After the University Information System Strategic Planning workshop hosted by the Information Management Service of UP Manila, most of the units saw the gap between opportunities and goals on one end and the current practice on the other in terms of information technology. The College of Arts and Sciences--with their BS Computer Science program and one of the few units which have its own server--was not exempted.
Professor Roli Talampas, IMS director, used a comprehensive strategic planning approach in integrating the information systems of the UP Manila, the Philippine General Hospital, and the National Telehealth service. Unlike usual corporate information systems strategy formulation which was limited to top-down or utilized information technology as a function to support core businesses, this involved both top-down and bottom-up planning approaches and allowed information resources be managed as a knowledge opportunity. I think it was commendable.
The ISSP workshop was the beginning--that was the top-down approach. Now, it is the turn of the units to do their part--to go to the nitty-gritty part of planning, identifying what needs to be done, what resources we have, how do we get to where we want to go in terms of our college vision and mission through appropriate use of information resources.
As of the moment, being the IT Officer does not mean anything--except being responsible for information technology without compensation, thus resulting to being unable to be really responsible because you don't have resources.
It has been pointed out by four colleges in the ISSP that there is a need for a dedicated person to be in charge of IT so that it will be responsive to the needs of the faculty and the students and so that units will be able to accomplish what they exist to accomplish. That is what the College IT Council (or something) hopes to be.
The Office of the Dean asked for a representative from each of the departments for the soon-to-be chartered IT group of the college. IT will be a policy-making and implementing body of the College and the University when it comes to information concerns.
Of course, this IT body will only be as effective as the people behind it are dedicated.
With that said, let me express my hope that this information initiative will be implemented, together with opportunities in knowledge sharing and utilization so that the College can better serve the students and the people.