The rapidly changing role of a campus CIO
How Yeshiva University is building a culture of collaboration.
- The role has evolved to be more influential and strategic
- CIOs need to understand financial impacts in addition to technology
- A culture of collaboration is necessary to support the evolving role
Jim Vasquez, Chief Information Officer, Yeshiva University
The role of the CIO is evolving. It's changed significantly from the days of being more of a director, manager type of role, to being a kind of a strategic partner with the president and his or her cabinet, or being in a position to have to influence a lot of the decisions that impact instruction. Typically, CIOs have to worry about tactical things. And they have to worry about strategic things. And those are—those are very different ways of thinking and operating.
The skills of the CIO are changing. And they're changing rapidly. They were typically more focused on technology and technical skills, and then evolving a little bit into management of those who had those skills. And now it's more of a business function. You have to understand financial impacts, being able to make decisions, lease versus buy, having to be able to see what is going to work most appropriately with the facilities that you have, and be a part actually of the facilities management.
To support the evolving role, a culture of collaboration is really necessary. There is no way one individual or one department can anticipate the requirements of all students, of all departments. And so, you have to have a really flexible collaborative environment. And it gives us an opportunity to present some new solutions. But it also gives us an opportunity to hear from our client base how the existing solutions are working.