Now I'm at the UCISA management conference in Edinburgh, my last as Chair of the Executive. Jeff Haywood, CIO from Edinburgh University opened the conference and welcomed us on behalf of the 4 universities in this fine city.
He gave a short talk on how to make the case for investing in IT. Given the steadily increasing importance of IT in HE and FE and it is important to get the right questions asked of the right people. A University can almost define all of its business now as e something, whether that is learning,research, technology transfer or administration.
Our users expect our services to be as agile as Amazon and as reliable as their bank at same time - they are so demanding because of the range of the business that we underpin. There's also the rapid rate of change and stuff that people especially students, think have been around long time, which haven't been.
There are several ways of talking to senior management, one way is carefully argued business plan. But in order to be successful, it has to be combined with the carefully timed Elevator pitch. This is as much about emotional appeal as logic. Short, punchy statements and illustrations are important.
Some useful questions to start a good discussion with senior management. What is it we could do that would give you the confidence that were making the right investment in IT for now and the future. What IT services do you want, and what do you really need?
Given that most of us spend c15 % on transformation, 15% on growth and 75% on keeping things running, what would make you worry about any changes to above?
Use benchmarks such as the Gartner hype cycle to show where you are compared to other places. Discuss planning tools such as quadrants with them and show them where the high value or high risk stuff is that you do.
Excellent set of suggestions for engaging senior management in valuable and productive discussions about investment in IT and a good start to the conference.
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