Insights - Abilene christian universtiy it performance
Abilene Christian University

Achieving peak IT performance without increasing the budget. 

Challenge

Keep pace with new technologies and improve training and retention of skilled database administrators

Results
  • Systems operating at peak efficiency 
  • IT focused on mission-centric projects 
  • Established more effective, efficient methodologies

How one school finds the IT talent it needs most. 

Abilene Christian University’s (ACU) IT administrators were looking for ways to optimize the functionality of their applications. They needed to keep up with increasing demands from around the university while finding new efficiencies and working more strategically.  

“We always had a backlog of projects,” says David Gibson, ACU’s director of computing services.  

Administrators were determined to find a solution that would cost no more than managing the systems in-house and would have the potential to improve their IT department’s effectiveness and efficiency. 

They also wanted to resolve a critical staffing challenge: recruiting and retaining two skilled database administrators.  

“It’s a unique skillset that is difficult to maintain,” says Gibson. 

ACU ultimately decided to partner with Ellucian, and the first order of business was to stabilize its database and applications environments and complete some of its backlogged projects. AMS technicians were soon responsible for administering all software patches and upgrades in addition to constantly monitoring the databases. 

“[We have] access to a pool of DBAs who can get together and figure out the best ways to complete a task,” says Gibson. “There is real strength in numbers.” 

Going forward, Gibson believes they are now in a position to start establishing methodologies that will help improve IT effectiveness and efficiency even more and enable the college’s employees to focus on projects more aligned with ACU’s strategic objectives. 

Ellucian, as a company, has access to resources and people we can’t always get here in Abilene, Texas. They can better afford to train and compensate a pool of database administrators. 

– David Gibson, Director of Computing Services, Abilene Christian University

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