Richmond, Va.
Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Thalhimer Family Scholar-in-Residence details IT architecture’s role in modern industry

Monday, March 5, 2012

As part of the Charles G. Thalhimer Family Scholar-in-Residence Program, Jeanne Ross, director of the Center for Information Systems Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management, visited the VCU School of Business last week to discuss the evolving role of information technology in businesses.

Ross met with members of the VCU and Richmond communities during her visit. Highlights included a lecture on March 1 geared toward VCU faculty and staff and a presentation open to the public on March 2 at the Commonwealth Club.  

“Information technology management has long been an area of focus for the School of Business and Dr. Ross provided all of our constituents with many examples of cutting-edge approaches that are currently in use in major companies,” said David Urban, executive associate dean of the VCU School of Business.

The MIT Center for Information Systems Research conducts field-based research on issues related to the management and use of information technology in large organizations. At the March 1 event, Ross said enterprise architecture has developed into a critical aspect of business operations and a highly complex one. In fact, Ross said that companies’ IT systems have grown needlessly complex and inefficient. As a result, most companies have experienced periods when IT is a serious liability, she said.

“Companies need to think smarter about how they are architecting themselves,” Ross said.

A particular problem that plagues many companies is when they attempt to align their IT solutions to their latest business strategies. The common complications that result are the strategies change and continue to change, while the IT solutions, which are much more difficult to revamp, remain the same, tailored specifically to dated strategies.

“That’s not the way to operate in a digital economy,” Ross said.

The Thalhimer Family Endowment was established in 1984 by Charles G. Thalhimer, Sr. to support VCU. This fund and the Thalhimer family continue to underwrite important programs at VCU and especially programs at the VCU School of Business.

“The Charles G. Thalhimer Family Scholar-in-Residence program is extremely important because it provides the VCU School of Business with an opportunity to bring world-class business scholars to campus where they can share their knowledge with students, faculty, staff and the broader community,” Urban said. “Over the years the Charles G. Thalhimer Family Scholar-in-Residence program has featured many prominent scholars in virtually every area of business. The generosity of the Thalhimer family in funding the program is greatly appreciated.”

In addition to the Thalhimer Scholar-in-Residence program, the Thalhimer Family Endowment sponsors the annual Thalhimer Executive-in-Residence program and provides a full tuition scholarship for two outstanding School of Business students each year.




Jeanne Ross, director of the Center for Information Systems Research at the MIT Sloan School of Management, spoke at the Commonwealth Club on “The IT Unit of the Future: Rethinking the Value Proposition” as part of her visit through the Charles G. Thalhimer Family Scholar-in-Residence Program
Harry Thalhimer, president, Thalhimer Headwear, and member of the VCU School of Business Foundation Board of Trustees; Jeanne Ross, the 2012 Charles G. Thalhimer Family Scholar-in-Residence; and Ed Grier, dean of the VCU School of Business