processes and resources. The starting point is to focus on a different question: “How?” It takes some housekeeping, but the key to improve services and resources so that the purpose for which they were originally created is again clear or improved is to impose review with fresh eyes.
Shifts in budget management are especially challenging. A new budget manager may not be familiar with all the expenses for which they’ve been asked to pay, and often reorganizations within the college structure can leave some expenses lost in transition, with budget managers unintentionally renewing software or services that might be obsolete or underused. So, what are you paying for?
The more you succeed in investing your time rather than spending it, the more you will reap the rewards that come from your efforts. Productivity, work happiness, purpose, and clarity in decision making. As drivers in your actions, there is no greater reward for your efforts.
One could argue that winning cultures are the center of everything. A lot of colleges and universities around the world have recently discovered this secret, and it’s one that many institutions have started trotting out as its admissions center piece.
Data must always be presented with a story in mind. Data without a story is nothing but a confusing bag of numbers. For example, if you were presented with a number, say, 25,338.84, would that figure have any meaning to you? Of course not, as it is without context. However, if one was to say that the figure represents the closing market value of the DOW Jones Industrial Average yesterday, then it's a number worth noting.
Institutions of Higher Education design web experiences to provide a service. In rare occasions, whenever dealing with new students or retention, schools attempt to gather intelligence about student intent. If institutions are able to understand intent, admissions staff can engage a potential student in a way that inspires them to achieve that which they want, generating a win-win relationship that will hopefully last a lifetime.
With every challenge that we face as professionals comes an opportunity for each of us to deliver improved, measurable results and exceed expectations. Seek out pristine points of reference in your professional and life experiences.
Value does not exist by itself; value exists in the connections made between things. As a growing software and services company, we believe value requires interpretation. Sometimes the value doesn't come in the form of a delivered solution, but rather later, when one creates a report or illustrates with data the impact that a solution has had on an operation (and perhaps on its bottom line).
What was once considered an institution's brand is now less about the look and feel of a logo, the presentation of a publication, or even the main website, and more about the communications shared and the experiences one has when interacting with members of the campus community.
Information Technology needs a call to inspiration. Many technologists we know in Higher Education have been confused by the messages purported by others, and over time, forgotten the real purpose of serving as technologists within an institution. We believe campuses are ripe for a revitalization, and the return of the creative, disciplined spirit that brought with it so many technological innovations over the past few decades.
With a completed disaster recover planning document in hand, the time has arrived to present the information gathered to the entire executive cabinet of your institution. Just as you have no choice but to provide them with service, they have no choice but to care. They need to understand the state of the technology in the business.
In a complex business such as an institution of Higher Education, we depend of each other's function the same way businesses vitally depend on each other. The difference is that instead of causing the closing of a business, internal restrictive policies cause deep inefficiencies in the functions of the college.
When it comes to disaster recovery planning and the circulation of information, we believe it is best absorbed when presented consistently and repeatedly. So, once you have created the plan for restoring systems in the event of failure, remember to use a familiar format. Include a paragraph about the purpose of each system, and always re-distribute the same document with relevant updates highlighted.
Not all solutions are fixed price, and time and materials costs can impact the decision to green light a project or table it for a later time. Changes to scope or additional requirements can result in a change request and cost overruns. Those costs can make or break a project. Three critical factors can weigh heavily on the overall success of your next project.
By addressing systems of lesser overall importance first, your team has the opportunity to become comfortable with discussing disaster recovery with stakeholders. This exercise will serve as an easy introduction into how to justify cost and importance externally. Document the cost of redundancy, security, and performance in a suggested list of key metrics.