The mindset of a university CIO – Part Two

Last week I highlighted an interview with an outgoing Australian University CIO – Mick Houlahan of the University of Western Sydney. This week, I’ve got another one to point to – this time it’s the incoming CIO for RMIT, Brian Clark, who’s also been sharing his ideas with CIO Australia.

Having met new university CIO’s who have joined from commercial organisations, I know they find there are many stark differences between running an IT infrastructure for a business and for a university – and that there are many, many similarities too. All too often, people who don’t understand education assume that somehow education IT infrastructure is a junior version of a corporate IT system – when in fact, the opposite is often true. Often education IT systems have to respond sooner to technology innovations – and the rapidly evolving demands of users.

You should read the full article – ‘Incoming RMIT exec turns IT focus outward’ – if you want an insight to the projects and business challenges, and I’d highlight some of the key things that stood out for me in it:

  • As part of a new Cloud strategy, one of the first decisions Brian Clark took was to sponsor the move to cloud-hosted email for students and staff, following a move to the cloud for their learning management system
  • Brian talks about the need to move from focusing on administration-driven projects, and instead focusing on integration with academic needs (ie the end-user groups). One of the ways of doing this was to invite key members of the academic staff to join project steering committees, evaluation panels and the ICT strategy team – which he hopes will help the process of change management in the future.
  • As part of plans to boost technical education, there’s a review going on to look at vendor certification for students – so that in future students may be able to leave the university with a recognised industry certification, such as becoming an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer).

Learn MoreRead the full interview with Brian Clark, CIO of RMIT on

Apologies to pedants – the grammatical error in the title is deliberate. I know I should say ‘an university’, but it just doesn’t sound right, so I’ve opted for the easily read, but grammatically incorrect, version.