University of Southease
Supported by the Information Technology, University of the Southeast was among the largest growing universities in the United States (Saunders, 2013). · The University used IT governance in lecturing capturing tools & technology to provide lecture to the students at varied places & made lectures independent to the physical classrooms (Saunders, 2013). · In University of the Southeast, IT was administered by Information Technologies and Resources (IT&R) department which was responsible for providing IT support & services across the campus (Saunders, 2013).
· Information Technologies and Resources (IT&R) following IT Monarchy approach, worked in coordination with top level administrators & President and took very less input from the faculty at the university (who were the end users of the system) while taking decisions regarding investments , applications to be developed, IT architecture and infrastructure (Saunders, 2013). · Among many colleges under the university only The College of Business Administration was provided with its own server and Technology Support Department (TSD) (Saunders, 2013).
· According to survey the faculty at the university were satisfies with the services provided by the Technology Support Department at the college level but were not happy with the support provided by the Information Technologies and Resources (IT&R) in using the technology made for classrooms & capturing lectures (Saunders, 2013). · Among the many problems faced due to the inappropriate IT support system the major were with the lecture capturing software while authenticating the already registered students, inadequate network bandwidth & IT&R’s Help Desk services (Saunders, 2013).
· University of the Southeast maintained a centralized server for managing email accounts for better security, reliability and efficiency. It also made it easier to maintain & control (Saunders, 2013). · User friendliness was sacrificed as the faculty faced problems in archiving their mails, forwarding mails on their institute based account (Saunders, 2013) because of the identity management problems a centralized server (for email accounts) would create, the faculty was not allowed to have a control on preferring their own email address (Saunders, 2013).
· There was a lack of communication between the faculty between the university faculty & the IT&R staff, as some of the faculty remain uninformed about their changed e-mail address in the printed university directory (Saunders, 2013). Analysis:- University of the Southeast followed the centralized approach of IT governance to implement IT & used IT monarchy Archetype in security & infrastructure decision making process to facilitate the centralized approach. As the faculty was unsatisfied with the support technology used, clearly the university was unsuccessful in the strategy they planned.
The Question here to ask is What is a centralized structure & why did the university took the centralization approach? What went wrong in applying the approach? In a centralized organizational structure is a top-down control setup in which most of the power and crucial decision making responsibilities are spread among few key leaders (Kokemuller, 2007). It requires less administrative expense to run a centralized structure & it reduces conflicts as the lower level managers as top managers are responsible for making the critical decision (Kokemuller, 2007).
With respect to the above mentioned advantages, University of southeast, under the guidance of Information Technologies and Resources (IT&R ) implemented the IT governance using centralized organization structure to make the technology more manageable, secure, reliable and efficient. The IT policies were developed taking major inputs from the top level administers but minimal input from the faculty who were the end users of the technology (Saunders, 2013).
Even though the university followed a centralized organizational model was not consistent throughout and there was a hidden decentralization of the IT governance. For instance, in a centralized model, the problems with the lecture capturing software while authenticating the already registered students or the inadequate network bandwidth should be solved by the help desk support team instead of referring back to the faculty. IT monarchy is fitting governance for the decisions like aligning security procedures to IS architecture specifications, where corporate IT (Individuals or groups of IT executives.) takes the title role and is responsible for specifying the configuration, consistency in protection & achieving competency among the components according to the need of the organization (Saunders, 2013). University of the Southeast did followed the IT Monarchy archetype by making Information Technologies and Resources (IT&R ) responsible for taking decisions regarding IT architecture & security Infrastructure by providing computer services, telecommunications, multimedia support across the campus (Saunders, 2013).
The decision making power were entirely in the hands of IT&R. If IR&R had tried to provide the faculty with the decision making right of having control on archiving their own emails or choosing their preferred e-mail address or changing their email address printed in the university directory would have lessen the burden at the top level & would have maintained the delicate balance between the information security & user inconvenience (Saunders, 2013). In Centralized organization structure systems relay mainly on a few crucial components (L.M. Prasad, n. d. ). As was the case with the university which relied heavily on the centralized campus server for managing email accounts. If each college/office had its own autonomous server for local & independent processing which was then connected to the University server, carrying out the requested tasks would be much faster than with the one centralized server. Conclusion:- The way centralized organization structure was followed through the university was not consistent.
The user productivity, ease of use and functionality of the system was sacrificed for security and security decision in emails were weighted more heavily than user-friendliness (Saunders, 2013). The IT decision rights belonged entirely to IT&R which was unable to maintain balance between the information security & convenience of the user. The top level (IT&R) failed in leading the organizing resulting in many unsolved problems & unsatisfied faculty members. Recommendation:- Governance structure relies heavily on the staff to support the process (How IT Governance Works, n.d. ). University of the Southeast followed IT Monarchy approach for governance by selecting a Corporate IT (IT&R) responsible for making desired infrastructure, security & technology based decisions (Saunders, 2013). Minimal input was taken from the faculty members. Planning strategy for security should be a joint decision rather than not a technical decision all alone. I recommend the university to use IT Duopoly archetype for integrating the business-technical perspectives, in which both the users and IT staff are consulted in decision making policies.
In this approach the user will have a say on what facilities or features they want from the security program and how in their expectation the security function support their activities (Saunders, 2013). Decision rights in the University of Southeast were poorly layered. In the University the faculty should decide what services/facilities should be delivered & IT staff should decide how the facilities can be delivered (Cramm, 2008). Starting by deciding over who gets what IT decisions to make rather than by deciding the structure. Itwill help in meeting the goals of the university much efficiently. Secondly, Centralized organizational structure gave the University of Southeast the advantage of cost, control, accountability, fast execution but all at the price of limited communication, missing or incorrect decision rights. In the same way decentralized organizational structure facilitates local empowerment, ease of expansion, more efficient decision making at the cost of a lack of coordination & innovative ideas, lack of common objective etc. (L. M. Prasad, n. d. ).
A different structuring approach called Federalism cab be followed that shares, data, hardware & distributes power between IS group and business units (Saunders, 2013). It attempts to provide best of the both worlds & drawbacks of none (centralized and decentralized organizations) (Saunders, 2013). Implementing Federalism structure approach will allow IT&R at the university to better allocate the decision rights among IT staff & the faculty. A combination of bottom- up & top- down approach in managing IT will allow them to decide which part of IT should be better driven centrally (Mishra, n. d. ).