This document presents the Information Technology Strategic Plan for Angelo State University.
A shared vision for Information Technology that is consistent with the university’s vision, mission and goals. While technology continues to play an integral part in university related activities, industry trends show initiatives that focus on the integration of people, processes, and technology will deliver the most value and benefits to the institution. Over the past ten years, the Angelo State University Information Technology Team has depended on a strategic planning process to evolve and meet the challenges of delivering quality services to the ASU campus community.
The strategic aspect of the planning process is to develop a vision for technology at Angelo State University by continuously evaluating feedback from students, faculty, and staff to identify new services and make improvements with existing services. To ensure an effective process for determining and prioritizing user technology needs, Information Technology has established a Project Office that focuses on the planning and delivery of new technology initiatives. We will continue to deploy information technologies that provide tangible, measurable benefits for Angelo State University students, faculty and staff. This plan will be evaluated and updated annually, allowing the opportunity to review and adjust to changing conditions. Beginning in late 2011 and into 2012, a vision for why and how the strategic plan would be conceived was communicated to university administration including deans, faculty, administrative leaders, and students.
In preparation for final publication, campus-wide input was solicited and received, and edits were made as a result. I was honored and humbled this year to be nominated to the Advisory Board for the State of Texas’ State Strategic Plan (SSP) on Technology. Without giving anything away, here’s my take on the role of the advisory board, the process, and the general direction I believe the plan will go based on my observations. The advisory board is not responsible for authoring the report, making decisions on its strategic direction, or serving in an approving or editing role.
After nomination to the advisory board, we were engaged in a number of ways in the process. Some of the technology challenges that the public sector is facing are nothing new, and unlikely to go away soon. In addition, there were also new-ish technologies and trends that were high on the State Strategic Plan radar for the DIR team.
Regardless, it will be fantastic to see the report when it’s released later this year.
Cost Effective Solutions – Managing budget reduction and identifying strategies for savings to deal with budget constraints. Cybersecurity Awareness – Educating end-users on cybersecurity and secure computing behavior in order to reduce potential security incidents.
Data Management – The function of organizing data, and the administration and standards for defining data and document management.
IT Workforce – Ensuring the organization recruits, retains or trains IT staff to have necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform functions effectively.
IT Strategic Planning – Incorporating business objectives in IT decisions by setting the technological direction and developing strategies to achieve the desired end state.
Risk Management – The identification, analysis, evaluation, and alternative treatment of risk or loss for programs and operations. IT Procurement Process Improvement – Effective procurement process that take into account the complexities and subtleties of obtaining IT goods and services.
Cloud Services – Scalable, elastic IT-enabled capabilities provided as a service and connected through internet technologies. Identity Access Management – The security discipline that enables the right individuals to access the right resources at the right times for the right reasons.

