In this, my first blog posting for the IT Leadership blog, I'll share with you a bit of my background as a way to lay the groundwork for some of the items I'll be sharing in this blog.
For years, I've been writing for TechRepublic on a wide variety of technical topics. I was delighted recently to be invited to contribute to the IT Leadership blog for TechRepublic. It's a great way to round out my writing and to share with readers some of my real world IT management experience (or, sometimes, lack thereof!). I made my jump from "in the trenches" technical work to IT management in 2001 and after two IT Director stints, am enjoying my first CIO job at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Although I've been in IT for 14 years and have worked in a variety of organizations, Westminster College is proving to be the most challenging, but in a good way. It's in this role that I'm moving more into the strategic aspect of managing IT, although I do remain technically engaged at the tactical level since I have a small staff. At Westminster, I'm a member of the President's cabinet, the executive leadership team responsible for overall administration of the college. Also in the role, I report to the President. In my IT Director jobs, I reported to either the CFO or the organization's deputy director.
In the last 18 months (I arrived in October of 2006), my current organization has either faced or overcome, or is in the process of overcoming or addressing the following:
- A stagnant budget;
- Some IT staff attitudes not aligning with college needs;
- Increasing (but reasonable) user demands;
- An unreliable infrastructure;
- A web site that did not meet the needs of... well... anyone;
- Inefficiency in IT processes and procedures;
- A number of manual, inefficient processes in other offices on campus;
- A lack of a true IT plan;
- Poor licensing management (for the record... this is corrected now!)
In my weekly posting, I'll talk about some of the things we've done at Westminster, or are doing at Westminster, to address the items above.
Two items I'm deeply involved in right now are the creation of an IT plan (I don't like the word "strategic" so I just called it a plan) and the choice and implementation of a standard operations framework.
I intend this posting to lay the groundwork for my future postings in this section. I would also like to invite you to ask any questions you may have about what I've done, or what I would do in a particular situation. That said, as I get older (and supposedly wiser), I wake up every morning realizing that I know less. It's amazing that, as I add to my skill set, I realize that there is so much I don't know. So, let's learn together!
Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive with CampusWorks, Inc. Scott is available for consulting, writing, and speaking engagements and can be reached at email@example.com.