Project Description

Strategic Vision for IT to Deliver Value in a Large Texas Higher-Ed Institution

The Client

The university is a large Texas public university with student enrollment of over 10,000 full-time students in undergraduate and graduate studies.

The Problem

The University had three primary growth objectives which IT was expected to enable:

  1. Double the on-campus student population within 5 years
  2. Increase the overall student population by 5% in perpetuity
  3. Double the amount of funded research within 5 years

The university’s IT organization had several weaknesses that prompted the president of the university to request Smartbridge to perform a comprehensive assessment of the IT organization and provide recommendations to enhance the value provide by IT.

Key challenges that the university knew that they faced with its technology capabilities included:

  • The university’s technology and related services are not aligned with the organizational objectives
  • Lack of a clearly articulated strategy and a coordinated plan
  • Increased demands imposed by the explosive growth of new service needs like online education
  • Poor quality of data impeding timely and effective decision making
  • Outdated technology infrastructure on campus and in dorms
  • Staffing and skill constraints

The Solution

Smartbridge, in partnership with Gartner Research, assessed the university’s technology needs to meet the business goals and IT’s ability to service these demands. The major components of our methodology executed were:

  1. Stakeholder orientation and industry trends workshop
  2. Current state assessment of the IT capabilities
  3. Benchmark assessment against the university’s peer group
  4. Future state assessment of the university’s overall strategic plan
  5. IT investment workshop to prioritize recommended projects
  6. Recommendations and an IT investment roadmap

The evaluation included all organizations which performed IT services or had significant technology assets. The evaluation focused on the attributes of Demand, Control and Supply across the university, including the departments of:

  • Technology Services
  • Instructional Technology
  • Marketing
  • Athletics
  • Accounting
  • Student Affairs
  • School of Graduate Studies
  • Student Access and Success
  • Recreation
  • Alumni Association
  • Residential Life
  • Student Community
  • Institutional Research
  • Library

Smartbridge evaluated the university’s organizational structure, individual skills, processes, technology, and data management capabilities, to define a prioritized set of investments which were intended to advance the maturity of the university’s IT organization, address some of the weaknesses in their technology service capabilities, and strengthen their capabilities which provided the most strategic value.

The Result

The university is currently implementing the roadmap of IT investments – with a priority on restructuring under strong leadership, and heavy investment in new digital marketing capabilities. The university is expected to be well positioned for growth in under a year.

Project Details

Categories:

IT Strategy
Higher Education

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Strategy & Advisory Services