The Butler Way!

Wow, Butler wins over IU’s #1 ranked basketball team!

In overtime and despite that three Butler players fouled out!

And the winning shot was made by a “walk on” student who came to Butler (turning down better offers from others) because he wanted to learn how to coach basketball from Brad Stevens.  So cool.

The Butler Way does it again!

But what does “The Butler Way” really mean??

The Butler Way demands commitment, denies selfishness
     and accepts reality, yet seeks constant improvement
          while promoting the good of the team above self.


The Butler Way notion was crafted by the university’s legendary coach, Tony Hinkle (1899 – 1992).   Barry Collier, our current athletic director, resurrected the concept in the 1990’s during his time as the men’s basketball coach and then again when he returned to Butler as the atheletic director in 2006-7.

Since then the phrase has been used by a lot of individuals at Butler to describe a range of ideas.  But for athletics, it remains focused on promoting the good of the team above self.  Butler athletics has clarified the concept via their five principles for Butler basketball, as follows:

       1.  Humility – know who we are, strengths and weaknesses
      2.  Passion – do not be lukewarm, commit to excellence
      3.  Unity – do not divide our house, team first
      4.  Servanthood – make teammates better, lead by giving
      5.  Thankfulness – learn from every circumstance


The Butler Way was sure being displayed Saturday (12/15) by the basketball team as they played IU!   That and some luck pushed the Butler dawgs over #1 ranked IU.   (Sorry IU — you are a great team and you’ll do well this year).

So what does this have to do with information technology?  Well not much and yet also everything.   IT projects that are truely transformative for the campus always involve a TEAM, as no one person can pull together the people, processes and technology.  And in this age of mobile, cloud and data anywhere anytime, TEAMwork is even more essential to a successful project.

So, let’s all consider how we might better serve our institution, families and ourselves by utilizing The Butler Way principles:   commitment, denies selfishness and accepts reality, yet seeks constant improvement while promoting the good of the team above self.


UPDATE 1/22/13:  Butler had another fantastic day on Sat Jan 19 when ESPN hosted their weekly live Game Day show from Hinkle fieldhouse, complete with Dick Vitale.   Butler won, at the buzzer, over #8 ranked Gonzaga, which led to mass hysteria on the court by the fans.  See this video from the student perspective’s on the great day at Hinkle (5 minutes)…  The Butler Way strikes again!


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Google Data Center Pics :-)

Google has recently released pictures of their massive internal data centers… that is, where all the stuff for Google searches, gmail, docs/drive, youtube, Google earth, Google maps, etc, etc, etc., is processed.

 See: — Walking TOUR facility)

Impressive in terms of scale, artistry, and efficiency — thanks to Google for sharing!

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Gartner’s Top 10 Technology Trends (Oct 2012)

I recently attended the Gartner annual technology symposium where Gartner announced their take on the top 10 technologies and trends — that is, those technologies that will be the most strategic (or disruptive) for businesses and organizations in the next 3 years.  Some of these are not new, but are technologies that are maturing and thus likely to have a major impact sooner vs later.

The top 10 technology trends, per Gartner, are:

