ohio university strategic plan office of information technology may 2013
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Ohio University Strategic Plan – Office of Information Technology May 2013. Table of Contents. Overview. Strategic Planning . Process.

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strategic planning

Strategic Planning


  • Strategic Planning is an annual multi-phased process executed through the year that links strategy, budget, and performance to promote organizational stability.
  • Background Data: extensive data sampling of key environmental and/or operational trends, issues, and problems that impact the accuracy and effectiveness of the initiatives
  • Developing the Plan: deliberative process focused on defining/refining the Unit’s Strategic Plan to provide organizational focus for both long- and short- term organizational activities
  • Develop Initiatives: provides the actionable mechanism for implementing the Unit’s Strategic Plan and ensuring the alignment of organizational mission priorities, initiatives, and resources with the University’s strategy
  • Execute and Review Performance: implementation of organization-specific initiatives to include monitoring, measuring, and managing performance against the Unit’s Strategic Plan throughout the implementation

OIT Unit Overview

Strategic Plan Foundation

  • Pressures to improve academic technology and governance while maintaining a robust infrastructure are driving the need for OIT’s strategic planning and performance management.
  • As a key service unit within Ohio University, OIT is:
  • Relied upon to provide:
    • Security
    • Project management
    • Instructional and research technologies
    • IT infrastructure
    • Enterprise applications
    • Technology support
  • Increasingly constrained by decreases in state funding for higher education and the resulting budget cuts within the University
  • Critical to supporting the University’s transition to Responsibility Center Management model (RCM)
  • Seen as a strategic partner across campus and is positioned to provide the IT leadership to guide the direction of Ohio University’s teaching, research and administrative IT needs.

OIT Unit Overview

Stakeholder involvement

Huron conducted interviews, focus groups, and facilitated discussions with a wide range of individuals and groups across campus. In addition Huron conducted a survey of customers with frequent OIT interaction.

1A detailed list of participants can be found in the appendix. Note all survey participants were anonymous and therefore survey participant names are not included in the list.

strategic planning1

Strategic Planning

Strategy map and definitions

A common understanding of the Strategy Map and several key strategic planning terms helped to guide and enable the development of a unified plan.

current environment

Current Environment

Trends in the higher education industry

While the US economy has improved since 2008, the impact of a lagging economy continues to present a number of challenges in the US Higher Education industry:

Industry Trends:

  • As unemployment remains high and household net worth and incomes remain depressed, the sector faces weaker purchasing power in its core markets, forcing heightened competition that favors the most reputable and the lower priced options
  • Revenue growth remains a challenge for most, underscoring need for operational efficiency
  • Backlogged capital spending threatens higher future capital maintenance costs, but universities are slowly beginning to restart capital projects
  • More intense public and community engagement, combined with new limits on public funding, opens door for heightened regulatory intervention in university operations, cost structure and accreditation
  • Weak US economic conditions causing government budgetary stress at national, state, and local levels is leading to stagnant public funding

Median % Share of Public University Revenues from State Appropriations

Source: Moody’s Financial Ratio Analysis

current environment1

Current Environment

Trends at Ohio university

State Appropriations as a Share of Total Operating Revenue (percent)

OU has seen total state appropriations and state appropriations per enrolled student stagnate/decline in recent years. This trend suggests increasing pressure on revenues and the need to find efficiencies in all business units.

State and University Trends

  • Graduate and undergraduate enrollment totals have been relatively stable since 2006, but available state appropriations per student have seen a decrease to below 1990s levels
  • State appropriations have declined from nearly 40% of operating revenues in 2001 to 22% of the operating budget in 2012
  • State appropriations show a continued downward trend since FY 2009 and the political climate remains uncertain


Ohio University State Appropriations 2003-2011

$, Millions

Source: Trends and Challenges for Public Research Universities. Rep. National Science Board, 2012. Web. <http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/sei/companion2/files/nsb1245.pdf>.

current environment2

Current Environment

Internal Factors – Responsibility Center Management (RCM)

Implementation of the RCM budgeting approach at OU will change the way institutional funds flow throughout the University, streamlining and simplifying distributions and connecting revenues with their attendant costs.

