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.
You can't control external factors that affect your budget. But you can create a plan to consider those factors. Strategic planning and budgeting may start with the unknown, but it immediately becomes an exercise in understanding how all functions of an institution are ultimately tied to headcount, funding source(s), and long terms goals.
There are three reasons why some CIOs find themselves in a similar position, because like it or not, they are still required to live with a data center operation daily. However, maintaining the facility constitutes a waste of strategic time that might otherwise be better spent on the software and services layers of the operation.
In business, "caution" is quite often the opposite of "action" if placed in the wrong context. When using that word in your business, consider carefully what you are saying, and then consider what your peers will hear when you say it.