  1. Mobile Devices Battle — Battles between Android & iOS & new Windows Phone 8, which mixes things up, continues with no dominate winner.  However, mobile devices outnumber and overtake PCs as the most common way to access the web.  The consumerization trend drives tablets further into organizations whether they like it or not;  BYOD — bring your own device — trend also accelerates.  Apple has over 50% of the tablet market today but that will decline with multiple new entries.  Gartner sees Windows 8 and its feature-set across multiple devices types as a whole new era of OS for Microsoft, but expects 90% of enterprises to bypass broad-scale deployment through 2015.
  2. Mobile Applications and HTML5 —  Users’ expectations are high for usability, appearance & behavior of their mobile apps; future apps will need to factor in the context of users’ behavior/location/activities to remain fresh.  Multiple mobile development architectures – native, special, hybrid, HTML 5, Message and No Client — remain popular and thus complicate things.  As HTML5 becomes more capable, less native apps will be created, but they won’t disappear.
  3. Personal Cloud, Not Personal Computing – The “personal cloud” replaces the PC (and Mac) as a dominate environment for users.  “Personal cloud” is the collection of services, websites, syncing between devices and connectivity that people will see as their gateway to the world– portable & always-on & unique to them.  The PC “desktop” and specific devices just aren’t going to dominate any more.  Users become accepting of personal life and business technologies overlapping; actually they expect the two to interoperate.  Cloud & mobile trends reinforce each other.
  4. Internet Of Things – The Internet will soon have more things on it than people: big screen TVs, cameras, embedded sensors, image recognition technologies, heathcare devices, wristwatch displays, garbage cans, digital signs, etc. Communication protocols such as NFC & bluetooth further expand devices.  By 2013, there will be one trillion devices that can connect to the Internet, which is 140 devices for every person on the planet.  IT should focus on orchestration, not ownership, in this new world.  A “nexus of forces” is occurring as places, people, information & things all interconnect.
  5. Hybrid IT and Cloud Computing – IT departments are becoming brokers for computing services versus the default provider of computing; some services offered in-house, some outsourced, some via cloud services — mix & match.  But IT should help pick right solutions and integrate it all (oh my). 
  6. Strategic Big Data – “Big data” includes large volume datasets but also new types of unstructured data coming in varieties and at speeds far greater than in past.  I.e., geospatial data from customer activities, social media posts, video, roadway feeds, real-time info from sensors in our homes.  Central data models will get replaced over time with more federated models.  Organizations that figure out how to get new business value from this new “signal” data likely are the winners.
  7. Actionable Analytics - Analytics move from routine history and explanatory reports to more real-time simulations and actionable info with analytics embedded in new systems.   I.e.more mobile tools linked to analytic engines and big data repositories to analyze & simulate all sorts of business actions we haven’t traditionally been able to do.
  8. In-Memory Computing – I don’t fully relate to this one.  It deals with speeding up traditional computer processing by keeping all data in memory, and is surely a radically important tool to some researchers and some enterprises, it just doesn’t apply to my world much now.
  9. Integrated Ecosystems – Think iPod/iPhone + iTunes music & videos +iCloud + Match.  Or Gmail + Google drive + cloud + mobile devices + App Store.   Or Kindle + Amazon stores + Prime + Amzn cloud.   Instead of us and providers focusing on one software tool or a device, the future is getting the WHOLE chain — ecosystem — right, and leveraging it for business value and for convenience for the customers; the ecosystem will surpass the endpoint device in importance.     
  10. Enterprise App Stores – again, think iPhone/iPad or Android apps.  Gartner sees organizations reacting to the consumer App store craze  and creating their own internal stores as way to deploy and provide good experience (and try to control to some extent) their users with their many devices. 

Gartner notes the items are grouped together logically and the relative order is not particularly noteworthy.   More from Gartner on these trends is available  at:

Related but separately, Gartner indicated the following four areas are quickly becoming a “nexus of converging forces,” driven by the CONSUMER:

  •  Social everything 
  •  Mobile  
  •  Cloud
  •  Information — “big data”

People will increasingly use multiple mobile devices and applications, of their choosing, and then connect with one another and interact with a wealth of information.   While none of the technologies are new individually, Gartner suggests that the convergence of these forces will likely create  further innovations and disruptions in organizations’ business models & across society.   Together, the four will create momentum far greater than any one idea, ie, cloud, would have had on its own and overshadow past topics such as “who is best maker of x” or “should I move to next version of Windows?”   Winning organizations will be those that embrace these changes and leverage them for their specific businesses.

More info from Gartner is at: .  (Logon to a Gartner account is required for many of the linked articles.  Butler constituents:  stop and go to Butler’s custom Gartner sign-on page at & logon using Butler id/password, then go back to the main article, which should allow you to then link into detailed Gartner research).

Fun time to be in IT, well, or so I hope!


