IT Master Plan
The IT Master Plan outlines the strategic goals, objectives and initiatives of Lafayette’s Information Technology Division. It is the culmination of nearly a year’s worth of work and a variety of conversations and inputs. In March 2011, Lafayette contracted Polaris Consulting to help develop primary inputs to this process. That report, in conjunction with input from cabinet, senior staff, the Board IT committee, IT leadership, advisory bodies, faculty, and staff have all informed this final plan. The Information Technology Committee of the Board of Trustees adopted the Master Plan in January 2012, at which time implementation began.
The Master Plan has a three year horizon, and includes a prioritized project portfolio, budget estimates, and staffing requirements to implement the portfolio. In addition, the College’s Strategic Plan Global Objectives and Supporting Objectives are included to provide the strategic context for the IT Master Plan.
The Information Technology Master Plan is not intended to provide an exhaustive list of the technology-related projects Lafayette must undertake, but rather focuses on those areas where technology is expected to deliver significant additional value to the College.
Information technology is rapidly becoming an essential component of the core enterprise. It is no longer just a productivity enhancer, but rather will be at the center of nearly everything we do. To adapt the institution to the changes this will likely bring to our environment, the College must provide each user with the technology they need and support them in using it effectively. Members of the community must embrace the use of information technology in their roles, and be committed to using it to improve and enhance their own work, and the College as a whole.
There are six main guiding principles that drive the objectives of the plan:
Provide Access to Technology
The College is committed to providing all members of the Lafayette community with access to the technologies they need in their roles, when and where they are needed, and in user-friendly forms.
Build Technology Literacy
To take full advantage of the investments being made in information technology, it is important that members of the community are well equipped to use them in their work.
Information technology is now a part of nearly every activity the College engages in, and provides the opportunity to do things faster, better, or cheaper, as well as to provide new or expanded services or seek new revenue streams. The College is committed to becoming a national leader in areas where technology innovation supports the educational mission and institutional strategic objectives. Members of the community should be encouraged and supported to explore new ways of using technology, with an understanding that innovation can be risky, and some failures may ensue.
Work In Partnership
Effective deployment of information technology is not just the responsibility of ITS. Technical projects should be collaborative efforts between users and technology providers. The success of projects goes beyond purely technical efforts, and success hinges upon how well the community adopts the technologies and how closely they meet users’ needs. Early collaboration during project planning is strongly encouraged.
While information technology is essential to the overall success of the College, there are limited personnel and financial resources available to support technology initiatives. The College must focus its investments on those projects that clearly demonstrate value through academic and business outcomes, while retaining some funding to support innovative projects and smaller academic initiatives.
Support Our Culture
A significant part of the value generated by the Lafayette community comes from the face-to-face interactions between and among students, faculty, and staff. Technology should be deployed in a way that enhances and supports these interactions, not in a way that replaces them.
These principles have led to the adoption of four major objectives of the plan:
- Develop capabilities that support faculty teaching, research and student learning
- Support creation of and access to digital assets and data
- Promote the efficient use of technology through community partnership
- Support communication and collaboration between and among the College and members of its community
In addition to the initiatives outlined in the plan, the document outlines a new IT Governance process for the College. This Governance plan will lead to more effective use, allocation, and prioritization of IT resources and budget dollars. Governance will also be responsible for updating and refreshing the Master Plan as it now becomes a living, evergreen document.
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