Planning for RCM implementation requires identifying process changes, data needs, timelines, and milestones. Cultural change readiness will also need to be evaluated to assess challenges for model adoption.


Student Engagement and Feedback

Student technology Advisory Group (STAG) Top Ideas

The STAG identified 8 top technology initiatives, these initiatives, along with the Student focus group, served as key inputs into the development of the strategic plan for OIT.

Develop Customized Apps

Bobcat Card—Combine into a Single Multi-use Card

Improve Communications

Better Campus Scheduling

Coursework Delivery via eTexts/Preloaded Content & Apps (on devices)

LMS Improvements

Cloud—student information

Ensure Redundancy of Services So That No Interruptions

Source: STAG Top Ideas, April 24, 2012


Faculty Engagement and Feedback

Faculty Technology Advisory Group Survey Results

The survey generated by the Faculty Technology Advisory Group (FTAG) identified 7 recommendations, these in tandem with the focus groups, interviews and survey were used to inform the OIT strategy.

Providing substantially increased network speeds and bandwidth for both the wired and wireless networks

Assuring network reliability, especially for the wireless network

Providing timely and focused technical support, especially for classroom technology

Providing training and support for users of Blackboard and other technologies, such as lecture capture and web conferencing

Providing sufficient storage for electronic files for instructional and research/creative purposes

Providing capability for electronic transfer of large files for instructional and research/creative purposes

Supporting faculty efforts to identify, evaluate and implement promising IT technologies and services

Source: Faculty Survey Results and Resulting Recommendations, January 31st, 2012

ohio university strategic plan

Ohio University Strategic Plan

4x4 and Environmental Scan

OU completed an Environmental Scan to augment the institution\'s Strategic Plan, which have highlighted that information technology will play a critical role in achieving the institution’s vision.

Vision: Ohio University’s vision is to be come the nation’ s best transformative learning community where students realize their promise, faculty advance knowledge, staff achieve excellence and alumni become global leaders.

  • Four Fundamentals:
  • Inspired Teaching & Research
  • Innovative Academic Programs
  • Exemplary Student Support Services
  • Integrated Co-Curricular
  • Environmental Scan Implications:
  • General Education
  • Globalization
  • Multi-Modal Academic Programs
  • Technical Resources
  • Innovation, Invention, Entrepreneurship
  • Four Supporting Priorities:
  • Short & Long Term Enrollment Goals
  • Effective Total Compensation
  • Capital Campaign
  • Financial Strength

Source: Strategic Planning Summary, October 31, 2011, University Environmental Scan: Draft Report, October 18, 2010

ou environmental scan

OU Environmental Scan


Changing trends in the demographics of Ohio will require Ohio University to review its current offerings and determine how it can best meet the needs of its core and anticipated student population.

Projected Enrollment Trends (2010):

  • Already1/3 of the current enrollment at OU is on the regional campuses.
  • Enrollment in public, two-year programs is expected to exceed capacity.
  • At four-year institutions, a 25% increase in graduate enrollment is projected.

Expected Changes in Education Demand:

  • It is also likely that many students will elect to take a number of courses on-line to facilitate timely graduation or to accommodate work schedules.
  • Located in a region that is largely rural and losing population, it is likely that the tendency to stay closer to home will present greater challenges for OU.
  • The areas that will likely see increases are adults who want to begin or finish degrees in circumstance that preclude residence and require flexibility and choice.

Environment Scan Demographics

Comments from Survey Interviews

  • Currently,27% of OU’s Athens students are online and 8% are integrated with the classroom and online.
  • Executive Academic Leadership

Online students are even more prevalent on regional campuses with almost 40% of Lancaster\'s students being online

- Executive Academic Leadership

*Quote boxes contain paraphrased excerpts from interviews

Source: University Environmental Scan: Draft Report, October 18, 2010

ou environmental scan1

OU Environmental Scan


The economic recession compounded already challenging times in Higher Education, which can be seen in both the environmental scan from 2010 and the latest Moody’s report released at the beginning of this year.

