- Whether campus IT is centralized or decentralized, enterprise-level systems must be implemented and managed by the central IT organization.
- To accommodate decentralized departmental IT requires developing and supporting subject matter experts — power users — in the different campus units by training and distributing knowledge through user groups and other venues.
- Central IT can bring departments together to leverage IT investments by using multiple methods of communication and providing a common interface to core applications and systems.
- No matter the model, the IT organization must align to institutional business goals and strategies, making institutional priorities the IT organization's priorities.
Kirk Kelly is associate vice president and CIO at Portland State University. Kevin Palmer is vice president of enrollment and marketing at Columbia College.
EDUCAUSE staff members Gerry Bayne and Nancy Hays interviewed Kirk Kelly and Kevin Palmer to ask about their experiences with administrative IT. Much of the conversation focused on centralized versus decentralized IT organizations and how they can work together to handle different technology needs across campus. The recorded conversation appears here as questions asked and (edited) audio answers. —Editors
Question 1: What would you say are the major challenges in administrative IT? (2:07 minutes)
Question 2: Is your IT infrastructure centralized or decentralized? (1:20 minutes)
Question 3: How do you decide which applications to centralize? (1:41 minutes)
Question 4: Your security policy is centralized, isn't it? (1:23 minutes)
Question 5: Please share a success story about streamlining processes through technology. (1:55 minutes)
Question 6: Please explain how you manage data collection, storage, and reporting. (1:56 minutes)
Question 7: What impacts have budget issues had on IT staffing and support on your campus? (4:28 minutes)
Question 8: How do you make the most of IT leveraging business processes and goals? (2:49 minutes)
Many thanks to PJ Carter for facilitating the conversation between EDUCAUSE and the authors that resulted in this interview.