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CIO Quick Takes: What's your strategic focus?

Dan Muse | March 13, 2017
What are the top priorities for CIOs and other IT leaders for the new year? Thirty weigh in and share their strategic plans.

This means leveraging cloud computing and Internet of Things to improve data access and decision making across Monsanto’s research pipeline. It means creating data sets and connected analytical models that give us new insights to deliver better products.  And, more and more, it means connecting our employees to growers through seamless digital transactions.

We're doing all of this by building our IT talent and digital mastery. We’re connecting our teams across the organization like never before, as we foster a culture of collaboration, agility and innovation to deliver truly transformative solutions.

John Lutzm, vice chancellor for information technology, Vanderbilt University
lutz john2015 photo1 
Credit: Vanderbilt University

Our strategic focus in 2017 will be centered on three major areas:

1)     Separation of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center – This key transition consumes a significant amount of our energy and brainpower as we continue to detangle the infrastructure, applications, and services currently shared by the university and medical center. Our work includes proper alignment of applications within our data centers, separation of voice and data networks, implementation of a new ERP for the university, and deployment of a new medical center collaboration and communication system.

2)     Alignment with Line of Business Priorities - We continue to deepen our level of alignment and integration with our business partners and the initiatives supporting the university’s academic strategic plan. Key areas include undergraduate residential experience, trans-institutional programs, educational technologies, and health care solutions.

3)     The Business of IT – Within VUIT, we are focusing on people and processes. On the former, we are assuring that our skills are more market-relevant and distinctive. On the latter, we are improving our process discipline and driving a better fit to our business partners.

Mark Weatherbee, vice president Information Technology, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England

The mission of our IT department is to align Goodwill’s technology with the goals of the organization’s Strategic Plan and the needs of the organization. Our strategic focus for 2017 is to fully implement a business partner role in all our business units.

IT’s role in the organization has evolved from simply servicing operations to increased focus on and collaboration with all areas of the organization. For example, our IT supports retail stores and warehouses, many types of healthcare programs, and workforce services as well as operations. Each area has its own unique problems and needs. IT will embed specialists in each area to focus on technology solutions for those problems and needs.

We started phasing in this model last year, and the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. It has truly been a “win” for all involved.


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