As part of the ongoing transformation of campus information initiated in 2009, the university conducted the first-ever comprehensive assessment of information technology as it is currently distributed and provided at the unit and campus level.
A strategic approach to IT cost-cutting in Higher Education
The current economic downturn requires a strategic approach to cutting IT costs. High-performance organizations successfully reduce overall costs sharply and for the long term, shifting spending toward IT capability and new mission focused capabilities while stepping up IT performance at the same time.
At the conclusion of a competitive bidding process, Accenture was selected to conduct the unit assessments.
Accenture is a global management consulting and technology services company. Accenture has worked with a number of research universities—including Yale, Ohio State, and the University of Illinois—to develop IT strategies designed to improve IT alignment with the educational and research missions of the institutions. This work also included increasing the ability of the universities to leverage their IT investment more effectively across campus and to improve responsiveness to researchers, faculty, and administrators.
Each unit assessed received a pre-assessment planning document in advance of its unit-specific meeting. This workbook is designed to help prepare the unit for what to expect during the assessment. It identifies the goals of the assessment and provides a comprehensive outline of the assessment components, including what data and other information should be brought to the assessment workshop.
In addition to the inventory, the assessment will provide detailed recommendations for unit-level IT sourcing, opportunities for cost-savings, and introduction or expansion of value-added, differentiating technologies.
Accenture met with unit staff and carried out an assessment methodology that resulted in an operational and financial inventory of each unit's current IT environment. The inventory includes:
From February–July 2010, Accenture conducted more than 200 workshops and interviews with schools, colleges, institutes, and other units. A graphical representation of the IT inventory developed by Accenture shows the current sourcing and frequency distribution of IT services by category as self-reported by units during the workshops and interviews. This graph is a high-level campus snapshot.
Accenture analyzed the input and provided both unit and campus level recommendations. We now have a comprehensive assessment of IT at Michigan, and have learned a great deal about our strengths as well as areas that need improvement.
The assessments provided unit and campus leadership with data not previously available to make data-driven decisions about reducing IT expenditures. Successful implementation of assessment recommendations should both protect existing IT strategic investments and facilitate new technology innovation.
At the unit level:
At the campus level: