Opportunistic Planning for Information Technologies: Upside Down or Downside Up?


Liberal arts colleges frequently have difficulty justifying an investment in information technology: they do not have the technology curriculum which requires a substantial hardware and software investment; and they are not large enough to require significant IS systems merely to successfully administer the school. As such, opportunistic planning strategies (identifying non-technology goals of priority concern to the school for which information systems investments can be justified) is frequently the only way to build the information systems infrastructure. The experiences of two liberal arts colleges that utilized opportunistic planning will be compared in this session: one which began with a formal college-wide agreement (including the senior officers) that information technologies could be used as a primary strategy to accomplish essential non-technology goals; and one in which there was no such prior agreement.

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