Mira Lalovic-Hand
March 16, 2022

INSIGHTS ARTICLE: Rowan University - How Digital Transformation Drives Change Everywhere

BLOGS COMPANY LOGO - 2022-03-16T205344.977pillar%20page%20line%201

How Digital Transformation Drives Change Everywhere

Nearly a decade ago, Rowan University set out to increase enrollment, diversify its educational offerings, expand its research and health care portfolio and ramp up economic activity in the surrounding region.
The key to this ambitious agenda was the strategic and effective application of information technology. In 2013, as the newly-appointed CIO of Rowan University, I took the first steps on a journey of digital transformation that would eventually reach into every corner of the institution.
What started as digital transformation progressed to cultural transformation and business transformation, spurred automation and process improvement and changed how Rowan University operates and delivers its core services. Digital transformation does not happen in isolation. When you begin to realize change in one area, others follow suit.
Today, the University’s digital ecosystem — and the way employees, students, researchers and clinicians interact with it — is unrecognizable from a decade ago. Digital transformation, and all the transformations that stemmed from it, revolutionized the way Rowan University does business.
Leading an institution through radical change is not easy. You must have a firm but fluid strategy that aligns with overall business goals. Your strategy must also accommodate the political, economic and social realities of your organization.
In higher education, where progress is notoriously slow and budgets are particularly tight, the quest for change can seem hopeless at times. But with a strong leadership team, strategic foresight and sharp business acumen, you can motivate even the most reluctant among you to support the journey.
While the specific tactics that drove our transformation at Rowan University may not apply elsewhere, the guiding principles we used are worth sharing. First and foremost, our digital transformation efforts would not have been possible without a simultaneous shift in how information technology was viewed within the institution. We changed the perception of IT from a back-end utility to a business partner. This gave us a prominent seat at the decision-making table.
We built trust among the functional and academic units and established ourselves as change leaders and valued business partners through a series of demonstrated successes. This shift in our relationship at the beginning of our transformation journey led to even more change, as offices and departments started to turn to us to help them innovate and automate.
Under my leadership, we strategically invested in sophisticated business intelligence and data analytics capabilities to help attract, retain and support students. We executed a comprehensive network redesign that improved network speed, reliability and resiliency, and we launched a Project Management Office for the first time to oversee all major technological projects on campus.
Alongside those initiatives, we implemented an information security program to protect the University’s intellectual property. The implementation of this program kicked off a continuous transformation in our cyber security posture that serves as an engine for process improvement across the University. Cyber risks are constantly changing, and we must be ready to adapt and respond quickly to protect the University’s physical and information assets.
We simultaneously managed the day-to-day operational needs of a rapidly expanding university. In less than a decade, overall enrollment jumped by nearly 50 percent to about 20,000 students, and the physical footprint of the University expanded by more than a third from new construction and satellite campus expansions. The growth continues to this day, with plans to create New Jersey’s first veterinary school, open a 44,000-square-foot Fossil Park Museum and develop a new academic health system with health industry partners.
By strengthening our internal processes, building relationships and using data to inform decision-making, we balanced the operational needs of a growing university amid a large-scale transformation. All of this work culminated in March 2020 when the coronavirus forced a global shutdown. The major improvements and expansions in infrastructure and information services and the trust built between IT and academic offices and business units during my tenure paved the way for Rowan to seamlessly convert to a remote delivery model with unparalleled speed and efficiency.
As we look toward what challenges and opportunities lie ahead, my team is focused on giving the University a competitive advantage through the strategic application of technology. We’re working with our business and academic partners to reimagine how we deliver services to the University community and how we can better position ourselves to quickly adapt to emergent needs. We’re dedicated to helping university leadership reach its next set of goals and making Rowan University better and stronger by continuously improving on the digital ecosystem we’ve built.
This includes refining our service delivery model to better support flexible working, teaching and learning from anywhere, a shift in operations that will not be returning to pre-pandemic normalcy, and to enable a high level of research, as well as further embracing automation to allow departments and offices to train their focus on strategic initiatives and projects, rather than operational tasks.
These will be a few of our next steps on our journey of change, one we’ve realized will never really end. 


The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Industry Awards

The Largest Leadership-Level Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Event



Proqis Digital Virtual Conference Series

View our schedule of industry leading free to attend virtual conferences. Each a premier gathering of industry thought leaders and experts sharing key solutions to current challenges.

Download the most comprehensive OpEx Resport in the Industry

The Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Industry Awards Video Presentation

Proqis Events Schedule

Proqis Digital

Welcome to BTOES Insights, the content portal for Business Transformation & Operational Excellence opinions, reports & news.

