From the OIT all staff meeting, I wanted to talk about a few slides that caught my interest. One slide that I thought was very informative was "Recommended Organization: Highly coordinated model." The slide included a list of bullets that spoke to how our VP/CIO (Steve Cawley) fits into the overall IT picture at the University.
Two points addressed Steve's role:
- The IT directors serve as the "Board of IT Directors" under the leadership of the VP/CIO.
- The VP/CIO is ultimately the responsible authority for IT leadership across the University.
If you have ever wondered how the VP/CIO fits in with campus IT at the University of Minnesota, this slide should have helped to answer those questions.
The Harvard Business Review recently had a piece about collaborative environments that I thought fits OIT very well here. According to HBR, a highly collaborative employee is "T" shaped. The employee needs to have a deep understanding of their vertical areas (systems administration, database administration, job scheduling, monitoring, storage, backup, etc.) and that gives them the edge needed to bring value to the organization. That's the "|" part of the "T". But a truly collaborative employee will work across organizations, to work together, to add value to the process.
Now extend that "employee" analogy to OIT as a whole. I view OIT as being "T" shaped, with the VP/CIO helping to bridge campus IT and central IT. That's a large part of Steve's role here, helping the University to collaborate, and to be highly coordinated.