What is the nature of IT Governance (ITG) in Higher Ed? This is a question I, and most of the TAMU IT community, have been wrestling with for a long time. As a Tier One, TAMU has such a distributed model of power (read: budget and decision-making), that common methods of governance don’t really apply.
IT governance (ITG) is defined as the processes that ensure the effective and efficient use of IT in enabling an organization to achieve its goals. – Gartner
One of the fundamental facts of our system is that budget and decisions for almost everything are controlled at the unit level, i.e., the College and Division. By nature, there is a certain level of inefficiency and lack of coordination that results from the system itself. The system demands distributed power and inefficiency, and asks for much care and feeding to get anything at a high level done. Collaboration and cooperation become the only obtainable goals of ITG in this type of environment. This makes getting significant organizational alignment for anything, including IT, difficult at best.
It’s within this context that both TAMU and the TAMU System have been working on various recommendations for systems of ITG for at least a year. We are at the beginning of our journey and nothing official has been released yet, although Deloitte has done several assessments, there is a System-level audit going on, and there are a number of draft documents circulating.
I can’t but feel that the steps we take in the short-term, over the next six months, will have a profound impact on our ability to provide a coherent vision of IT in the coming years. This makes this time and place very exciting for IT, but also a little scary.