Survey Reveals Top Issues for UC IT

Hands up for survey

By Julia Chen. For the second year in a row, UCSB CIO Matthew Hall conducted a survey of the UC location CIOs, asking them to prioritize issues for IT leadership at the university. The survey presented a number of key issues compiled by EDUCAUSE, a national association for the higher education IT community, and by Healthcare Executive Group, among other sources. Twelve CIOs completed the survey, ranking the issues from high priority (3) to low priority (1).

The goal of the survey was to assess how to align the CIOs’ energies in the coming year. “We are in the business of education and discovery,” said Hall. “We have to prioritize things that will sustain the UC and the pursuit of its mission.”

Because the CIOs support different campuses, each with its own unique constituents and cultures, developing shared goals can pose a challenge. The priority survey will help Hall, chair of the UC IT Leadership Council (ITLC) – which is composed of the CIOs from the campuses, health systems, and Agriculture and Natural Resources – to appropriately program the ITLC’s discussions and maximize productivity.

Survey results

The CIOs’ top three EDUCAUSE priorities are as follows:

  1. IT Staffing and Organizational Models: Ensuring adequate staffing capacity and staff retention in the face of retirements, new sourcing models, growing external competition, rising salaries, and the demands of technology initiatives on both IT and non-IT staff.
  2. Institution-wide IT Strategy: Repositioning or reinforcing the role of IT leadership as an integral strategic partner of institutional leadership in achieving institutional missions.
  3. Data-enabled Institutional Culture: Using business intelligence and analytics to inform the broad conversation and answer big questions.

The CIOs’ top three healthcare IT priorities are as follows:

  1. Clinical and Data Analysis: Leveraging big data with clinical evidence to segment populations, manage health, and drive decisions.
  2. Population Health Services Organizations: Operationalizing population health strategy, chronic care management, driving clinical integration, and integrating social determinants of health.
  3. Value-based Payments: Targeting specific medical conditions to manage cost and quality of care.

A major difference between the EDUCAUSE January 2018 priorities list and the CIOs’ selection is in the importance of IT Staffing and Organizational Models, with EDUCAUSE ranking it as #7 and the CIOs ranking it as #1.

With regards to healthcare, the CIOs ranked their top 10 priorities similarly to those of the Healthcare Executive Group. Their top three priority issues were Clinical and Data Analytics, Population Health Services Organizations, and Value-based Payments. “If we spend our time and energy in these places, we’ll get the biggest return for our constituents,” said Hall. “This is how mission attainment happens.”

Hall does not believe the lower-ranked issues are unimportant. “All of the dimensions listed in the EDUCAUSE and HCEG surveys remain critical to the success of UC students, faculty, and staff,” he said. “By putting attention on things like our labor force, though, we get the maximum return that amplifies success in each of these areas.”

Hall also said that if IT staff want to help inform and collaborate with their CIOs, the top three issues are a great place to start. In the coming year, the ITLC will be focusing on the top-ranked priorities. The CIOs are always available on the UC Tech Slack channel or via email, and are happy to talk further about the ITLC and its agenda.

Julia Chen is a UCLA student intern in IT marketing and communications at the UC Office of the President.

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