The second step is to adopt an efficient IT organizational structure, followed by step three: aligning IT and the business.

Aligning IT and business means that, to understand the goals, priorities, and challenges facing stakeholders, it is “imperative for IT staff to spend time with students, faculty, staff, and administrators,” explains the report, “rather than hole up in IT headquarters.”

Beyond interaction with stakeholders, CIOs should examine the governance and policies that guide IT decisions and affect users.

Step four requires the CIO to develop IT staff skills by creating an environment that encourages employees to acquire the skills they need to meet customer needs. CIOs should mentor staff and recommend further education to ensure they can fulfill their roles, says the report.

Concluding the road map is point four, noting that it all comes down to the CIO supporting institutional transformation and culture shift.

“Once the institution sees IT as a reliable partner, a skillful CIO can gradually take on the role of trusted advisor and agent of change. The CIOs we interviewed used the approach described in this section to develop trusted relationships with their institutions,” the report says.

Supporting this shift includes facilitating open relationships with stakeholders, exchanging ideas with stakeholders, and fostering executive relationships. (A more in-depth look at these steps, including best practices from individual institutions, can be found in the report.)

In conclusion, says the report, “we urge you to study these examples and bring the lessons back to your own institution.”

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