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ERIC Number: EJ799861
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1528-5324
A Policy-Based Approach to Technology Systems
Kuhn, Robert M.; Brookes, Kimberly H.; Bellos, Nephellie
EDUCAUSE Quarterly, v31 n2 p70-74 2008
Discussions with a central IT organization about integration with existing systems on campus, support costs for the new implementation, and total cost of ownership frequently become adversarial. Simmons College, a small college in Boston with an enrollment of approximately 1,900 undergraduate and 2,800 graduate students, reframed these issues in terms of goals common to the service owners and the central IT organization. Both the administration and the purchasing of IT systems are centralized in a department called, simply, Technology. The whole campus community benefits from the integration of systems, single sign-on, and coherent interface design. Different units within the institution, however, want to implement the best service solutions for their customers and for their own work. The way a new service fits into an overall institutional architecture is at best a secondary consideration. The result was a hotchpotch of disparate and independent systems. Technology, as the champion of coherence in planning of services, was often seen as a roadblock to departments' "getting the job done." So Technology found itself on the horns of a dilemma--be seen as an impediment to bypass, or become complicit in chaos. This approach moves the dynamic from an adversarial view of central IT's role in system implementation to a perception of collaboration toward a common goal. At the same time, the process becomes transparent, and Technology's efforts to address system shortcomings and anticipate problems contribute to an impression of a helpful, flexible organization. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A