Op-ed: What comes first: The mission or the technology?

Why it’s critical to understand the importance of tying your technology plans into your institutional strategy and mission.

mission-technology“Yes, but tell me: How does this proposed project tie into our mission?”

Sound familiar? If not, it should. With the current pace of technology, if your technology strategy does not wholly mesh with your institutional strategy and mission, now is the time to proactively put on the brakes and map that out before continuing down any path. It will only get harder to address with each passing day and infrastructure is not declining in price to hide any missteps in the process.

It’s likely we all have access to our company’s mission statement within a few simple keystrokes. With the tirelessly evolving economic and business environment, are we also all concurrently honing our areas of focus? According to Michael Serazio, PhD and Associate Professor of Communication at Fairfield University, in this day and age, “The frontier demands that adaptability.”

We have a mission.

What’s the need for a tie in with each effort? Simply put, from the higher education standpoint, tomorrow promises less high school graduates, therefore less traditional students. If we’re all vying to be first choice for our precious consumer, how do we stand apart? How do we become the most compelling?

In business this has been status quo for years as customers in general have more choices than ever before, popping up on the daily.

I don’t want to be a Darwinist Chicken-Little here, but there is likely a reason the past few years have embodied streamlining, efficiency and agility in the realm of higher education technology. We have all been subconsciously preparing for today. Or, in a less fantastic way, the pace of technology has facilitated our process of continuously responding to changes in the education environment.

(Next page: Every project should align to mission–and here’s why)