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Technology assessment for large university

December 19, 2016 Case Study 2 min read
University of West Georgia technology services are transformed following assessment of their Information Technology Services department’s staff, processes, and technology.

Image of two people talking 

The client 

The University of West Georgia (UWG) enrolls more than 12,000 students and offers more than 85 programs of study. UWG commits significant resources annually to incorporate technological advances into both its academic and operations areas. The university’s Information Technology Services (ITS) CIO and staff reported directly to the president’s office — not as a division but as a unit area needing dedicated focus and attention per a 2008 mandate by the University System of Georgia. This was to ensure universities across Georgia were up to date regarding cybersecurity and other significant IT issues facing higher education institutions. 

The challenge 

In 2013, new president Dr. Kyle Marrero faced several targeted opportunities for improvement within the ITS area. Dr. Marrero and his team wanted to determine if the ITS unit could improve legacy customer service issues, including low morale and job performance expectations, while also developing a strategic vision in their movement toward shared services and centralization for the university. UWG decided to hire an outside consultant to provide a comprehensive ITS assessment and strategic plan. 

The solution 

Our IT team was engaged to provide an assessment of UWG’s ITS staff, processes, and technology.A complete skills assessment was conducted for every ITS position helping the university to identify the right tools, resources, and training for IT team members incorporating staff insights and input. The assessment also revealed if any significant roadblock stood in the way of individual or team advancement. The robust assessment of three main areas at UWG led to a strategic action plan. Our team provided this plan which included a complete report on the assessment findings and recommendations. With validation from our report, the University of West Georgia leadership team was able to improve and expand their strategic plan, while focusing on a culture of continuous improvement. 
"This was not a small investment, but at the end of the day we received validation to confirm our own ideas, and also received true value-add with several of Plante Moran’s ideas that we would not have come up with on our own. What I enjoyed most about working with Plante Moran was their earnestness to understand not only the job function but the culture of our people."
— Dr. Kyle Marrero, President, University of West Georgia

The benefit 

Within 45 – 60 days of getting the IT assessment report, UWG implemented improvements to their customer service and help desk, with significant positive impact on both external and internal customers. Long-term initiatives include restructuring of the ITS division resulting in a national search for a vice president. This strategic hire provides their ITS team a clear path as they follow their mission to provide innovative, customer-focused IT services, effective IT leadership and planning, and a secure and robust technical infrastructure that supports the academic and administrative goals of the UWG. 


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