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UIT Outlook

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Over the past several months, Stanford CIO Steve Gallagher met with university and IT leaders alike to share his outlook on the state of University IT (UIT) today and a vision for the organization’s future.

This month, we’re pleased to share broadly with the Stanford community highlights of Gallagher’s report.

A healthy organization

Today, UIT is a 600-person organization that offers numerous mission critical information and support services to the Stanford community. Indeed, UIT is responsible for what could be described as the nervous system of the university.

Some of the organization’s strengths include:

  • A highly skilled workforce, deeply committed to the university’s mission
  • Well-maintained enterprise systems that include many of the industry’s leading platforms
  • A track record of providing reliable services and outstanding support upon which it can build

“Overall, UIT is genuinely healthy,” said Gallagher. “Based on our well-earned reputation for operating excellence, we now have the opportunity to really dial it up more.”

A bright future  

As Gallagher looks ahead to realizing UIT’s vision, there are opportunities for further advancing UIT’s strategy. Those opportunities include:

  • Determining where it’s appropriate to renew, replace and extend technologies, to ensure UIT takes advantage of its current systems that work well, explores industry solutions that better meet the community’s needs, and sunsets systems that are no longer optimal
  • Addressing “technical debt” that lives substantially in the infrastructure components that people don’t see, such as the university’s enterprise content management and some middleware systems
  • Simplifying the organization’s funding model, which is complex and deserves continual renewal to ensure incentives are aligned, efficiencies are maximized, and administrative overhead is minimized
  • Reallocating internal resources to optimize organizational and financial capacity, such as retiring legacy systems, centralizing locally provided commodity services that benefit from scale, and re-balancing resources toward areas best aligned with the university’s priorities and UIT’s strategic technology direction
  • Seizing opportunities that benefit from who we are and where we are.  This should include further leveraging the talent within UIT, across Stanford, and exploring new partnerships within Silicon Valley and the broader Bay Area

The path from here to there

In the years ahead, UIT will work with partners across campus to be ambitious in its vision while vigilantly stewarding resources. That work will center around building trust, seizing opportunities and demonstrating results. The second Campus IT Plan also provides an opportunity to further define focus and align UIT strategies across the university and with the hospitals.

But first, the work starts inside UIT, with alignment of staff around the five strategic values Gallagher introduced last fall. You can learn about what each of these values means, and watch a video of Gallagher speaking about them, on the pages linked below.

“We will continue our efforts to further unify the UIT organization while encouraging innovation and ensuring the highest levels of service quality," said Gallagher. "Most important, UIT is committed to investing in our extraordinary people who collectively make this such a great place to work. This will include doubling down on our commitment to provide amazing talent development opportunities while expanding our IDEAL IT programs."

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