In the latest edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education, an article caught my attention: The CIO of the Future: a Problem-Solver and a Knowledge-Builder by Michael Zastrocky.
It's a short but interesting read. If you don't have time to read the full article, here's the conclusion, which echoes the article's title:
CIO's who are skilled at building teams of knowledge workers across campuses to work on solving institutional problems and meeting needs will be viewed as true business partners to both administrative and academic departments. They will be invited and expected at the strategic-planning table. CIO's who fail to market and educate institutional leaders and users and students on the real value and role of technology will end up as mere caretakers of infrastructure and be excluded from strategic or highly tactical planning.I'd agree with this sentiment. In my new role as Campus IT Director, I find the position's value is in building teams and partnerships to work together on projects, to achieve goals. An important part of my day-to-day is making sure the campus leaders understand the impact IT can deliver for the students, faculty, and staff.
I'll close by paraphrasing a comment on the original article: "Technology is a tool for delivery of information." A CIO needs to have the vision and leadership to help guide the use of that tool to meet the institution's needs. It's about planning, and helping the university make the right planning choices.