P.S.  The Gartner trend list is a cross-industry view and is not specific to higher ed.  If one was creating a list just for higher ed, you’d have to add MOOC — massive open online courses.  Unlike traditional distance education courses where one pays tuition and earns college credit, MOOCs are usually free and credit-less.  The interest in this new model has been, as name implies, massive.  For example, Coursera, founded last January, has already reached more than 1.7 million people.  For more info on MOOCs, see the New York Time’s article The Year of the MOOC . )

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Random Factoids from Gartner Conference

Some misc factoids from Gartner conference (October 2012)…

♦  On average in the USA, kids receive their first mobile phone at 12.1 years of age.

♦  In one day:

    • 2 million blog posts are written… enough posts to fill Time Magazine for 770 years.
    • 294 billion emails are sent; it would take 2 years to process that many pieces of mail in the U.S.
    • 4.7 million minutes are spent on Facebook by 172 million different people.
    • 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook; if stacked, those photos would be as tall as 80 Eiffel towers.
    • 864,000 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube.
    • The number of text messages sent, in each day, is greater than the population of the world

♦  Two new members sign up to LinkenIn every second.

♦  Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined.

♦  By 2013, there will be one trillion devices that can connect to the Internet.  That is 140 devices for every person on the planet.

♦  The worlds fastest Internet area is South Korea’s Taegu, with average connection speeds of 21.9 Mbps.

♦  As of last year, Skype had 663 million registered users.

♦  Apple revealed that is sold 37.04 million iPhones in fiscal Q1 of 2012.

♦  More than a quarter of all homes in the US now have only a wireless phone… no “landline.”

♦  Twenty percent of clinicians use two or more social media sites for personal and professional use.  These so-called “connected clinicians” are very eager to use social media to improve health care.

♦  Most watched non-commercial video on YouTube is “Charlie Bit my Finger Again” with over 450 million views.  The most watched video is Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” with 470 million views. 

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Sr. Director Technology Development – Search Begun

We are now actively seeking candidates for the position of Sr. Director of Technology Development. The senior director leads and manages an energetic staff of IT professionals in the design and build of new solutions including redesign of processes and infrastructure.  Areas of responsibility include business management, data/information, user interface, vendor software management, software development, and hardware infrastructure.  The successful candidate will help propel Butler forward as we build upon on our current mobile, web, social media and cloud efforts while leveraging our more traditional systems.  He/she will report to Scott Kincaid and be an integral member of the IT leadership team.

This redefined position will replace Kathleen Wilkey, who is retiring at the end of March 2013.

Qualifications: Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree (master’s a plus); minimum of five to ten years in an information technology leadership role; demonstrated skills leading teams in a project-based, consultative environment; the ability to draft and manage complex budgets. Strong interpersonal skills, a successful track record of developing others and the ability to work with all levels within an organization are a must. Candidate must also have experience with a wide range of enterprise-class technologies; demonstrated skills leveraging emerging technologies across an entire organization, and experience developing and managing vendor relationships and contracts. Experience in higher education and leadership of three or more of the following technologies are desirable:  PeopleSoft/Oracle ERP (HR, Finance, Campus), cloud-based applications, mobile app development, eLearning, Cisco, VoIP telephony, VMware, federal/state compliance requirements, and BPR methodologies.

More information available here:

Applications:  Interested individuals should submit their cover letter and resume to  A campus search committee has been formed to evaluate the candidates.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but for the most serious consideration, applications should be submitted by January 30, 2013. 

We anticipate the successful candidate will start in March or April, 2013.

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IT Department Reorg from IT Evolution Project

We are making some organizational changes in IT!

Over the summer, with the help of Russell Martin & Associates, IT completed a project to review the staff skill sets, roles, competencies, organizational structure, and business processes in the IT department.  The project objectives were to take a strategic look at what was trending, both internally and externally, around us, how IT is perceived by our constituents and staff, and what IT needs to become in the next three years to meet Butler’s mission and direction.

Key feedback received during the process included:

  • Butler is growing in number of students, programs, and distance ed; click here for updated vision from our new President.
  • Reliability of services from IT are still critical – and, 99% of those surveyed are very satisfied or satisfied with what IT provide today.
  • Areas would like IT to engage with them more, help them navigate IT, and contribute to cross-functional and process opportunities.

