CIOs have to understand the business of education
What higher ed CIOs need to succeed at their institutions
- The higher ed CIO role is evolving to support business operations
- Leadership, strategy, and relationships are important for higher ed CIOs
- Aspiring CIOs should get involved with their institution's community
Celeste Schwartz, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Digital Officer, Montgomery County Community College
I think that there really are two types of CIOs in higher education today. There are CIOs who are extremely technical and very focused on the infrastructure and security. I also think that there is an evolution of the CIO that, those pieces are still important, but are evolving into supporting the real business operations. And to be able to support a college's business operation, you have to understand the business. You have to understand the business of education. It's just really not technology.
Being at the leadership table, participating in the conversations, being a part of a committee or a working group that is developing strategies to improve student success are important. The other important components for a CIO are to really have strong relationships with the rest of the college community and to really be able to assist with change management, and development of new processes, and improvements of processes.
The important part is to get involved with your community, the college that you're working with, the university that you're at, and to step outside of that comfort zone, that IT comfort zone, and to be a part of other institutional committees.