Data Sharing – The ability to share the same or similar data resources with multiple applications, users, and partners.
Connectivity – Broadband, interoperability, and the capacity for the interconnection of platforms, systems, and applications. Data Loss Protection – A set of technologies and inspection techniques used to classify information content contained within an object — such as a file, email, packet, application or data store — while in storage, in use or in transit. Data Retention and Storage – Identifying and developing processes to preserve data in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
Legacy Modernization – The remediation and replacement of outdated information systems and components.
Enterprise Applications – Applications designed to integrate computer systems that run all phases of an enterprise’s operations to facilitate cooperation and coordination of work across the enterprise.
Customer Relationship Management – A system for managing interactions with current and future customers, often involving technology to automate and synchronize customer service processes.
Mobile Device Management – Software distribution and policy, inventory, security and service management for smartphones and media tablets. Mobile Workforce – Enabling employees to conduct business operations and job tasks from remote locations in a secure manner. A report published by the Blackboard Institute has identified several ways in which educators can best encourage high school students, especially those from underrepresented groups, to pursue higher education. To further articulate this point, value and benefits translate into more streamlined processes, as well as, timely access to better information to make better decisions. A key component of this planning process is centered on the recognition and understanding of people, process and technology as well as customer needs captured through a variety of feedback mechanisms that are used to improve and deliver new and existing services.
Furthermore, in this process we compare ourselves to peer institutions, both in Texas and nationally, while aligning ourselves to industry trends, as well as, system-level and state-level priorities and goals.
This office works under the guidance of the Technology Steering Committee which provides the prioritization, direction and resources for technology initiatives on campus. Enhanced network based services, web enabled software systems and expanded information security tools are being deployed. As Angelo State University evolves, its needs and priorities will change, and this plan will be revised accordingly to reflect changes to priorities and goals. Voss, Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, stated among his top priorities the need to craft a campus-wide strategy for IT at the University of Maryland. The process would bring together university thought leaders in a myriad of areas of expertise who would be willing to come and brainstorm with fellow colleagues and students about the areas of strategic priority in their departments and day-to-day activities as it relates to information technology. Faculty chairs moderated the sessions and led the discussion through all the topics appropriate for their teams.
It was an interesting experience and I look forward to seeing the end product come out later this year.
We were a group of individuals from varied backgrounds relating to public sector technology. For instance: lack of sufficient funding, difficulty in recruiting and maintaining technical skills and resources, dealing with complicated procurement regulations (and occasional trouble with political involvement), and ineffective PMO practices and governance within decentralized government bureaucracies.
To restate my disclaimer, we as advisory board members are not authoring or reviewing report content.
Often in government we can get incredibly bogged down in the analysis and planning in an attempt to create a plan that will satisfy all, and which will mitigate as many risks as possible. In my opinion any of the objectives discussed in the planning process are wholly achievable, although certainly not all of them, and not many if we try to do everything. I of course look forward to seeing the State Strategic Plan, but I’m much more interested in the execution of the strategy.

Approximately half the responses were from agency executive directors, presidents and CFO’s. I combined the results of their responses to get my own personal view of the top priorities across the board. The report, entitled "Closing the Gap between High School and College," is based upon one-on-one interviews with 24 recognized experts in education theory and practice. This allows the institution to deliver more value-added services to its customers and improve the institution’s efforts in the ongoing recruitment and retention of students.
To gain insight into customer needs, the Information Technology Department conducts an annual technology services survey that measures customer satisfaction and target desirable new technology services. All of these factors are routinely evaluated and aligned with the priorities and goals of Angelo State University. New technologies that provide seamless, integrated access to information services both in and out of the classroom will remain a high priority.
While an enterprise-wide strategy underpins many organizations, the processes used to devise a strategic plan can vary greatly depending on executives’ philosophies. Task forces were assembled with vast participation (100+ members) from across the university. The dialogue was rich and full of ideas that promise to transform the state of IT at the University of Maryland as an enabler of its broader mission. The final vetted plan was published in January 2013, and approval by university administration was then given. Importantly, Jeff Reichman played a much larger role on the advisory board after I moved away in March, so he certainly has more perspective on the matter versus my observations from afar (here’s a post he authored not long ago too). Some of the strategic plan themes that DIR told us about definitely relate to these always important issues.
The above are strictly my observations based on a selection of emails and experiences with the advisory board, and I could be completely off base. Moreover, I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with the team of smart and passionate change agents at the State level in DIR, and to play a small bit role in developing the plan for the coming four years. Despite being publicly focused and delivering our services to our citizens, we often use outdated methods for engaging our internal partners and external stakeholders (or don’t engage them at all). Survey feedback is incorporated into the annual budget request process and the Institutional Effectiveness program.
As outlined in this plan, Angelo State University is committed to remaining a technologically advanced institution supporting our institutional mission and goals. From its inception, the University of Maryland’s IT Strategic Plan was to be developed not by input from IT leaders on campus, but rather by the greater university community that carries out the greater university mission and strategies called out in Transforming Maryland: University of Maryland's Strategic Plan and through President Loh's further embellishment of the university strategies. Sessions were wrapped up before spring commencement, and as faculty, staff, and students proceeded to summer break, Division of IT staff along with the chairs of the task forces coalesced the brainstorming session notes into a draft set of recommendations and action items.
The University Senate formally voted to adopt and endorse the plan at its first 2013 meeting, which was held in February.
This draft was reviewed and edited by task force chairs, and in late summer of 2012, a draft plan was both posted on the Web for campus-wide review and comment and printed and distributed around campus for review.

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