Current Issues in Relations to Information Resources Management

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Current Issues in relation to Information Resources Management Most colleges and universities nowadays rely on effective use of information technology for instruction, research, and administration. With high request for technology professionals, it is crucial that we continue to recruit competent staff. Recruiting challenges include reduced numbers of graduates in computer-related fields, lack of competitive salaries in the higher education environment, and increasing market demand for information technology skills. As the demand for information technology professionals continues to exceed the supply, our institutions will face even greater staffing challenges. Key issues that pertain with these matters are: * How can we make our salaries more competitive with the industry? What non-salary benefits can we offer and promote? * How can we promote our institution as a good place to work? What changes can we make to our environment, both physical facilities and culture, to make it more appealing to existing staff and recruits? * What other tools can we use for recruitment and retention incentives? * What staff development/training programs are needed to adequately keep existing staff abreast of technological change and develop their professional skills? * How can we hire our own graduates before the outside industries hire them? Policy and Technical Issues

College and university initiatives in enhanced networking connectivity and in advanced applications development are the fundamental for building more knowledge communities. Application areas include digital libraries, remote medical diagnosis, and others. For reasons of security, licensing, etc., people and resources will require unique identities that are properly authenticated and authorized for access. Since application users will connect with people and resources at both local and remote campuses, both campus wide infrastructures and inter-campus communication mechanisms will be needed. Policy challenges include establishing where access control is determined in the environment. Technology challenges include identifying and deploying the appropriate solutions. Other issues include: * Determining access rights (who gets access to what and who decides) * Establishing standards across networks and multiple locations * Assessing risk and liability

* Creating scalable solutions to support millions of users in the overall environment * Identifying providers for such services as inter-campus certificate authority * Addressing international issues around encryption export * Evaluating when firewalls should be used

* Dealing with ethical issues that occur, for example, around privacy

Complexity and Cost of Enterprise Systems
For most institutions the approach of the Year 2000 has provided the impetus needed to replace legacy enterprise software systems with new, client/server-based. For this reason, growth has been phenomenal among the manufacturers and consulting firms that provide higher education with systems for human resources. Each of them has an unprecedented number of implementation projects under way at colleges and universities worldwide. This means that a data is available on the cost, both predictable and hidden, of new system implementations. * Do we have enough data now to predict the costs of implementing specific systems? * What strategies can we adopt to minimize licensing costs and the costs of data conversion and system implementation? * Which vendors are best able to carry an implementation through to completion on schedule? Which vendors will succumb to the consequences of too-rapid growth? * What strategies permit the quickest implementations?

* Enterprise systems cover a lot of territory. How can an implementation be kept manageable? Student Expectations for Technology Support and Services
Increasingly, new students come to the campuses prepared with a broad range of computing skills and viewing...
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