The primary inquiry of the report was to assess the role of the CIO in higher education through the issues and ideas CIO’s choose to collaborate on through the EDUCAUSE CIO Listserv instead of relying on a narrowly predefined survey.
The secondary inquiry was to determine if CIO’s and technology are in fact central to the transformation of higher education as asserted in several recent studies.
The Four Questions on CIO’s frames the inquiries using four simple questions to guide the examination of the 855 CIO Listserv posts and their 2132 post responses from 2011 to make the determination on:
- What is the role of the CIO?
- What are CIO’s working on?
- Are CIO’s collaborating as a community?
- Are CIO’s acting strategically?
In answering each of the Four Questions several novel approaches were used in order to produce a pragmatic view of higher education CIO’s for the benefit of institutional leaders and CIO’s alike.
What is the role of the CIO? – was answered by analyzing the role and focus of the CIO in each of the posts along the continuum of the CIO as a tactical department head focused on operational issues to that of a business strategist focused on value creation and transformation.
What are CIO’s working on? – was answered by classifying each of the posts for the theme of the posts and comparing the results to the findings of recent research on the top institutional and IT issues and trends.
Are CIO’s collaborating as a community? – was answered by analyzing the CIO Listserv subscribers participation levels and through a social network analysis of the community.
Are CIO’s acting strategically? – was answered by examining the posts by theme for alignment and synchronization with the key business cycles in higher education.
Based on the deep insights developed through this unique examination, 27 specific recommendations were developed for CIO’s and their institutions. All of the recommendations are aimed at:
- Increasing institutional clarity on the role of the CIO
- Elevating the IT value proposition at institutions
- Sharpening the individual CIO’s job and career focus
- Multiplying the strategic contribution of CIO’s
Vendors and others with a vested interest in the success of client CIO’s and technology in higher education will also benefit from the Answers to the Four Questions as they look for ways to increase client success or to gain additional insights into the higher education market.
The report is available as an immediate digital download which can purchased under one of two license options: Single user – $495, Enterprise – $2395.