Reimagining IT Plan Introduced

Oct 5, 2018

Many in the Penn State IT community got a first look at the Reimagining IT plan during the IT All-Staff Meeting October 3 in the Bryce Jordan Center.

In his remarks, Michael Kubit, vice president for IT and CIO, said a key aspect of the plan is comprehensive professional growth, to ensure IT professionals have career paths to help them grow and evolve in better support of the work of the University.

a photo of the crowd in the stands at the all staff meeting
There are four key goals of the talent management strategy: to align the organization to promote a world-class workforce; to evolve the culture and improve overall effectiveness; to maximize employees’ potential; and to assess what is happening and constantly improve our strategies.

“Our objective is to ensure we have the right people with the right skills in the right roles to achieve the University’s mission, and attract, select and retain the best, most diverse, team-oriented talent,” Kubit said.

Other key components of the plan include: provide better oversight of budget and reporting lines; push additional resources to the units for their unique work; and establish University-wide IT governance.

Kubit shared highlights of the information gathering that was done before the plan was developed, including an IT spend and staff baseline analysis by Gartner, and dozens of focus groups with stakeholders across the University.

He said Reimagining IT will enable the organization to amplify the things we are good at, mitigate our weaknesses, and maximize our focus on supporting the teaching, research, and service missions of the University.

Kubit highlighted two projects that are bright spots and illustrate how IT can move quickly to positively impact the University – the switch to Office 365 as the University’s email and calendaring tool, and the consolidation of firewalls for optimal protection of the University’s data and research.

Reimagining IT encompasses several phases, starting with pre-planning work currently underway. This includes creating frameworks for studying every unit from the perspectives of personnel, technology and services. That study will occur in the discovery phase, and data collected will be shared with unit leadership to get their perspectives on the best implementation to achieve the objectives.

“We have to stay fully engaged with the units, so if we are going to make changes we can ensure that everyone who is going to be impacted by that change is aware that something is changing, why it’s changing, and why we hope it will be better as a result,” Kubit said, adding that staff need to continue with the vital work being done in IT. “This is a journey. This is not something that’s going to change with the flip of a switch.”

He encouraged staff to visit, the source for news and updates as well as particulars of the plan first shared with University executive leadership in August. Questions and feedback about the plan can also be submitted on the site.

Provost Nick Jones was unable to attend the meeting but recorded a video message in support of the plan. In it, he described Reimagining IT as an “ambitious and vital initiative” that will “bring Penn State IT further into the 21st century.”

“This plan takes a high-level view of how to align IT resources with the University’s strategic plan, optimize our investments in technology and services, and increase our capacity to support innovation,” Jones added.