In August the Center for Academic Technology became part of Academic Affairs to facilitate more synergies with the academic programs and to help jumpstart our new eLearning initiatives.   We are now pleased to announce the rest of the organizational redesign:

  • Support Services will support incoming needs of our constituents and ensure the health and dependability of our systems on day-to-day basis. This team consists of the Help Desk, an escalation & logistics (PC/Mac & classroom break fix & deployments) group, and a new operations function. The Help Desk will continue to be our constituents’ initial contact for routine software and hardware inquiries. Joe Ader, who is already responsible for much of this, will head this group and as we all know, he will be a great leader.  Additionally, I am pleased to note that Angie Hewitt and Jim Patrick have agreed to step up and become team leads for the escalation and logistics teams respectively.
  • Partnership & Account/Project Management is a newly forming team that will include relationship managers who will provide general consulting to constituents and gather business and functional requirements; additionally they will help areas get the resources needed and provide project management for large efforts. This team will become the initial point-of-contact for new initiatives that are beyond the scope of routine help desk matters; they will work closely with the Center for Academic Computing on academic efforts. This new team looks forward to working with campus constituents to enhance IT’s understanding of the challenges divisions/colleges face and collaborating with areas on productive solutions.  Joe Indiano will lead this new team; Joe has led this type of function before in a decentralized health care environment and has a great knack at working with departments to understand their objectives and then finding innovative solutions.
  • Technology Development will handle the complex work of designing and building software, hardware and new processes to meet Butler requirements. This includes all of Butler systems, web, cloud, mobile applications and infrastructure systems.  This team is combination of the old Admin Computing, Web & Network areas. This reflects the increasingly multiple-platform nature of most new systems. While we have expanded the range of technologies in this area, we have moved some day-to-day operational & constituent tasks to the other teams to allow this group to focus on major initiatives. Kathleen Wilkey will serve as Senior Director of this group for now; she is retiring in March 2013 and we will start a search for a new senior director in October with the hope to have the new person in place in February 2013.  Chad Miller, currently assigned to the Moodle project in Academic Affairs, will begin taking on a leadership role within this area; his focus will be infrastructure systems but will surely evolve over time.

Additionally, we have created a new role of IS Security OfficerJeremy Edson will oversee IT security, compliance & disaster recovery functions across the campus.

These changes will begin immediately; however, as with the move of the Center of Academic Technology in August, expect business-as-usual as most individuals will remain with their current projects & Butler constituent can continue to work with the same IT folks.  Of course this will evolve over time as we confirm specific new workflows and assignments.

The new IT functional & staff org chart along with new job descriptions for the senior directors are available by clicking here.

Special thanks to David A, Nate P, Chad M, Patti S, Tyler S, Jeana R and Julianne M for their contributions to the design and rollout.

Questions?  Feel free to reach out to me or any of the directors.


P.S. The above was rolled out to the IT staff, by the directors, with the help of Mary Cook, at the September 27th IT-wide meeting.

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Two IT Staff Promoted

Chad Miller, an IT Senior Analyst currently assigned as the project leader for the campus Moodle project, has been promoted and will serve as Director, Systems & Infrastructure.  This is a sub-team within the new Technology Development group in IT.  Chad and his team will oversee a wide range of critical systems at Butler.  Chad, who has been at Butler for six years, has a wide-range of experience in IT and IT management before he joined Butler; we look forward to him serving in this expanded and evolving role.  Chad will retain his duties on the Moodle projection through its completion in fall 2013.      

Jeremy Edson has been promoted to IT Security Officer, a new role in IT.  He will oversee IT security, compliance & disaster recovery functions across all domains in IT and across the campus.  Given the amount of sensitive data we hold and the many threats we face today, it was time to appoint someone to develop and lead a systematic program for Butler.  The role is initially 50% of his duties, but we hope to expand this over time.  Jeremy is a ten year member of Butler’s IT department and holds the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) designation.

