HEUG Strategic Planning -- The Readiness is All

Over the past year, those of us who are fortunate enough to lead the HEUG have been engaged in a strategic planning process. For those of you attending Alliance you will hear more about it at the meeting of all members on Wednesday morning of Alliance week. That meeting will be captured on video and will be available on HEUG Online soon after the conference.

When we set out to complete our strategic plan, we decided to take the next five years as our planning horizon (pretty standard for this kind of thing). A few themes emerged that both made the planning more challenging and underscored the need for this kind of activity. We notes the following three somewhat obvious trends:

- The world is getting smaller. Every day we all seem to be a little but closer. The instantaneous transfer of information around the globe and the relative ease of travel is making the world increasingly accessible to more and more people.

- Oracle is getting bigger. Over the past several years Oracle has grown dramatically in scale and scope. Each growth spurt triggers a series of questions across the Oracle user community about whether and how the growth will impact the community. 

- The higher education and research industry is changing rapidly. We may want to take a look at the article "How Disruptive Innovation Can Deliver Quality and Affordability to Postsecondary Education" for one perspective on this rapid change.

Again these are all fairly obvious to even the casual observer. The notable thing about them, though, is the speed at which they are happening. Taking that into consideration, it is very difficult to plan for a five year period when the world changes dramatically this quickly (we saw an example of this recently in Egypt). Yet, we must prepare the organization to not only meet these changes, but to leverage them to continue to excel. Having taken all of that into consideration, our strategic plan seeks to prepare us to answer several questions, including

- How do we best serve our membership globally?

- How do we interact with our growing Oracle and other vendor partners?

- How do we understand the changing industry in order to advocate on its behalf?

Ultimately we must seek to be prepared for any reasonable eventuality. As our dynamic world continues to be, well, dynamic, our readiness is all that will determine our success. That takes hard work and hard thinking. I hope you will join us in doing just that at Alliance in a few weeks to discuss the answers to these questions. If you have thoughts on these or any other challenges and opportunities we face, please to not hesitate to contact me directly at tsimpson@heug.org or to leave comments below.

Thanks and we hope to see you at Alliance in Denver!


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