  • State Share of Instruction has declined by 13% from 2000 to 2010 and declines in state and federal funding and royalties are impacting OU’s research mission.
  • The declining infrastructure affects recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff, and an increasing backlog of deferred maintenance poses a large risk.
  • Concerns over college costs have triggered a nationwide trend toward accountability and outcome measurement.
  • Shrinking budgets have contributed to uncertainty and forced quicker, comprehensive actions challenging a culture based in slower, deliberate approaches.
  • Ohio University will continue to face challenging financial times with slow economic recovery beginning somewhere between 2013 and 2016.

Environment Scan Economics

Moody’s report 2013

Source: Moody\'s: 2013 outlook for entire US Higher Education sector changed to negative, Global Credit Research - 16 Jan 2013, University Environmental Scan: Draft Report, October 18, 2010

ou environmental scan2

OU Environmental Scan


Technology has created a shift in how education is managed and delivered. Faculty members need support to transform their curriculum in the face of these changes.

  • As rapid technology changes occur, communication around these changes needs to be improved
  • Students have more technical aptitude and are able to quickly adapt to new technology trends
  • Despite being able to adopt quickly to innovation, students still rely on faculty’s teaching practices and curriculum to help process concepts, ideas and ways of thinking.
  • However, teaching practices and curriculum must be re-envisioned to accommodate students becoming increasingly mobile and allows them to mix classes from multiple sources and institutions.
  • All but the newest generations of faculty and staff struggle to understand the technology tools at their disposal.
  • Faculty and Staff often lack the incentives, training, and the time needed to know how to use technology.

Environment Scan Technology

Quotes from Interviews and Survey

“[When it comes to technology in the classroom] with faculty its divided down the line, and there is not a consistent message coming out. Are faculty going to work to be able to provide online and hybrid classrooms or not?”

- Student

“Ohio University needs to change its business model to stay alive … Ohio will have to provide much of it’s product in a digital format.”

- Academic Personnel

*Quote boxes contain paraphrased excerpts from interviews

Source: University Environmental Scan: Draft Report, October 18, 2010

higher education industry trends

Higher Education Industry Trends

Huron’s work in higher education has identified several major trends that are impacting the core missions of institutions across the sector.

*Source: http://sloanconsortium.org/publications/survey/going_distance_2011

cross industry technology trends

Cross-Industry Technology Trends

The technology marketplace has also been undergoing transformational change over the past several years, creating both opportunities and threats that organizations must account for when developing their plans for information technology.


Survey Results

Overall Responses

Survey results show that the OU community sees OIT as a critical and strategic partner and approximately 62% of the respondents view OIT favorably .


Survey Results

Overall Responses

Participants responded to a series of 15 statements about OIT. These responses are provided below and additional focus on specific results are discussed on the following slides.

Highly Favorable


Somewhat Favorable

Somewhat Unfavorable


Highly Unfavorable


Survey Results

Strategic Areas of Success for OIT

Areas of success highlighted in the survey results include; staff with the right skills, services that support the academic mission, and a view that OIT is a strategic partner. These demonstrate that OIT is poised for success.


Survey Results

Strategic Areas of For Improvement

Close to 60% of survey respondents felt that they did not understand how prioritization and decision making were done within OIT. Training and robust, scalable technologies were also noted as areas for improvement.


Survey Results

Core Services Reviewed

OIT identified the six core services that they offer to their customers. A series of service-related questions were asked about these core services. The results are depicted in the following slides.

