The Future of IT by Bob Moore

by Jean Tower

I highly recommend the recently released CoSN Compendium (available only to CoSN members). If you are not a CoSN member yet, talk to your school district and have them join. There are many member benefits that make the cost of membership a good value. The Future of Information Technology (Or, How the Next Ten Years Will Fundamentally Change the Role of the K-12 CTO) was written by Bob Moore, Senior Manager, Business Development, Global Education, Dell, Inc. Prior to working for Dell, Bob spent more than 21 years in educational technology leadership.

Bob was a Keynote Speaker at the Massachusetts CTO Clinic, sponsored by METAA and CoSN last April. You can read the slides from his keynote on the METAA web site. The compendium article expands on the ideas he presented at our conference.

The article briefly chronicles the role of the CTO from the days of the mainframe to today. Moore says, “it’s helpful to look back over several decades of IT evolution and the commensurate evolution of IT leadership.”

His advice for today’s K-12 CTOs include the following:

  • Forget about IT as you know it today
  • Get ready to outsource
  • Let go of control
  • Blow the lid off of storage limits

Moore predicts that these changes will enable CTOs to focus more time and energy on educational leadership and transforming the educational experience with innovative technology, and less time on managing the “stuff” of the technology department.

COSN’s Framework of Essential Skills of the K-12 CTO divides the skills into four major areas:

  • Leadership & Vision
  • Understanding the Educational Environment
  • Managing Technology & Support Resources
  • Core Values & Skills.

framework

The competencies in the Framework describe the range of knowledge and skills a CTO must have, and the skills definitely go beyond minding the boxes and cables. Bob Moore’s predictions for the future of IT and the impact on the role of the CTO echo the need for the competencies outlined in the framework. If we want teachers and students to use technology in powerful and transformative ways, we have to move away from thinking about technology in a purely technical light, or as a silo. Powerful use of technology requires cross-organizational collaboration, and to do this successfully requires a CTO with cross-disciplinary skills and the leadership and vision to work across the enterprise making this vision a reality.

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