Congrats to Jeremy & Chad!


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IT Journey: Borders Bookstore Closing, Grave Markers, Invent Future

This is another post as a follow-up to the May 2011 IT department-wide meeting where we discussed the changing landscape of technology, higher education and the journey within Butler IT.

Question: Do you think we will ever operate in a truly PAPERLESS world?  Or in a world where all of the information we need is truly at our FINGERTIPS?  Or in a world without BOOKS?

Heck if I know the answer!  But I do believe in the old proverb that says “The only constant in life is change.”  And change is among us.

In one of my prior communications I noted that Amazon—likely my most favorite company for all sorts of reasons–is now selling more eBooks than paperback and hardcopy books combined.  And this is after only four years of selling eBooks.  That is a rate of GROWTH not commonly seen outside a petri dish!

This week, Amazon announced that it will be entering the textbook RENTAL business, via its Kindle.  While I can’t predict how they will do in the rental business, they will be serving a group of customers (students) that are digital-savvy and hate paying the price they do for textbooks, so this is darn interesting.  See more at .

Also this week, longtime book retailer Borders has decided to go out of business entirely versus just continuing to downsize– .  On a personal level, this is sad as I have many fond memories of browsing the stacks in Borders & picking out something to read in one of their comfortable couches, reading children books with Katie, and browsing their CDs (yep, I’m older).  But I can’t honestly remember when I last actually went into a Borders; now I browse Amazon reviews or go to Starbucks with Katie and my iPad or browse free book samples on my wife’s Kindle.  And I look for music via iTunes.  Unlike Borders, it looks like Barnes & Noble will survive as they have downsized but they also have changed their business model to focus on non-book items: e-readers, eBooks, coffee and the like.

J. K. Rowling, who has up to now kept all of her Harry Potter books off of e-readers, has even changed her mind. Her steadfastness that people needed the experience of a real book has changed, recognizing the next generation of readers. Rowling will be making all of her books available electronically come October (via

Within the IT department at Butler, we have both the Kindle & Nook devices for testing if anyone wants to experiment with them.  The latest Nook from Barnes & Noble really hits the mark per my wife, Holly, as it retains the e-ink that serious readers feel is essential to good quality, is small & lightweight, PLUS has added the touch screen user interface made so popular by the iPhone/iPad.  So on the latest Nook, you can change pages or look up a word simply by touching the screen.  At $139, these e-readers aren’t yet for the masses, but they are getting closer. If anyone wants to try one, get in touch with Kendra.  Or bug Joe A to be next on the list for the one he currently has.

Within Butler’s libraries, we have over 75,000 electronic books available through any web browser.  75,000+!  And the library is spending more of their budget now buying electronic resources than traditional books & journals. (Unfortunately, the ever more popular Kindle & Nook e-readers are based on a somewhat proprietary format, so most of Butler’s 75,000 books are not yet downloadable to these devices; but just wait).  Butler’s libraries are evolving to a digital resource center, not a center of books & journals.  This is part of the reason for the Information Commons program, a joint effort between the libraries and IT.   Down the road the HB Science library is expected to be a place for studying and research, but with no actual stacks of books – they will be available electronically or moved to Irwin.

On a separate note, here are two other bits of CHANGE I saw in the tech world so far this week:

American Express credit cards is teaming up with Facebook; see .  At first, this seemed like a very odd match to me and one I wouldn’t necessarily bet on, but hats off to American Express for trying to evolve in this world of social media.

Also, computer bar codes – more specially “QR” codes — are starting to show up everywhere, even on GRAVE MARKERS.  Who would have envisioned the digital transformation impacting cemeteries?!@!  More info on this tidbit is at .