Core Service Areas for the Office of Information Technology

  • Customer Services - services rendered by OIT as individualized business operations such as consulting and project management services, desktop computing support (help desk and dispatchable repair personnel), data center hosting services, software and technology procurement assistance, and the operation of the Technology Depot.
  • Networking and Collaboration Services - services rendered by OIT to enable consumable data, voice, email, and conferencing communications, along with shared information storage to enhance the ability of University personnel (faculty and staff) to work together and with colleagues beyond the confines of Ohio University
  • Information Security Services - services rendered by OIT directly to customers that are part of OIT\'s Information Security Protection and/or Loss Containment activities.
  • Student Information Administration Services - services rendered by OIT to assist or enable the administration of activities directly in support of Ohio University students (i.e. registration, enrollment, housing, grade processing, academic counseling, etc.)
  • Instructional and Research Technologies - services rendered by OIT to assist or enable the University in its teaching and learning activities
  • Business Application Services: services rendered by OIT to assist or enable the University in its business activities.

Survey Results

Core Service Satisfaction

Survey respondents are 91% satisfied with Information Security Services but less than 50% of the respondents are satisfied with Business Applications Services.


Survey Results

Level of Importance

Respondents felt that Instructional and Research Technology would be a more important category of service in the future and Information Security Services would be less important.


Survey Results

Level of Investment

Survey respondents believe there is a significant underinvestment in Instructional and Research Technologies, while the current investment in Information Security Services is viewed as appropriate.


Survey Results

Additional QUOTES

Several themes from the survey were also communicated during the interview process.

Student Information Administration Services:

  • With the implementation of a new student information system (PeopleSoft), the investment in staff was not adequate. Most of the people who supported the legacy SIS (and custom applications) are still in place, but their lack of knowledge in newer technologies and/or inability to bring their skills up to speed constantly hinders service delivery. At times, it seems staffing numbers might not be as inadequate as it seems at other times, but the resources certainly seem to be misaligned (e.g., too many staff in departmental support functions, and not enough in student systems support). – Administrative Personnel
  • There needs to be a stark realization of how INCOMPLETE the PeopleSoft implementation is – Academic Personnel
  • PeopleSoft got programmed to work like the old SIS did - no flexibility for course timing, registrar scheduling, billing off the semester system, etc. We missed a huge opportunity to broaden our offerings both on campus and online! The latter may have been a policy issue but illustrates our not planning ahead as an institution. – Faculty

Customer Service:

  • One template of service delivery does not fit all academic/administrative unit needs. Some units need greater application support, some greater web services support, some greater project development, some greater classroom/teaching support. – Distributed IT Staff
  • Complete centralization does not account for the fact that doing our work in a modern world requires functional staff with VERY STRONG technical aptitude, or technical staff with VERY STRONG functional aptitude, to be EMBEDDED in our units. Technology IS the functional work in 2014. – Academic Personnel
  • Organization is such that some functions are in little dead-end branches of the system so that getting service is more a matter of who you know than anything logical. - Faculty

Networking and Collaboration Services:

  • Wireless services have always proven to be unreliable. Some new buildings (les than 5 years old) still have spotty wireless reception. But the NexGen upgrade appears to be making things better. Single Sign-on capability is still missing. Network security still requires a mix of technologies: LDAP, Shibboleth, TLS/SSL, SSH, etc. – Distributed IT Staff
  • Mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc...) combined with web or app-based administrative services will be a key differentiator in the next five years. People are increasingly going to expect the ability to perform all admin functions from their mobile device or the web. – Regional Administrator

Future of the Institution

Customer Feedback on the next 3-5 Years

When envisioning the next 3-5 years, OIT’s customers identified building capacity in teaching and learning, managing operational needs in a distributed environment, and having a stable, secure infrastructure as priorities for OIT.

Future state:

Strengthen capacity to support teaching and learning needs, both on-campus and in online programs

  • OU needs to develop robust capabilities to deliver programs online, with service levels that match or exceed those available from external services
  • The line between online and classroom learning is blurring. Solutions need to support both to be successful
  • Faculty need effective training and support to take full advantage of academic technology

Provide the systems and information to allow effective management of the University

  • Focus on delivering the functionality within SIS and Oracle that customers require
  • Provide the right information to the right people at the right time to enable effective decision making

Maintain reliable, secure, and flexible infrastructure to support ever-expanding use of technology

Develop a partnership between the units and IT to ensure customer needs are being met and innovation can occur

Improve governance process to focus on highest priority needs and provide transparency to the University community


Challenges, Enablers,

Customers & Stakeholders


Challenges and Enablers

Enablers Overview

Analysis of challenges and enablers can be used to help define critical areas of focus for each goal and strategic objective, noting areas that may affect OIT’s ability to achieve its desired vision, goals and objectives.


