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CIO Gordon Wishon Shares His Vision for the Future


What are the ingredients for successful IT governance in higher education?

Communication, transparency, forming relationships and partnerships, and developing trust with stakeholders. IT governance is both formal and informal. The chief requirement for success for formal governance is to put in place an informal network of peer relationships, colleagues, and other stakeholders across the institution that may have an interest in learning more about how the work of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) contributes to their success.

In your former career as a CIO, what were some of the biggest challenges you faced? How did you overcome them?

A CIO will face many challenges. The key to success, or getting things done, is to get people to work together towards a common objective. Focus on building teamwork, fostering collaboration, and ensuring that stakeholders are informed of your plans and objectives.

The greatest challenges are often political in nature. At the 3 – 4 institutions I’ve worked at, I was largely hired because of the lack of trust in the previous IT leadership. CIO’s are swapped out frequently because organizations often become disillusioned with their leadership.

Executives will often look to fresh faces to implement new strategies and repair relationships that may have been damaged under previous leadership. Ultimately, trust is necessary for the successful implementation of any type of transformation within the institution.

Which trends and technology developments do you think will drive educational change?

Change in higher education is being driven largely by a demand for universities to deliver greater value. Everyone is expecting more from colleges with a great deal of attention on graduation and retention rates. Finding ways to leverage data to improve retention and identify students at risk will help institutions develop better intervention programs to assist students to get back on track towards graduation. That has been one of the chief goals in our decade and the solutions are being powered by the use of data and analytics. The use of data and innovative technologies are one of the chief trends to enhance student outcomes.

Universities are increasingly data-driven and the emergence of analytics tools are applied to develop strategies and programs. With the advent of analytics tools, we can now develop a much richer profile for each student, enabling universities to develop a highly personalized educational experience for every student at scale.

What excites you the most about Armored Things?

Armored Things had a vision early on to leverage sources of data that have gone underutilized in the past to enable institutions to provide safer environments for students. Student safety is critical and their technology will help minimize risk on campus’s where students may be at risk.

Armored Things is a leader in this field and their contribution to enhancing the student experience while helping to ensure students’ safety is most exciting for me. The vision is easily expanded to add more data and devices to their platform to deliver critical information to institutions.

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