Increasing IT Value for Customers: A Challenge for Higher Education

Beeby, Daniel J.; Jelinkova, Klara; Donenfeld, Sunny; Knox, Jim; Palenchar, Eileen; Rini, Joseph T.

This research bulletin strives to answer the question, What must a central IT organization in an academic environment do to increase its value to its clients and its institution? It is not a cookbook for how to create a successful IT organization, but rather a discussion of considerations for increasing value. Treacy and Wiersema suggest that successful IT organizations choose to focus almost exclusively on one value proposition from among these three: product leadership, operational excellence, and customer intimacy. While these three areas offered us a good starting point, our research suggested that a single focus was less applicable for a central IT organization in higher education. Rather, we discovered that a combination of slightly modified propositions is more suited to the academic environment: operational excellence, organizational management, and client partnership. We concluded that an organization that excels in these three areas will be highly valued by the people who use its services. In this way, IT can make a dramatic shift from being regarded on campus as an expense that needs to be controlled to being viewed as a strategic partner in addressing and solving academic and business problems.


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Academic Units
Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning
Published Here
December 10, 2010


EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research research bulletin, vol. 2006, no. 5.