Technology is change. A thundering whirlwind of change and innovation. To be a success in technology management, I think it’s important you identify your safe room. No matter what industry you’re in, but particularly in higher ed, you need to have a small-ish group of peers to bounce ideas off of, to compare yourself with and to share ideas for projects big and small.
In Arkansas, my group included the technology teams from within the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges. Prior to my arrival, there was no clear set grouping of Arkansas technology in community colleges. It was also unclear to many the impact technology could and should have on education. Issues with enrollment? Technology can help. Want to forecast how much space you’ll likely need in three years? Technology can help. Want faculty to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time teaching and preparing to serve their students? Technology can help. After participating in the AATYC Leadership Program, I received permission from the Executive Director and a additional nod from the Director of the Arkansas Department of Higher Ed to compile such a techie group for communication and collaboration purposes. What a huge benefit it was for the State of Arkansas. We made connections and started planning for disaster recovery business continuity co-locations, statewide virtual desktop infrastructure, the ARE-ON network and its promised efficiencies. That was my Arkansas safe room.
This week I believe I found my newest safe room within the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Conference on Information Technology Management. Just flew home from Chicago today and my mind is reeling thinking about communication, collaboration, an international online university, cloud computing, IDM and so much more. Although I’d never met these individuals, it felt like home. This is an established group that I simply get to waltz in and start participating.
Bottom line – if one exists, find it. If none exists, make one. Why? Because it’s important.
Find your safe room. Find your small group of individuals and keep in contact, discussing and sharing. It will pay off.