The Great Contraction Experiment

I’m documenting this now before we go over the cliff so that in a few years we can look back and see if the sentiment and predictions were correct.

In keeping with a recent and occasionally controversial trend of public universities seeking savings through consolidating services, the Texas A&M University System Thursday announced a plan to overhaul its the information technology infrastructure. Source: Texas Tribune.

Staff sentiment is not good. People are saying at worst it will fail and we’ll have to redo it. At best, they say, it will lead to frustration when work isn’t done quickly. People like having a readily available IT person on staff that they can go to and get their problems fixed quickly. They don’t like having to wait or being told they can’t do something or being told they have to do it this new way because the “system” no longer supports their old way.

In regards to backlash, Sharp is quoted as saying, “Probably, the people running the IT system are not going to be crazy about the report,” he said, “Because it doesn’t say good things about the people running IT.”

Texas A&M System contracted Deloitte Consulting to audit the System and produce a recommendation. Their plan says it will save $20 million per year for the next 10 years. There was also internal audits and PriceWaterhouseCoopers was contracted for an administrative study. All of these studies were looking for every dime to make IT and Human Resources and Finance more efficient.

Savings from the first few years of the new plan would be put into a new financial/payroll system.

The most immediate expenditure stemming from the announcement will be the purchase of new payroll and financial systems, Stone said. He said the outdated systems used across the system should be replaced within three to five years for an estimated cost of $30 million. Source: The Eagle

So we’ll see if this great contraction experiment pans out in 5 to 10 years. Stay tuned.