Challenges and Enablers

Challenges Overview

Analysis of challenges and enablers can be used to help define critical areas of focus for each goal and strategic objective, noting areas that may affect OIT’s ability to achieve its desired vision, goals and objectives.

customers and stakeholders

Customers and Stakeholders

Stakeholder Analysis

Understanding OU’s stakeholders enables OIT to determine how their customers will view the progress against OIT’s strategic plan.


Office of Information and Technology Vision and Mission

Source: http://www.ohio.edu/oit/cio/aboutoit.cfm


Office of Information and Technology Code of Ethics

Source: http://www.ohio.edu/oit/cio/ethics.cfm


OIT Guiding Principles

Guiding principles provide the basis for reasoning and action in the development of effective implementation strategies that meet customer needs. In effect, guiding principles direct the movements of an organization.

Collaborative:  OIT will partner with the University to clearly establish technology roles and responsibilities, ensure measurable accountability, and enable strong lines of communication. 

Decision Making:  Priorities will be driven by the academic mission of the Institution through a clearly defined governance structure to align OIT initiatives with the Institution’s overall strategic objectives.

Technology Leadership: OIT will engage the University to understand its needsand suggest leading practices the Institution can embrace.

Innovation: OIT will cultivate knowledge and understanding of emerging technology trends and work collaboratively with the units to identify, test and adopt appropriate new innovations.

Enterprise Infrastructure: OIT will work with the units to ensure appropriate technology infrastructure and security are in place to enable University operations in an effective and efficient manner.

OIT Guiding Principles


Office of Information and Technology Strategic Plan

Goals and strategic objectives

OIT will enable the University to achieve its mission and vision through these goals and strategic objectives:

performance measurement

Performance Measurement

Identifying Measures and Metrics

  • Performance measures are management tools and control mechanisms that better enable an organization to:
  • Gauge progress towards strategy
  • Monitor and manage organizational performance to identify performance strengths, gaps, and appropriate improvement actions
  • Inform management, leadership, and stakeholders of status and progress
  • Performance measures at the OBJECTIVElevel should be specific and may be a combination of effectiveness and efficiency
  • Performance measure selection process:

Review Goals

Identify Potential


Apply Screening Criteria

Downselect Measures

  • Desired results
  • Effectiveness
  • Efficiency

Goal 1 Measure

  • Relevance
  • Usefulness
  • Feasibility
  • Completeness

Goal 1

Goal 2 Measure

Goal 2

Goal 3 Measure



Goal 3


Performance Measurement

Overview of Critical Measures

Using the Balanced Scorecard approach allows OU to ensure that the metrics identified as priorities for the institution and are evenly distributed.


Goals & Objectives

top customer metrics

Top Customer Metrics

Per the stakeholder Analysis Meeting

Through discussions with the stakeholders, directors and executive leadership, three main areas have been identified to indicate success of the OIT strategic plan.

Metric Dashboards:

  • Governance Approved Project Dashboard:
    • Governance Review and Approval Tracking
    • Project Status Tracking
  • Customer Satisfaction Dashboard:
    • Overall Faculty and Staff Satisfaction
    • Overall Students Satisfaction
  • OIT Operations Dashboard:
    • Employee Satisfaction
    • % FTE Time Allocated to Projects
    • OIT Operational Metrics
governance approved project dashboard

