5.24 Emerging Technologies

Background

Information technology is a rapidly changing field, with standards often not established until a specific market segment matures; even then multiple standards still exist (i.e. operating systems, streaming formats, etc.). For SCSU to efficiently leverage the introduction and use of emerging technologies for campus, it must develop a clear and systematic process to identify and investigate new technologies as they become available. A crucial part of this process is providing access for technologists and other early adopters on campus to preview new and emerging technologies. This process must allow for flexibility and rapid response to an ever-changing technological landscape. The process also must be accessible to various stakeholders and address their needs for a variety of technological applications. The process should allow individuals and groups access to appropriate resources as part of the annual technology planning process. With these resources, emerging technologies can be tested and then incorporated into the campus community as appropriate, thereby maximizing benefits to campus. Investing up front as technologies emerge will allow SCSU to better capture opportunities for applications as they arise.

However, research and development of emerging technologies on the SCSU campus typically has not been associated with systematic planning. More typically, it is dependent on available funding, often from grants and contracts. The Student Technology Fee Committee has acknowledged the importance of emerging technologies and, in FY 2002, dedicated $35,000 annually toward investigating and making such new resources available to students.

Goals

In the next five years, use of information and associated technologies will continue to evolve. SCSU must respond to this changing environment by

  • developing a comprehensive campus process to identify and investigate emerging technologies that takes into account all types of information technology users on campus
  • communicating this process to campus users so they understand how it integrates with existing technology planning
  • implementing the plan so that resources are dedicated in a systematic way for the investigation and testing of new technologies and so that information is provided to campus information technology users
  • monitoring the process to ensure that it achieves the identified goals, integrates with ongoing campus technology planning, and provides information that is incorporated into the technology planning process, leading to implementation of new technologies as appropriate
  • evaluating the results on an annual basis to determine the success of the process and then adjust future efforts accordingly.

Specific Actions and Timeline

A committee will be established to address emerging technologies. This committee should include representatives from TLTR, LR&TS, CIS-AdC, the Student Technology Fee Committee, faculty, administration, and staff.

  • The committee will follow the standard timeline (see 5.0) for carrying out and reporting on specific actions necessary to accomplish the goals relative to emerging technologies.
  • The committee will evaluate appropriate emerging technologies; identify possible approaches to monitoring, researching, testing, and implementing new technologies; and determine the associated costs.
  • The committee will inform the campus of its findings related to emerging technologies.
  • The committee will advise how to implement recommendations.
  • During the 2007/2008 academic year, the committee will produce a final report on emerging technology and a planning document for the next five-year plan. These will be submitted to TLTR by February 1, 2008, for review.

Resources

Resources from all information technology stakeholders need to be dedicated to the development of an emerging technologies process. Personnel time will need to be invested in this process. The development of an appropriate process to evaluate emerging technologies will define the proper tools for investigating and testing these technologies. Funding for this might come from a central pool to which all groups contribute or might be based on which user groups will potentially derive the greatest benefits from the technology implementation.

Ongoing investment of personnel must be made in evaluating and adjusting the process.

Evaluation

  • Has a comprehensive campus process been developed to identify and investigate emerging technologies that takes into account all types of information technology users on campus?
  • Has this process been communicated to campus users so they understand how the process integrates with existing technology planning?
  • Has the plan been implemented so that resources are dedicated in a systematic way for the investigation and testing of new technologies for campus and so that information is provided to campus information technology users?
  • Has the process been monitored to ensure that it achieves the identified goals, that it integrates with ongoing campus technology planning, and that it provides information that is incorporated into the technology planning process, leading to implementation of new technologies as appropriate?
  • Has the process been evaluated to determine its success and to adjust future efforts?
  • Has the committee submitted a final report in Spring 2008?
  • Has the committee made recommendations for the next cycle of technology planning?

Revised: May 2003