Submit an Article

Access all 75 Award Finalist Entires
Subscribe to Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Insights Now
ATTENDEE - Proqis Digital Event Graphics-2
ATTENDEE - Proqis Digital Event Graphics (2)-1
ATTENDEE - Proqis Digital Event Graphics (1)-1

Featured Content

  • Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Technology & Communications: IBM
  • Best Achievement of Operational Excellence in Oil & Gas, Power & Utilities: Black & Veatch
  • Best Achievement in Cultural Transformation to deliver a high performing Operational Excellence culture: NextEra Energy
Operational Excellence Frameworks and Learning Resources, Customer Experience, Digital Transformation and more introductions
  • Intelligent BPM Systems: Impact & Opportunity
  • Surviving_the_IT_Talent_deficit.png
  • Six Sigma's Best Kept Secret: Motorola & The Malcolm Baldrige Awards
  • The Value-Switch for Digitalization Initiatives: Business Process Management
  • Process of Process Management: Strategy Execution in a Digital World

Popular Tags

Speaker Presentation Operational Excellence Business Transformation Business Improvement Insights Article Continuous Improvement Process Management Business Excellence process excellence Process Optimization Process Improvement Award Finalist Case Study Digital Transformation Leadership Change Management Lean Enterprise Excellence Premium Organizational Excellence Lean Enterprise Lean Six Sigma Execution Excellence Capability Excellence Enterprise Architecture New Technologies Changing & Improving Company Culture Agile end-to-end Business Transformation Execution & Sustaining OpEx Projects Culture Transformation Leadership Understanding & Buy-In Lack of/Need for Resources Adapting to Business Trends Changing Customer Demands Failure to Innovate Integrating CI Methodologies Lack of/Need for Skilled Workers Lack of/Need for Support from Employees Maintaining key Priorities Relationships Between Departments BTOES18 RPA & Intelligent Automation Live Process Mining BTOES From Home Cultural Transformation Financial Services Customer Experience Excellence Process Automation Technology Healthcare iBPM Healthcare and Medical Devices Webinar Culture Customer Experience Innovation BTOES Video Presentations Exclusive BTOES HEALTH Strategy Execution Business Challenges Digital Process Automation Report Industry Digital Workplace Transformation Manufacturing Supply Chain Planning Robotic Process Automation (RPA) BPM Automation IT Infrastructure & Cloud Strategies Artificial Intelligence Business Process Management innovation execution AI Lean Manufacturing Oil & Gas Robotic Process Automation IT value creation Agility Business Speaker Article Systems Engineering RPAs Insurance Process Design Digital Speaker's Interview data management Intelligent Automation digital operations Six Sigma Awards thought leaders BTOES Presentation Slides Transformation Cloud Machine Learning Data Analytics Digital Transformation Workplace Banking and Capital Markets Data Finance Professional Services Education IT Infrastructure IT Infrastructure & Cloud Strategies Live Blockchain Interview Solving Cash Flow with AI BTOES White Paper investment banking Analytics Insight BTOES19 Consumer Products & Retail Enterprise Agile Planning Government Operational Excellence Model Project Management Algorithm Automotive and Transportation Banking Business Environment Digital Bank Enterprise architecture as an enabler Hybrid Work Model Primary Measure of succes Relationship Management Sales business expansion revenue growth Adobe Sign Agile Transformation CoE Delivery solution E-Signatures Electricity Global Technology HealthcareTechnologies Innovation in Healthcare Reduce your RPA TCO Transportation Accounts Receivable (AR) Big Data Technology CORE Cloud Technology Cognitive learning Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) Logistics Services Operational Excellence Example Risk Management business process automation transformation journey Covid-19 Data Entry Digital Experience Digital Network Digital Network Assistant (DNA) Digitization Drinks Effective Change Leaders HR Internet Media NPS Net Promoter Score Program Management Portal (PgMP) Sustainability TechXLive The Document is Dead The New Era of Automation Automated Money Movement Banking & Financial Services Biopharmaceutical Blue Room Effect Building Your Future Workforce in Insurance Business Process Governance Capital Market Creative Passion Digital Transformation Workplace Live Digital Workforce Digitalization ERP Transformation Finance Global Operations (FGO) Financial Services Software Frameworks Hoshin Planning Human Capital Lean Culture Natural Gas Infrastructure Natural Language Processing Organizational Change Pharmaceutical Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences Project manager Supply Chain Management Sustainable Growth The Fully Automated Contact Center Transformation Initiatives Workplace Analytics eForms eSignatures 3D Thinking BEAM BFARM BTOES17 Big Data Processing Business Analytics Business Growth Centralized Performance Monitoring System Communication Creativity Digital Technologies Digital Technology Educational Psychologist Energy Management Health Insurance Health Maintenance Organizations Hospitality & Construction Human Centered Design Integrated Decision Approach Integrated Decision Making Intelligent Document Processing Kaizen Medicare Moodset for Excellence Natural Language Processing (NLP) Offering Managers Oil and Gas Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences Photographing Price and Routing Tracking (PART) Process Design Document (PDD) Product Identifier Descriptions (PIDs) Python Quote to Cash (Q2C) Resilience SAP Sales Quota Team Work Telecommunications Text Mining Visually Displayed Work Culture master text analytics virtual resource management