Operating Model

Initiatives in this area will focus on setting up a strong foundation for IT Transformation, establishing collaborative and effective IT oversight, and implementing sound IT financial management focused on strategic value.

We’ve built an environment over time that has incurred technical debt and lacks resiliency. The current IT operating model impedes our ability to achieve leading-edge IT service delivery and hinders innovation. We must overhaul the current operating and organizational model to remain competitive, reach our Bolder by Design vision, and meet the current and future needs of students, faculty, staff, and researchers.

MSU Information Technology must focus on:

  • Effective operations and strengthening the core.
  • Providing a higher level of consistency and service delivery to IT staff across MSU to bolster support to department and administrative units.
  • Drive innovation by adding emerging technologies and analytic functions to the organization.

An updated IT operating model will increase our ability to adapt to a changing IT landscape in higher education and globally.

Current Initiatives

Establish IT Governance (project number PJ1038)

MSU’s future IT Governance should encompass a set of processes, tools, and bodies to help drive collaborative strategy and direction across the university. It should support effective oversight and strategic direction for IT at Michigan State University by aligning CIO, academic, and administrative leadership and data management with administrative, teaching and learning, and research data and analytics. New planning and shared decision-making structures are required to facilitate long-term alignment with evolving university needs while maintaining technological continuity. Long-term success will require leadership to work across organizational boundaries and forge a shared vision to create an IT culture built on trust and performance.

This initiative establishes a comprehensive IT governance model that provides for clear leadership, decision making, resource sharing and provides for the distinct needs of campus stakeholders. The model is bolstered by clearly defined processes and tools so that decision making is effective, inclusive, and transparent. Once established, governance committees create standards to reduce complexity of the MSU IT environment and the cost of administering IT, while enhancing innovation. Committees also create structures that enable data and information sharing, as well as privacy protection across campus. As is, MSU lacks a robust IT governance structure for effective IT direction setting, resulting in silos that limits coordination, resource sharing, and consistency and a lack of a structured approach to data sharing and data governance. Read more about the MSU IT Governance model.

Project Dates: January 2016 to October 2017

Status as of November 15, 2017

Project Impact: A process by which specific IT initiatives are approved and prioritized will be established through the governance model along with decision rights and accountability.

Project Milestones:

  • April 2016: Present IT stewardship model for review and approval by Executive Oversight Committee (Completed)
  • October 2016: Stand Up Data Stewardship Logistics (Completed)
  • November 2016: Stand Up Data Stewardship Communications (Completed)
  • February 2017: Stand Up Data Governance Training (Completed)

Future Initiative

  • Build New IT Financial Model


  • Set Up IT Transformation Program Management Office
  • Develop and Rollout Communications Plan
  • Develop Organizational Change Management Strategy