Magazine article University Business

IT Centralization: Institutional Hesitation

Magazine article University Business

IT Centralization: Institutional Hesitation

Article excerpt

Despite technology's critical role in higher ed, there remains a gap between central IT and the rest of campus that can lead to unnecessary spending.

Recent findings of a MeriTalk survey of 52 U.S. higher ed IT professionals illustrate this discrepancy. An average of 18 percent of campus IT systems are redundant, and 19 percent of all IT investments are made outside of central IT. 'Ibis equates to an annual "unmanaged, unmeasured investment" of $4 billion, the report states (based on an EDUCAUSE estimate of $21 billion in annual campus IT spending by U.S. higher ed).

"Without firm mandates forcing the changes to happen, it is difficult to corral individuals into central IT," says Tim Merrigan, vice president of state and local education for VMWare, a software provider and sponsor of the "Cloud Campus: The Software-Defined College" survey. "Historical baggage can create negative expectations. Institutions must commit to creating a clean slate," he adds.

Often, institutions fear decreased service, explains Link Alander, vice chancellor of technology services and CIO for the Lone Star College System in Texas. …

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