IT Roadmaps Are All About Flexibility, In More Ways Than One
Having the flexibility to respond to the unexpected is good, but IT roadmaps today should also be built around hybrid, flexible learning.
We’re not going back to the days of having every student in the same room anytime soon, so every piece of technology you plan to implement and every infrastructure improvement you plan to make should be done with hybrid learning in mind.
Retrofitting existing classrooms to handle flexible learning is becoming a common practice in higher education, and thinking about how students attending class remotely will interact with their in-person colleagues and instructors should be top of mind when proposing any classroom improvements.
Roadmaps should also factor in how different technologies interact with one another. Colleges invested big in cloud-based software and all kinds of devices during the early days of the pandemic, and making sure those tools can still be part of the equation when other upgrades are made is key.
An IT Roadmap and University Roadmap Should Blend Together
It’s gotten a little easier for CIOs to get an audience with the full C-level team at higher education institutions in the past three years. Technology has become such a key part of what universities do, and it’s important as we move forward that CIOs and other top IT decision-makers continue to be involved in any discussions of broader university strategy.
Cross-departmental collaboration at the top level of a college or university is imperative, and the most effective CIOs can bring together leaders from all areas of an institution to map out their technological future.
Zooming out even further, it’s important for IT roadmaps to take into consideration the university’s mission, and to interpret that mission through the eyes of various stakeholders around campus. Is the mission to improve student engagement? A better network can do that. Is it seeking out nontraditional learners? Asynchronous collaboration tools are probably going to be important. There is no standard IT roadmap, so the best ones align with what the university is trying to accomplish.
Our team at CDW has been partnering with CIOs at colleges and universities throughout the country since long before the pandemic began, and if you’re looking to build out your IT roadmap, we’re here to share what we’ve learned. We can’t predict the future, but we can help make sure you’re prepared for whatever comes next.
This article is part of EdTech: Focus on Higher Education’s UniversITy blog series.