This year, the IT Forum’s research has focused on an expansive, existential problem facing IT leaders: what should IT organizations look like to succeed amid commoditized IT and the dispersion of technology control?
For most CIOs in higher education, their present situation stands squarely in the way of radically rethinking new models of service delivery. Legacy tools, organizational structures, and reporting arrangements are haphazardly mixed with contemporary, cloud-based solutions and projects.
But, by embracing the opportunities technology disruption presents, some schools are rolling out new, scalable IT service models. And it all starts with reassessing assumptions about what it means to be an IT organization in higher education.
King’s College London rehiring IT staff to beachfront location
King’s College London—based in the heart of the UK’s capital—faced all the challenges of operating an IT organization in an international business hub: affordable space is sometimes hard to come by, and affordable talent even harder. For local staff, big city living can mean long commutes, expensive housing, and fewer high-quality options for schooling.
To combat these realities, in May 2015, King’s Service Centre (KSC) was born. The new subsidiary organization, owned by King’s College London, opened with 14 IT staff rehired into a new location in Newquay, Cornwall. Staff couldn’t transfer their current role to the new location—they had to resign and be rehired by the new entity, KSC.
In 2019, KSC is now over 130 employees strong, including staff from the finance and facilities functions of the institution. Among those staff are IT personnel across a range of functional areas, from infrastructure and development to QA and service desk support. The staff are all still dedicated to the mission and values of King’s, but they perform the majority of their work offsite—and, happily for their staff, that site happens to be right by the beach.
While untethering technology staff from the institution’s physical location isn’t viable for all schools (or all IT positions), reexamining closely held assumptions about IT organizations is a necessary precursor to organizational redesign. Join us at this year’s IT Forum National Meeting series as we discuss and dismantle the IT organization of the past and explore the building blocks of the future.