U of M named national leader for focus on operational excellence in information technology

The University of Minnesota has been named one of the nation’s most innovative users of information technology by InformationWeek, a leading technology industry publication serving executive leaders at some of the country’s largest businesses and government organizations.

The publication named the University to its Elite 100 list at its annual conference Tuesday attended by hundreds of technology leaders and practitioners. Featuring some of the nation’s best-known consumer brands, the list recognizes innovation in core IT operations, including technology deployment, budgeting, infrastructure and strategy.

The University was the only full public university system—and one of just three higher-ed institutions in the country—recognized with this award. It came in at number 74. The full list can be found at: www.informationweek.com/elite100.

“Over the last three years, we have taken bold steps to use technology to better serve faculty, students and staff,” said Scott  Studham, vice president and chief information officer for the University. “We are honored to see these efforts being recognized, and we look forward to continuing to perform and innovate in this area.”

The recognition focuses on the University’s use of  IT strategies to help deliver on President Eric Kaler’s Operational Excellence (OpEX) initiative. OpEx is a long-term commitment aimed at improving service and support for the University’s core academic mission by working smarter, enhancing services and reducing costs. One of its goals is to save and reallocate $90 million by 2019. Two years in, $39 million in savings and reallocations already have been identified and delivered.

Among the strategies leading to this recognition were the introduction of a comprehensive governance process to align IT priorities and business practices; the creation of a capital planning process to ensure alignment of technology spending with strategic priorities; the continued alignment of more than 70 technology end-user help desks; the creation of an information security program that serves as a model for higher education; and the deployment of an $85 million upgrade to core technology systems and business processes.

“The 2015 InformationWeek Elite 100 spotlights companies at which IT is not only inseparable from every department, it's pivotal to their overall strategy," said InformationWeek editor Chris Murphy.  “This is an exclusive group of organizations that stands above the rest in terms of how they are using information technology to achieve their overall goals.”

About the InformationWeek Elite 100
Honoring the nation's top information technology innovators, the Elite 100 list rankings are based on the technology-based investments, strategies and results of some of the best-known organizations in the country. Details can be found at: www.informationweek.com/elite100.

About Information Technology at the University of Minnesota
Information Technology at the University of Minnesota comprises more than 1,300 technologists and others across the University system who work collaboratively to provide academic and administrative technology services and support to nearly 100,000 students, faculty and staff. Visit IT@UMN to learn more.  

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