While most of us don’t love our computers (some of us do), we recognize that many of our jobs would be very difficult without them. If you look at the big picture, the information technology systems we have in place at UTMB work pretty darn well. The network is reliable. Our servers hum along. We’re protected from most viruses and spam. We have a sweet deal on institutional software, our computers aren’t relics from the days of monochrome monitors, and when you forget your password, there’s someone to reset it 24-7.
So now, inject into this peaceful little world the summer’s dreaded “C” word: CHANGE. Yes, it’s coming. For the first time, we have a chief information officer. We are merging information technology areas. Our friends at ATOS are moving on. The charge is to work smarter, do more, but spend less. And the questions are flying: Will someone take my PC? Who’ll do my desktop support? What about email and the helpdesk?
Trust me, it will be OK. No one will take your computer—you’re not going to need to make a midnight run to Sam’s Club to buy new PCs. IT life as you know it will not cease. Think gradual evolution, not revolution. It will be business as usual for most of us.
Does that mean substantive changes aren’t going to be taking place? No. There’ll be change. The biggest single issue will be merging three different and large IT entities: our outsourced provider ATOS Origin, Administrative Systems (the IT arm of Finance), and the Department of Information Services proper. It’s in everyone’s best interest to make this a smooth melding, and I expect that is how it will play out. There’s time, and there’ll be plenty of opportunities to get details and weigh in on what’s happening.
On a personal note, as part of my job I interact a fair bit with people in various IT roles. The people I’ve spoken with have been very jazzed that one of their own, Ralph Farr, got the nod for the CIO job. They know him, have faith in him, think he’s the right guy to carry a good team even further along.