Tallman Trask, Executive VP of Duke, and Peter Lange, Provost, are being interviewed by Jack McCredie on IT governance and funding.
In the last plan, Duke set aside $25 million for technology innovation with no prior commitment to exactly what it’s for. This came in handy, for example, in being able to quickly move forward on the iPod project. Tallman – “To watch Duke featured for 20 minutes on the CBS Morning News about what a technologically innovative place it is, you couldn’t buy that kind of publicity for ten times what the iPods cost.”
Jack asks about IT governance and funding issues affecting both the campus and the health system. Tallman replies that they made a very deliberate decision to run common administrative systems where the costs are shared, but that on clinical systems the health care folks are on their own.
In response to a question about how administrative systems are implemented, Tallman states that at Duke central systems are run as an “enlightened monopoly” by the central organization. He went on to note that they made a concerted effort to stamp out shadow systems and were, for the most part, successful.
The whole approach of Duke strikes me as an example of how governance works in an institution where the bulk of decision making resides in the central authorities, rather than in a more distributed manner (which Weill and Ross characterize as “feudal” organization) which seems more common in our institutions.