So what will the future look like?  I love what Niels Bohr, a Danish physicist, once said: “Predictions are very difficult, especially about the future.”  With the rate of change today, nobody has a way to know what the world will look like in 5 years, much less 10 or 20!   But we can do things now that help us evolve.  Alan Kay, a pioneer of graphical user interface design, dealt with this challenge by saying “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

I truly believe we in IT can indeed help invent the future for Butler University.  We have strived to include the essential building blocks– technology, processes, and people—in the technology master plan (  For example, we have a project slated for this year to further explore e-textbooks.  We have acquired a variety of devices—Android, Nooks, iPads, Kindle—for experimentation; the incoming COPHS Physician Assistant (PA1) students will receive an iPad and a laptop this year; we’ve be actively learning the good & bad of an iPad as a classroom tool.  IT staff are working with Arthur Hochman (COE) to help him bring their traditional Discipline Guidance document to life via an app or eBook.  We have a mobile version of (  The Butler network is being redesigned.  So while the PC & Mac are critical tools, we are recognizing that the future will be less PC/Mac-centric and less browser-centric as our clients utilize more consumer-oriented devices.

Another area that the ongoing change affects us is in users’ expectations.  Amazon and Barnes & Noble provide very rich web experiences to their customers—rich reviews, easy search, discussion forums, low prices, 24×7 downloads, etc.  As part of our ongoing IT journey, we will need to continually look at the way we provide information to our clients:  Can they readily access or move content to a device of their choice?  Is it locked away or easily searchable?  Is it easy for users to contribute?  The days of us just pushing to them only want we think they need is soon to be gone; clients often want to contribute content and the end-result is better because of it; our blog software is a great start but we’ll need to think this way across more areas of content.  So with your help, we continue to evolve.

So while the future is unclear, I absolutely believe that this is a great period in time for IT — with a combination of creativity, focus & hope, we can indeed do great things together for the future of Butler University.

Let me wrap up with this famous quote from Albert Einstein: 

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Thanks for being on the IT journey with us all,


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Learning to Learn & Peer Schools

Following the May 9, 2011 IT-wide meeting, I said I’d do some more writings to you all to further discuss IT’s journey into the future.

John Naisbitt, the author of Megatrends and other books on forecasting the future, once said “In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, let alone your life. The most important skill to acquire now is learning how to learn.”

Here I point you to a summary of some of the differences I saw between Butler and the four aspirational peer schools I visited in the fall. I shared some of this in our meetings, but more information is available here: .

None of the schools I visited, including MIT, had a magic set of silver bullets to all of the opportunities & challenges facing IT organizations. I actually was very proud of how Butler’s IT organization stacked up to these progressive organizations. But each of the peer schools were clearly on their own journey with lots of changes in the past five years and many more in the works. And IT was certainly making a real difference in the life of their respective institutions.

Do we need to mimic these four specific schools—absolutely not, we need to do what is right for Butler. However, if we want to be a leader in the world of regional universities (or “master comprehensives”) it is important to know what our competitors are doing. We all operate in an industry that is particularly willing to share best practices & lessons learned (unlike most corporations), but we must step up and seek out that information. It is not in our best interest to always try to reinvent the wheel. This is one of the reasons we try to get as many staff as possible to user conferences, vendor meetings, Gartner, EDUCAUSE, ICI meetings and the like. And that is why we do “lessons learned” reviews at end of major projects.

So I ask you, want might you be doing these days to learn how to learn? Or to expose yourself to what is going on in the world around you related to your position? Or what can the IT directors do to help you?

Thanks for letting me share.  Have faith & be well,


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eBooks Outselling Traditional Books at Amazon

Amazon annouced May 19th that, after only four years of selling eBooks, they are now selling more eBooks than paperback AND hardcopy books.   In the past they had said eBooks outsold a certain category of traditional books, but now it is across all books from Amazon.  Wow, what a quick change.   See more details at

Why does this matter to Butler University long-term? 

I’d be very curious to know what you all think, so feel free to post your thoughts here. 