Governance Approved Project Dashboard

METRIC Detail – Governance Committee Review and Approval Tracking

governance approved project dashboard1

Governance Approved Project Dashboard

METRIC Detail – Project Status Tracking

customer satisfaction dashboard

Customer Satisfaction Dashboard

METRIC Detail – Overall Faculty and Staff Satisfaction

customer satisfaction dashboard1

Customer Satisfaction Dashboard

METRIC Detail – Overall Student Satisfaction

oit operations dashboard

OIT Operations Dashboard

METRIC Detail – Employee Satisfaction Survey

oit operations dashboard1

OIT Operations Dashboard

METRIC Detail – % FTE time Allocated to projects

oit operations dashboard2

OIT Operations Dashboard

METRIC Detail – OIT Operational Metrics

  • *Note: OIT will have scheduled downtime for their systems which will be properly posted and communicated to campus prior to the event. In addition these downtimes will be strategically planned to have a minimal impact to the campus.

Goal – Customer Feedback Alignment

Customer Feedback Support alignment

Below is the alignment of the customer feedback to the Goals that have been identified as part of the OIT Strategic Plan.

Legend - Fully Supports: Partially Supports:


Goal – Guiding Principle Alignment

Guiding principle support alignment

Below is thealignment of OIT Guiding Principlesto the Goals that have been identified as part of the OIT Strategic Plan.

goal metric alignment

Goal – Metric Alignment

Goal Support Alignment

Below is the alignment of OIT metricsto the goals that have been identified as part of the OIT Strategic Plan.

Legend - Fully Supports: Partially Supports:

implementation plan

Implementation Plan

Next Steps to Implement OIT Strategic Plan

Development of a strategic plan is not stagnant, there is an iterative process that must occur in order for the strategic plan to stay relevant.

  • Development of Initiatives
    • Identify initial set of 15-20 initiatives to advance the strategic objectives and determine business and technology requirements for initial set of validated initiatives
    • Identify staffing and funding needed to execute initial initiatives and determine gaps
    • Identify customer owners for each initiative
    • Execute PRFs for all governance level initiatives
    • Obtain leadership approval for funding and resources
  • Communication and Reporting
    • Communicate strategy to campus
    • Finalize, track and report initial set of metrics
  • Annual Strategic Plan Review
    • Schedule annual internal review meetings with OIT leadership to discuss:
      • Review goals and objectives against feedback collected to ensure continued relevancy
      • Create an updated initiative list based on campus priorities and progress to-date
      • Annually communicate updated strategy and initiatives to campus
observed risks

Observed Risks


As an independent advisor to the strategic planning process, Huron observed several key risks that could impede the execution of the OIT strategic plan and should be addressed

  • Staffing:  Some of the needs expressed by the University and reflected in the OIT strategic plan can likely be met by realigning existing resources; however, there are several areas which will require additional staffing to be successful, including:
    • Academic Technology
    • Business Systems
    • Distributed IT Support / Customer Advocacy
  • Governance: OU has been able to establish the foundation for a working governance model. However the model has been repeatedly described as needing improvement by customers, governance committee members and OIT leaders.
  • Ability to Execute: Support from across the University will be needed to ensure that the priorities set in the OIT strategic plan can be successfully addressed
    • Institutional leadership needs to support the priorities identified by the community through the OIT strategic planning process and ensure that the majority of OIT projects are aligned to the plan. They also need to support approval of a project workload for OIT that matches available resources.
    • OIT leadership needs to clearly communicate resources available to work on projects, identify resource and skill gaps, and focus on efficient execution against priorities.
    • Customer leadership will need to take ownership of projects in their areas and ensure that functional resources are available to meet project needs in a timely manner.
  • Balance in an RCM Environment: It has not yet been determined how IT services will be funded in the new RCM model. Care will be required to support local needs without creating redundant services, and funding transparency will be required to have meaningful discussions regarding IT services, service levels, and costs.


OIT Strategic Plan interview list



OIT Strategic Plan interview list



OIT Strategic Plan interview list



OIT Strategic Plan interview list



OIT Strategic Plan interview list



OIT Strategic Plan interview list



OIT Strategic Plan interview list



OIT Strategic Plan interview list