New CIO Prioritizes Collaboration
Published: Monday, February 27, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 02:02
Lisa Davis, the university's new Chief Information Officer, hopes to use her extensive career experience to change the way students interact with technology.
After serving 23 years with the Department of Defense and three years as the CIO for the U.S. Marshals Service, Davis assumed her role at the university Feb. 6.
"What really intrigues me is being able to come into an organization where I can effect change, be a part of that change, see an organization evolve and leave it better than when I came in," she said.
Davis said that in the past she has been known as a transformational CIO, a reputation she plans to uphold in her new position.
In her first three weeks on campus, Davis has begun working with both students and faculty to improve information technology at Georgetown, focusing on developing customer service and improving operations.
Davis emphasized the importance of both establishing a standard for IT service and publicize initiatives and changes.
"One of my first priorities is not only to … communicate that vision, so everyone knows where we're going, why we're going and how we're going to get there, but also to ensure that investments we make from a university perspective are investments that make sense," she said.
Students who have worked with Davis in her first month have taken notice of the enthusiasm she has brought to the job.
"It's exciting to have someone in the position who can truly analyze what is going on and where we need to go," GUSA Secretary of Information and Technology Michael Crouch (MSB '13) said. "She's truly going to look at the needs of all of the different players of the university and be able to develop solutions that work for every single one of them."
According to Davis, about 60 percent of the campus does not have wireless internet, and it is not feasible to rewire the oldest buildings on campus.
"We must find a hybrid solution, so that we can build a solid infrastructure with all these additional capabilities we want to bring to the university," she said.
The first step for Davis is to merge all university email accounts into the Google-supported Hoyamail system over the summer. Students already use this platform, but faculty email accounts are spread across five different systems.
Davis has also been involved in developing a Georgetown mobile application, a platform that will launch within the next two months.
Aside from focusing on structural improvements, Davis wants to gauge students' thoughts on the university's technology through a summit in April.
"The whole idea of the technology summit is to get people excited about technology innovation and have people collaborating on solving problems," she said.
The event will feature small-group problem-solving discussions and presentations by vendor companies.
Davis said she is inspired by the energy she feels on campus and looks forward to working with students.
"It's always nice to have the latest tool, but really technology should be about, ‘How does it make me more productive? How does it help me manage my time? How does it help me be more effective with what I'm doing day-to-day?'"
Students who have talked with Davis believe that she has the tools to answer those questions.
"If [Davis] continues to keep the dialogue open with students about what their needs are, she'll be able to judge that she's going in the right direction," Crouch said.