Message from the VPIT-CIO

By | June 10, 2019
A headshot of Ravi Pendse, U-M VPIT-CIO

Greetings, everyone!

Congratulations on the completion of another successful academic term. I was honored to attend my first commencement at Michigan Stadium, where the amount of accomplishment, pride, and spirit felt by the graduates and their loved ones in the audience was outstanding. It was truly an awesome sight to look out into the crowd of tens of thousands and witness their excitement. I also got to meet with our new governor and spent some time talking with her about technology and the wonderful work that is taking place across the Michigan IT community.

In last month’s message, I shared my main areas of focus for all of us to address together as we create a more cohesive digital experience for the university community. The first item on this list is to “Elevate the customer service: Improve the way we serve the U-M campus by providing proactive, laser-focused customer service.” This statement in itself invites valuable discussion, but one of the most frequent questions I hear is what do I mean by “laser-focused customer service”? What this truly boils down to is working with our customers to understand and help achieve their goals, tackling projects and problems with their needs in mind.

While we may be comfortable in our pockets of how we use technology, we need to be thinking about what is it that our users need—and then working together to make that happen. For example, ITS needs to provide their IT colleagues across the university with the support and tools they need to support their units, and ITS needs feedback and partnership with unit IT colleagues to support and maintain the systems and services that are relied upon by the university community.

I am also thinking a lot lately about the future of work, and the work of the future. Last week I participated in a series of presentations and panel discussion as part of Tech Trek 2019, “2029: What the Future Holds.” I joined presenters who spoke about mobility, data, medical devices, sensors and automation, and ethical and humanitarian questions surrounding these topics. I focused my remarks on interesting technology disruptions on the horizon, as well as key traits of successful organizations in the next decade, including leveraging automation, committing to lifelong learning, and creating an environment and culture where everyone feels empowered to share their perspective and ideas.

What do you think organizations and teams need to do well to be successful in the next decade? What interesting technology disruptions do you see on the horizon? I would love to hear your responses to these questions, as well as opportunities for the Michigan IT community to work together to accomplish in the next decade.

Best regards,


Ravi Pendse PhD
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
University of Michigan