Defining the Governance of IT

Core Team Lead was

​Primary Objectives:

  • What does IT governance entail? What is it, and what is it not?
  • Maintaining commitment and support
  • Sustaining and institutionalizing the process
  • Establishing transparency and communication mechanisms
  • A governance charter
  • Connecting with the Cabinet
  • Creating an annual planning calendar (align with the business cycle of UNLV)

Summary of Session:

During the IT governance session, participants considered the purpose and role of IT governance and identified a potential model going forward. The meeting included participants from administrative and academic departments, faculty, distributed IT and OIT.

The session entailed defining the purpose and role of IT governance in light of the UNLV environment. Participants were then teamed up and asked to consider aspects of the proposed model in context of criteria for effective IT governance, considering values, vision, procedure, scope and overall structure. Each team then shared its findings.

The consensus was that the University IT governance process needs to focus on supporting the University Mission and overall strategic plan. Guided by the IT Master Plan and building upon a structure that facilitates informed decision-making with limited bureaucracy, governance needs to foster stakeholder engagement, include cross-functional participation, and gain executive buy-in and support. The governance structure needs a consistent framework that is transparent to the University Community and supports sustained communication and effective IT decision-making.

Key outcomes identified to inform the IT Master Plan:

  • University-wide collaboration that aligns resource allocation with institutional priorities and maintains stakeholder engagement
  • Governance is distinct from IT management. The function and process should enable entrepreneurship while acting as a facilitator more than a gatekeeper
  • Effective engagement and communication are important in sustaining a governance structure that is adaptive, accountable, innovative, inclusive, sponsored by executives, understandable and transparent
  • Crafting and implementing buy-in, a strategic composition, and allowing for flexibility on the onset will help establish governance authority and credibility, developing a culture that benefits people who follow the process

Specific elements brought forth during the exercise:

  • A Project Proposal process
    • Cyclical and interactive
    • Prioritizes meaningful IT projects and initiatives while enabling decision makers to gain broad input and make informed decisions
  • Effective use of resources
    • Minimal complication and competition
    • Not bureaucratic
  • Continued updates of the latest issues in higher education

Proposed governance model structure:

  • Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) – Functions at a high level
    • Focuses on operational, academic, and business priorities at a high level
    • Institution wide perspective
    • May be chaired by CIO
    • CTO, faculty senate chair, CSUN president, GPSA president
    • Core group connected to Cabinet, advancement, decision support and the general counsel’s office – significant overlap with Cabinet groups
  • Technology Review Board (TRB)
    • More technical focus
    • Chaired by CIO
    • Includes College-level technology officers
    • Ad hoc teams
    • Proposals are delegated from TAC to TRB if they are deemed “small” projects (<$50,000)
  • Second-tier groups with specific technical focus
    • Application development
    • Security
    • Data governance
    • Services, operations, and infrastructure