The issue of resource constraints among Higher Ed IT professionals is very real. In fact, 46% of participants in a recent Higher Education study state that lack of resources tops their list of key challenges for 2016-2017. Higher Ed IT departments are struggling with limited resources and the pressure continues to mount with a constant influx of new users (students, faculty, and staff) expecting a seamless technology experience. However, there is good news for colleges and universities looking for answers – resource constraints can be largely reduced with a systematic approach to resource optimization and effectively communicating the value of IT.
It is no secret that principal stakeholders are rarely quick to devote additional resources to IT departments, which is why it is imperative to optimize existing resources for maximum efficiency.
I know – this is easier said than done.
Manual processes, ad-hoc reporting requests, and gaps in hand-offs are common enemies to those striving to improve productivity. With organized processes and workflows, those tasks and others that do not add value can be identified and ultimately removed.
Communicating the Value of IT
When operations are running smoothly, students, faculty, and staff do not typically think of how much they interact with the IT department. Unfortunately, it is when technical issues arise that IT is placed firmly in the spotlight.
The fact remains that without a strong IT division, universities cannot run efficiently. However, 24% of study participants identified the ability to communicate the value of IT as the top challenge for 2016-2017. Insufficient performance tracking reporting are common culprits here, which often stem from unreliable, or nonexistent data, and a lack of visibility into IT’s operations.
Communicating value to both stakeholders and the campus at-large is achievable with strong reporting based on accurate data. Justifying additional headcount or budget becomes much more feasible once it is evident just how crucial IT is in driving the university’s mission forward.
Bringing it All Together
There are two proven software solutions that help organizations across a wide array of industries to streamline operations and manage resources – IT Service Management (ITSM) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM). Individually, ITSM and PPM are established, relatively well-known solutions among IT pros, but a fairly new approach to resource optimization in Higher Ed includes the combination of ITSM and PPM on a single platform.
Integrating the two solutions provides a clear view of the interdependencies between the functions of IT service delivery and IT project management. This enhanced insight coupled with systematic processes and workflows make it possible to eliminate inefficiencies and optimize resources. Plus, with greater visibility and reliable tracking, Higher Ed IT teams can convey their value and communicate additional needs with clear proof points.
For IT teams buried in ad-hoc work, ever-shifting priorities, and chaotic project management, it might be time to ask yourself if you have the right platform to move your organization forward.