For many years, Edge has partnered with member institutions to help them develop technology strategies and find solutions that will assist in advancing their missions. As the wave of digital transformation continued to grow and new opportunities arrived, organizations were tasked with finding ways to keep pace in a rapidly changing world. Unfortunately, without the right information or expertise, many institutions have faced challenges in developing a strategic and cost-effective plan that will allow them to digitally evolve. “Oftentimes, institutions may be facing a lack of communication between technology systems or a lack of visibility into both business processes and data,” says Christopher R. Markham, Executive Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer, Edge. They may also have uncertainty around their spend in technology; are their technology investments best matched for their institution’s goals, size, and capabilities? Edge can help reveal valuable insight into their current technology ecosystem and assess digital transformation readiness, along with ensuring that an organization can optimize their return on investment as they continue to grow their technology program.”
Designed to provide a 360-degree view, the Enterprise 360 (E360) Assessment is a comprehensive review of all things technology, where the EdgePro team examines an institution’s current-state technology program and digital footprint and helps pinpoint where they can optimize technology investments in software, equipment, and staff. “The ‘E’ in E360 means everything, so Edge will look at an organization’s IT strategy, operations, governance, economic approach, data, cyber infrastructure, cybersecurity capacity, and their entire technology stack,” explains Markham. “We also spend two days onsite to meet with stakeholders and team members to gain a deeper understanding of the technology program. After the assessment is completed, Edge will provide a detailed report of the areas within the current technology and cyber infrastructure to focus on immediately and then a road map for digital transformation going forward.”
Conducting a Holistic Assessment
The E360 Assessment begins with an investigation of the vision of the institution and the current information technology and enterprise architecture that is in place to support these goals. “Edge will look at all of the key information technology disciplines; what we call reference disciplines,” explains Markham. “This includes groups like applications, cybersecurity, educational technologies, and service management. We then look at the vision of the whole group and how they’re being informed by the enterprise architecture. We investigate the technologies and business processes that gather requirements from the overall institutional groups and look for opportunities and solutions that could improve these processes.”
“Next, we determine what a migration plan might look like, an IT governance model, and how we would implement a governance group,” continues Markham. “We also want to determine how an organization can establish a permanent change management function once this governance group is implemented—allowing the institution to continue to grow and change as their needs evolve.”
As part of the E360 Assessment, Edge will also explore educational technologies and the pedagogical framework that are in place to support the overall technology strategy. “We look at the current instructional design and methodologies and conduct a detailed analysis of existing cyber infrastructure, including wireless connectivity and cloud migration strategy,” shares Markham. “Our chief information officer will conduct a cybersecurity assessment to examine the NSIT framework, as well as the Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS). This integrity assessment of an organization’s routing looks at the kind of controls and best practices that are in place to reduce routing threats.”
Cybersecurity Program Assessment
Included in the E360 Assessment is a cybersecurity program assessment conducted by Edge’s Virtual Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO) to evaluate the maturity of the organization’s security program, understand their current risk exposure, and identify ways they can reduce the risk of a data breach.
An organization will receive tailored, actionable recommendations to:
Identify gaps • Improve overall security posture • Reduce risk • Mitigate the impact of security incidents
Providing Actionable Items
Throughout the six- to eight-week process, the E360 is a blended model of onsite visits and virtual meetings to connect with all functional areas of the college or university. Upon completion of the assessment, along with a final report outlining its findings, an institution will also receive a review of their business process models and the technology solutions and services that aim to support them. “In addition to an executive summary that evaluates all the domains, we provide a customized three-year roadmap for digital transformation,” says Markham. “Edge will also outline ways to measure the return on investment along the digital transformation journey. We show you how to measure if there is an increase in efficiency and productivity of labor units. For example, improving the time it takes to send files or data, or increasing uptime and reducing downtime of systems. The assessment also provides ways to improve workflow and reduce the cost of operation. We see if there are ways to reduce the cost through economies of scale and if there are duplicate systems that can be consolidated.”
“Increased efficiency, improved services, and reduction in cost of operation—these are the key components in a net gain from IT investment,” continues Markham. “E360 is designed to provide a better understanding of an institution’s frameworks and methodologies and how to achieve an optimal return on investment. If you seek the data to make informed decisions, if you wish to calculate your return on investment of your IT infrastructure and systems, and if want to align technology and the academic and administrative mission and vision of your organization, then the E360 Assessment can provide the insight and direction that you need.”
“Increased efficiency, improved services, and reduction in cost of operation—these are the key components in a net gain from IT investment. E360 is designed to provide a better understanding of an institution’s frameworks and methodologies and how to achieve an optimal return on investment.”
– Christopher R. Markham, Ph.D.(c)
Executive Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer,
Review and evaluate the information technology strategic technology plan (roadmap) to ensure IT program alignment with institutional mission, vision, and strategy.
IT Organizational Review
Review the organizational structure to determine if there are any skill gaps and if there is an appropriate level of staffing to meet priorities and demands.
Evaluate the existing IT governance model by considering the culture, organizational structure, maturity, and strategy to ensure IT investments are optimized.
IT Economics and Finance
Examine the current managerial finance and economic approach within IT, including operational expenditures, capital expenditures, and purchasing processes.
Enterprise Information Systems Architecture (EISA)
Analyze the technology stack, including business, data, applications, and technical architecture documentation and how they support the institution’s mission.
Evaluate the Master Data Management (MDM) function and offer strategies for improving data architecture, data governance, and data stewardship.
IT Service Management (ITSM) Framework
Compare the institution’s current IT Service Management model to Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practices in order to emphasize business-centric and customer-centric approaches, rather than IT-centric service delivery mechanisms.
Review existing cyber infrastructure including the Wide & Local Area Network (WAN & LAN), network infrastructure, wireless connectivity, cloud migration strategy, and data center and wiring technologies.
Develop a digital transformation strategy that fits the unique culture of the institution and leverages existing communication techniques and resources that are currently in place.
Online Program Management
Assess the institutional online learning program, including student enrollment services, academic affairs, student services, information technology, and human resources
Ready to amplify your technology and modernize your IT strategy?
Michelle Ferraro and/or Erin Brink are ready to get you connected »