Ardalan singles out one $1.9 million business intelligence initiative he canceled, which he likened to bringing in an 18-wheeler to move a pickup truck's worth of cargo. There was no demand for such an enterprise-class solution, he says. The colleges hadn't completed prerequisites like data cleansing to make proper use of such a toolset, so Ardalan concentrated on improving the use of the data and analysis tools it already owned. He also took control of previously decentralized IT functions, rationalizing the portfolio of projects and technologies and establishing aggressive uptime goals.
There are still major challenges ahead, the CIO notes. "The investments we've made in infrastructure were to get in the game. Now, we want to change the game altogether."
David F. Carr is a freelance writer based in Florida.