IT at the University of Iowa is embarking on a new chapter. 

Four of the sixteen OneIT projects are complete, and we will continue to work diligently on the 12 remaining projects, to finish them before the summer of 2018 and meet the savings target ($3.6 million in ongoing annual savings) identified in the TIER initiatives initiated and approved by the Board of Regents. As outlined in the 2016 OneIT Year in Review, we have made incredible progress together in a short period of time. 

The goals of the project work are: 

  • Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IT by dramatically reducing the cost of providing general IT services necessary for day-to-day campus operations. 
  • Identify areas where specialization and innovation are critical to meet unique needs in research and instruction, and assure that those needs are properly addressed. 
  • Enable reinvestment of time and resources into teaching, research, and service. 

OneIT organizational strategy unfolds 

To realize all the benefits for campus envisioned by OneIT, we are now thinking of OneIT more broadly than a portfolio of projects. In parallel to those, the UI IT community is evolving into a unified IT organization called OneIT.  

Unification is designed to create a more cohesive, easy experience for IT customers, enabling us to maximize the impact of IT investment, better meet the needs of interdisciplinary activities, and learn from each other.   

In a series of retreats, IT leaders from every college and unit on campus developed a shared vision for the future of this organization. The future state strategy focuses on four aspects of the OneIT organization: 

Process and engagement 

Developing a shared vision for the OneIT organization was a highly collaborative process of reflection, examination, small group discussion, and sharing of ideas. In a series of five half-day retreats starting in December 2015, 33 IT leaders from every college and unit came together to work on the four elements.  

This process strengthened relationships, improved communication, increased transparency, and built trust. The group tackled bold and challenging topics:

  • Who is OneIT?
  • How will we work together?
  • What we will deliver?
  • Our motivations, conflicts, and challenges
  • Excitement and concerns about changes
  • How we interact and how we can collaborate to best serve campus

The time has come to broaden the discussion—to share the vision across the whole IT community, generating excitement for the future.

There is much work still to do, particularly in developing culture and putting people strategy into action. We need IT professionals to continue these conversations and build on the foundations created during the leader retreats. There are many opportunities for involvement, through conversations with colleagues, projects, collaboration, and helping one another embrace change.