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Keeping Up — Review Research Materials of the TMP

I find understanding all of the buzzwords and changes in technology a challenge as we strive to separate vendor hype from reality.  One of the benefits of being a CIO is I am surrounded by lots of great folks who help educate me.   What is shown below is a great collection of articles, Butler surveys, and other relevant findings from the work we all did as part of the technology master plan studies.  We call the contents below the TMP Appendix.  If you haven’t, I encourage you to read through the materials as the ideas – Campus Survey, Minds on Fire, CRM, Emerging Tech, BPR, etc — I believe are as relevant today as they were last spring when we worked on the new plan.   The materials are available on the web at as individual links (some require Butler logon as copyrighted/propreitary).   Or there are two hard copies of the articles in a small binder on the table outside of my office door that anyone is welcome to take home for browsing.   Consider reviewing the materials to see what some of the many participants felt was most notable to Butler’s long-term future.


  • Technology Master Plan SWOT Recap
  • Technology Master Plan Campus Survey Quantitative Data
  • Technology Master Plan Campus Survey Question 5 Comments
  • Educause Center for Applied Research Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2009, Butler Report
  • Minds on Fire - Seely and Adler
  • 2018: Digital Natives Grow Up and Rule the World - Gartner
  • Four ‘Business Model’ Scenarios for Higher Education: An Introduction to Strategic Planning Through Storytelling - Gartner
  • Gartner Strategy Map for Butler
  • Higher Education ‘Business Model’ Scenarios: ‘Me Not U': Edge in Market - Gartner
  • Top Ten IT Issues 2009 - Educause
  • What is CRM – A Definition
  • CRM A Vision for Higher Education - Katz and Associates
  • Business Process Redesign
  • Top Business Process Improvement Candidates
  • Emerging Technologies Recommended for Adoption by ETG
  • Collaboration Technology Definitions
  • Butler Computer Labs & Possible Laptop Programs – Forthcoming
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IT Journey — Recap From IT Dept Mtg 5/9

What follows is a recap of the IT-wide meeting from May 2011 which discussed the IT journey:   past, present and future.   (The powerpoint slides are available on BUfiles (BU logon required) at: \\bufiles\group\IT\~~ IT Resources ~~\2011 Look Ahead\IT Mtg May 9 2011 Look AHEAD v3.pptx )


Scott openned the meeting by noting a lot has sure changed in the last 10 years across campus; see the 6 min video at Bobby Fong has been using with alumni.  Wow.

We have had many accomplishments in IT as well!   We brainstormed in the meeting some of the many successes of the past that we can strive to repeat; we’ll post the list shortly.   For some photos from ten years ago, see the PPT on BUfiles (logon required) at \\bufiles\group\IT\~~ IT Resources ~~\2011 Look Ahead\IT Mtg May 9 2011 Look BACK 10 yrs.pptx

Angie Strati has served at Butler for not just ten years, but 25 years in May—go Angie!

We are fortunate that lots of students have passed our way over the years; we have made an unforgettable mark on their lives, more significant than we likely realize.  One student recently said their greatest moments of learning were as an IT student worker.  So cool.


Scott discussed the notion of being “in your element” as an individual.  That is, when you are doing those activities that seem naturally aligned with your personal interests, skills and “inner spirit”.   He spoke about his journey to Butler 10 years ago as a way to align his interest in kids, education and technology and to make a difference in the lives of people.   Scott spoke of the directors’ desire to strive to match staff’s personal interests/skills with the needs of the institution, utilimately for the benefit of all. See more on being “in your element” from Ken Robinson at the blog post at

Technology is rapidly changing lots of industries today, particularly those in information-intensive industries.  The pace seems to be accelerating–oh my! (See the IT department meeting pre-read blog post at    Scott feels these industry shifts will surely impact Butler’s model of higher education over time, but who knows exactly how!   The Technology Master Plan and its nine goals are our road map; see .

Gartner, a technology advisory group, says some of the top trends in technology are “Virtualization of Everything” (it has only just begun), “Data Sprawl” (data grown 800% in 5 years), Unified Communications/Collaboration, and Staff Skill Evolution.  See the PPT slides from the meeting for the complete list.

Scott recapped the biggest differences he saw between Butler and the four aspirational peer schools he visited.  All the peers have strong undergrad programs but also include: more graduate programs; more non-credit & certificate-based programs; make use of distance education technologies to supplement traditional teaching; and have ties to religious organizations.  Two of the schools he visited were honored with the “Top Wired” designation.  Details on programs and technology differences Scott saw are available at .

Future —

Expanding Butler’s summer school programs and adding more graduate programs is in the Butler strategic plan.  The Technology Master Plan includes exploration of distance ed & hybrid course techniques.  Scott expects Butler to likely accelerate efforts such as these in order to keep growing as an organization.  FYI, the new president comes from an  institution (Villanova) with a top-notch liberal arts programs but with many fast-growing non-traditional programs as well.

Joe Indiano recapped the expected evolving nature of IT departments given all this change…the journey.  The key principle is ensuring IT staff are seen, by the clients we serve, as true partners, versus a low-level utility function.  Gartner describes the journey as evolving organizations through four phases:  “Grinder” organizations which are stuggling day-to-day on operational tasks; to “Butler” (order takers from end-users); to “Team Player;”  and finally to “Entrepreneur” where IT helps inspire the enterprise.    More info on this is on the handouts, which are on BUfiles at:   \\bufiles\group\IT\~~ IT Resources ~~\2011 Look Ahead\Gartner Evolving Org IT Models, Selected.pdf  (logon required).

The new Technology Master Plan calls for IT, over time, to be less technical and “box pushers” and become more integrated partners.  IT will be more involved in understanding the business/academic needs and do more integration of technologies, ie, from the cloud or a range of services.   Status quo is not really an option.  Scott noted the new Center for Academic Technology is an example of organizing IT in a way that aligns with the “business” practices of our clients (in this case, faculty).

Scott believes the evolution is very good for us as individuals as it gives us a better chance to make a real difference at BU while also making us more marketable to other organizations.

The attendees then brainstormed how Butler IT might change in the years ahead.   A record of those ideas will be posted soon.

Scott discussed his personal interest to help the IT department and each staff member to be very relevant:

  • IT can do BIG things to help Butler continue to FEEL small.  BU needs all of us to help evolve current programs  in this ever-changing world, while retaining our people/relationship-based culture.   
  • We can “be the change we want to see in the world(Gandhi) — that is to set a great example for the rest of campus in terms of adding value to our academic & business pursuits, adapting to change, leveraging new technology, doing process redesign.
  • Key elements are teamwork and continued CQI.
  • IT will operate as ONE group as we interface with clients

IT Journey

The Technology Master plan is our general roadmap :-) .   In terms of IT staff specifically, the directors’ goal is to have an ongoing staff development program based on the unique competencies of each individual.  Scott briefly recapped near-term plans:

  1. Do a follow-up on the DiSC exercise called the Work Place Motivators, which helps us understand ourselves & each other.
  2. Provide a time management workshop for IT staff this summer
  3. Allocate $7,500 of founds for new R&D/experimental tools; submit requests to your directors.
  4. Offer more “heads down days” – start an experiment in IT where directors can authorize up to 6 days to work off-campus when helpful for projects. Details on this pilot are on BUfiles/IT — click here.  
  5. Move to a more professional attire for all IT staff (versus just some) starting in August.  Casual clothes are fine but no jeans, t-shirts, gym shoes.  This is to help us be viewed as professionals as we interface more with our clients and is similar to policies in the other administrative departments at BU.   Starts in August so we have the summer to get ready.  Details are available on BUfiles/IT by clicking here: (logon required).
  6. Add another project manager in IT in 2011-12 (we hope).
  7. Ask IT staff to consider:
    1. When are you in “your element”?
    2. How can you further connect to the mission & “business” of operating Butler?
    3. What technology trend should you check-out?
    4. What non-IT topic would you benefit by exploring?
    5. What can Butler do to help you grow?
  8. Scott will convene group of staff to further discuss programmatic needs for our ongoing evolution.

The 2011-2012 list of projects from the just approved portfolio were not discussed but a list of those projects can be found on BUfiles at:  \\bufiles\group\IT\~~ IT Resources ~~\2011 Look Ahead\2011-12_Technology_Portfolio.pdf

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