Question of the day? How is the Cloud is different than Hosting

Posted By on May 7, 2014

Leadership is A Privilege and an Honor

Posted By on October 31, 2012

Leadership is a privilege and an honor, but it is also a tremendous responsibility. My philosophy of leadership is one of collaboration and teamwork in which members of a team can utilize one another’s strengths to counter individual weaknesses. A leader is someone who listens well, can effectively motivate and inspire as well as provide a team with thoughtful vision and strategic direction. A leader is one who leads by example and empowers his/her followers. A leader deeply understands the needs of the people he/she leads and thoughtfully considers his/her actions and their impact on his/her followers.

The greatest leaders know their limitations and are adept at leveraging their strengths and the strengths of others to compensate.

“Leadership must be based on goodwill. Goodwill does not mean posturing and, least of all, pandering to the mob. It means obvious and wholehearted commitment to helping followers. We are tired of leaders we fear, tired of leaders we love, and of tired of leaders who let us take liberties with them. What we need for leaders are men of the heart who are so helpful that they, in effect, do away with the need of their jobs. But leaders like that are never out of a job, never out of followers. Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away.”

— Admiral James B. Stockdale

Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.”

__General Colin Powell

Definition of Chief Information Officer in Higher Education

Posted By on February 2, 2011


Over the last couple of weeks I have been working with a client of mine, to define a new job position of Chief Information Officer at their college. In my initial conversations with the college administrators it quickly dawned on me that they had no idea what a chief information officer was or even did. So I began to lay out the major differences between a Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer and Director of Technology.

Duties and responsibilities of a Chief Information Officer, is to have a total understanding of the mission of the college or university and facilitate the technology needs to meet the spoken and unspoken goals of the organization… To have an overall grasp of all upcoming and new technologies that will affect teaching and learning as well as day-to-day business at the college or university. To assist in the transfer of information between the University or College and all major stakeholders I.E. (public-relations, library, television, radio and technology) To have the ability to plan and prioritize A strong strategic plan for long-term stability and data integrity of all of the University or College’s information. To have a total understanding of all federal state and local regulations and laws that affects the flow of information at their organization. To facilitate the implementation of technology that will help move the college or university forward to meet all of their necessary technological needs.
Duties and responsibilities of a Chief Technology Officer is to have a overall grasp of all upcoming and new technologies that will affect teaching and learning as well as day-to-day business at the college or university, To implement a strategic plan for long-term stability and data integrity of all of the University or College’s information. To have a understanding of all federal state and local regulations and laws that affect the flow of information at their organization. To facilitate the implementation of technology that will help move the college or university forward to meet all of the necessary technological needs. To have the ability to translate technical matters into simple speak. To have A strong understanding of the time it takes to implement new and emerging technologies. To have the ability to understand upcoming technologies and be able to tell the difference between fads and IT trends.
Duties and responsibilities Director of Technology day-to-day information technology operations, Planning and implementing strong IT infrastructure, Assisting in budgeting and IT purchases of equipment, Planning and implementing information technology equipment rotation schedules servers, desktops, laptops, switches and all other hardware. Insuring customer service to all constituents, Assist in planning with overall strategic plans and goals, so that the information technology can meet the overall University goals, assisting in implementing new technologies for teaching and learning and administration.
Please find a standard matrix below that I use to help organizations to hire the right person, score between 40 and 60 you are looking for a Chief Information Officer, if the score is between 20 and 39 you are looking for a Chief Technology Officer if the score is less than 19 you need a Director of Technology. Please give each box a rating on a scale of 1 to 3.

(1) Needs some understanding
(2) With some experience
(3) Expertise

Ability to motivate information technology staff
Ability to run day-to-day information technology operation in a stable environment
financial planning and budgeting
The ability to build collaborations throughout the organization
The ability to implement a long-range strategic plan
The ability to keep up with new and emerging technologies
The ability to secure outside funding sources and grants for information technology initiatives
The ability to translate technical matters into simple speak
The ability to work with administrators
The ability to work with faculty
Understanding of all federal state and local information laws
Understanding of all information technology trends in higher education
Understanding of customer service and customer service models
Understanding of how technology affects day-to-day operations in a educational institution
Understanding of information technology governance
Understanding of library science
Understanding of pedagogy
Understanding of public relations and communications
Understanding of research computing
Understanding of The University or College missions and goals

Information-Technology Decision Matrix for Higher Education

Posted By on January 26, 2011

1. Does it align with the organization’s strategic plan?
a. Alignment with organization’s strategic goals will always be the most unclear part of the decision-making process. Goals breakdown to three distinct parts:

i. Written strategic planning goals
Strategic and written plans are the easiest to identify simply because they are the goals that are discussed the most and have very clear vision. The major mistake most technology professionals make here is trying to adapt their personal needs to fit into the overall organization strategic plan by wordsmithing goals. Giving an honest assessment one has to ask does this new technology truly advance my organization in the direction it’s trying to move.

ii. Unspoken goals and plans
The unspoken goals is one of the more difficult ones to identify i.e. during bad budget years nobody will say we need to cut costs but it is a major concern in the back of everyone’s mind. During administration transition years most administrators will be extremely cautious when making any major decisions until they have a clear view of the direction of the new administration. This is something that is never spoken aloud but something an experienced information technology professional must be aware of.

iii. Ego and self motivation of those requesting the technology.
The last and the most difficult to identify is the request for certain software or procedures driven by personal ego and personal gain. if administrators and information-technology managers would take a moment to ask the real questions without any ego involved and truly evaluate the real effectiveness or need of the request Does it help educate the students, does it improve the administration functions, does it enhance teaching and learning or does it help retention and recruitment. But as we see many people just think about what will make their life easier or what will help their career get to the next level.

2. Is it legal, will it break any state and federal laws?
This should be the s
implest question to answer Does it break any federal laws or state laws

3. Will any press be involved in making this decision?
a. Must judge all press both negative and positive?
b. Will it have a positive impact in the media or a negative impact on the institution as a whole?

4. Proceed with cost analysis and resource analysis for projectMust have a realistic view of total cost, short and long-term, how much the project cost to implement, how many resources you will need to implement. What are the long-term overall costs, recurring equipment costs and recurring personnel costs.

5. Securing necessary funding and resources to complete projectCan you secure commitment for funding for both short-term and long-term costs of equipment and personnel? YES/NO

As an information-technology professional in higher education it is not always about what is technologically sound. Sometimes it is truly a question of what is best for the organization as a whole and as long as you have a clear understanding of the long-term effect of any project and are able to explain it to everyone involved, you will be doing a true justice to your organization. The most important factor is that it is not a win lose situation for a technology professional. It is a situation that has nothing to do with ego, but more to do with the long-term effectiveness of your organization as a whole.

RE; Strategic Partnerships

Posted By on December 10, 2010

Ronald K. Machtley, President

What three things should any CIO know about leading an institution?

Leading an institution requires creating an environment in which a complex organization can function effectively and then empowering the institution to become the best in its class. The CIO should know there are three essential elements for leadership. First, there is no substitute for sound strategic planning. It is an absolute prerequisite for success. An institution’s strategic plan must be well-defined, must be understood by the entire organization, and must have comprehensive ownership throughout the organization.