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CIO: Technology for higher education makes a valuable IT investment

At Madison College in Wisconsin, CIO Igor Steinberg is focused on fulfilling the school's hands-on learning mission by investing in technology for higher education, providing both students and faculty with the access and opportunities they crave.

In this video, filmed at the Fusion 2012 CEO-CIO Symposium in Madison, Wis., Site Editor Wendy Schuchart sits down with Steinberg to discuss how he allots his IT budget to provide the most relevant technology for higher education in a number of fields, including audiovisual technology and communications, manufacturing and marketing.

Steinberg explains that students and faculty in higher education are independent and desire convenient access to dispersed learning opportunities. When strategizing technology for higher education, CIOs should educate their user community about what's conceivable given available resources, and ensure that users are benefitting from the IT spending push.

Read a partial transcript from this interview below, and watch the video to learn more about how Steinberg gives students and faculty access to technology in higher education.

Wendy Schuchart: You've mentioned that technology is really changing the world. How do your internal customers deal with those changes, versus the expectations of the executive board or executive team?

Igor Steinberg: Our internal customers are primarily faculty, and I guess students are external customers. But faculty and students, in many ways, are quite independent. I would say they are riding the wave of consumerization and expect to do whatever they need to do when they need to do it and in the way they want to do it. So, those are their expectations.

The expectations of the executives are that IT is supporting the mission of the institution, that we are helping the organization in a meaningful way to realize its key goals, and that -- by the way -- all of the systems that we have had up until this point in time continue to run just fine and have adequate performance. We can take for granted that they will serve us as long as we need them to serve us; so that, I think, is their perspective. It's a critical service, a critical utility within the organization that helps it succeed.

How do CIOs today need to adjust their strategic planning in the new world order?

Well I don't want to be too presumptuous that I know what all CIOs should do. But the presentation I just gave [at the Fusion conference] was really about the concept of shrinking your strategic planning cycle time by replacing a more defined or deterministic process with one that involves business-level experimentation to identify potential new core competence. So, that would be the adjustment. It's not really for CIOs; it's for CIOs to support the business as it modifies its strategic planning process to use experimentation or, more bluntly, to place bets on what's going to be more important in the future to the business.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Wendy Schuchart, Site Editor. For midmarket IT news and updates throughout the week, follow us on Twitter @ciomidmarket.

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