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Expanded relationship opens IT research to entire campus
February 17, 2014Tweet
With IT operations providing support to virtually everyone on campus, a recent upgrade to Binghamton University’s contract with IT research firm Gartner now allows access to information technology research to every student, faculty member and staff member on campus.
The opportunities now open to learn about best practices and what is happening in the IT industry can benefit everyone, said Gartner’s Andrea Adair. “I’m a client manager and my sole responsibility is to ensure Binghamton University is getting value from its investment.”
Gartner, a worldwide company and the oldest to focus on the IT industry, provides fact-based research and consulting services to help their clients use and manage IT for optimum performance. Only institutions of higher education can gain the kind of access to Gartner research that Binghamton now has.
The Information Technology Services Task Force took advantage of Gartner services last fall when gathering background to make its recommendations for the future of ITS operations on campus. Vice President for Research Bahgat Sammakia chaired the task force. “We turned to Gartner Consulting to help us determine best practices,” Sammakia said. “The resources and research they provided us on trends in the IT industry, particularly as it relates to higher education, helped us refine our recommendations in a way that would have been difficult otherwise.”
Gartner’s understanding of the higher education market is definitely a plus for the campus, said Adair. “For example, IT staff can use it to gain information about vendors in making an important purchasing decision. Gartner is vendor neutral because Gartner is a research company and has a strict research and criteria methodology. That’s an attractive quality,” she said. “In addition, academia is interested in research in general so in terms of faculty, we have some that use Gartner research to assist them in developing curriculum for not just computer science but for management programs for example. We’re also a resource to direct their students to.
“No one has been in business as long as we have,” said Adair, so students can utilize Gartner research for coursework to gain access to the largest database of IT key metrics in the world.
Many students will end up in IT no matter what their major is because information technology is becoming so much a part of the business of any organization in terms of analytics and business analytics, said Adair. “Business majors can really benefit from looking at Gartner to get answers and see what information they need.
“A lot of leadership information is also available about the CIO of the future and information technology leaders of the future,” she added. “It’s a little hidden because the average person isn’t thinking about IT as being so involved in the future of business.”
Individuals can take advantage of Gartner’s research, but so can targeted groups, said Frank Saraceno, associate director of ITS. “It’s not just IT personnel who can benefit from their research,” he said. “The Division of Research, School of Management, Decker School of Nursing for medical applications, faculty in general concerning learning environments, the Libraries. … There are endless opportunities.”
“In administration, technology is important to what we do. Gartner can tell us what to be prepared for,” said Vice President for Administration James Van Voorst. “They have the management expertise and information that is deep and broad. Now we’re opening it up to everybody so we can learn what’s coming down the road and how technology is going to continue to make things more efficient. Their pricing model made that opportunity and we’re taking advantage of it.”
Van Voorst added that the campus is often taking a product, such as Banner, and trying to develop it further. “Gartner’s expertise and research gives us a place to go if we want to see if we could do something differently. They’re a well-founded and well-known resource.”
To access Gartner research, and student, faculty or staff member can go online https://its.binghamton.edu/gartnerservices and follow the prompts.