Identifying Technologies That Will Respond To Student Needs
Innovative ways to foster growth within the organizations
To foster growth I needed to align IT to support the strategic mission of the institution. I have taken a strong stand in my strategy that technology is secondary to building intelligence within the organization.
We live in unusual period in our history. The amount of information accessible today is unparalleled. This has generated enormous demand on institutions of higher education to deliver quality education at such a pace, which academia is not accustomed to. We are facing big challenges. In such a fast changing and very versatile environment, it is really difficult to identify technologies that will respond to the needs, add value, and at the same time, reduce cost for each of our constituents: students; parents; faculty; physicians (Rowan university is one of only two universities in the nation with two medical schools); patients; administrators; alumni; academic programs, state and federal agencies; community; colleagues. Questions like data safety, risks of outsourcing, data governance, compliance, quality of information, quality of our networks and others are our continuous concern. The challenges we face are never miniscule because of the interconnectivity of information resources and technology systems.
Part of my job is to make sure that my team is acutely aware of all major risks our constituents are exposed to at all times. Information Resources and Technology (IRT) at Rowan University is responding to these demands by adopting very different approach from the traditional IT path we have followed until now. The IRT teams’ focus has shifted to understanding the business of every department first, providing sound and sustainable solutions next, and simultaneously keeping an eye on our constituents’ needs. This requires close collaboration among all university divisions; administrative and the academic. I make it my priority to understand the business operations of every senior leader, and to support his/her needs in a timely manner.
Most importantly, students are constantly redefining learning environments, tools, styles and pace of learning. My team is constantly on the look-out for new technologies that support effective academic strategies, and also in charge of building robust technological advancements supporting university business processes. I am lucky and fortunate that my teams are united in this undertaking. They are very excited about our strategic vision. That is the most a leader could ask of her team. As a leader I do want to stress the great importance of close collaboration with the university community as well as university leadership. In such an environment, Rowan University’s Office of IRT is well-positioned to foster growth within the institution.
Technological trends impacting the education sector
Every organization has its own unique culture, mission and vision. Those in some sense dictate which technologies will be embraced first, or the most. Universities are typically very conservative in adopting breakthrough technologies. This is true for Rowan as well. We are embracing hosted and in-house cloud technology. We are also strong in mobile environments and are actively targeting social media. As for big data, we are currently exploring industry partnerships for big data-driven projects.
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