IBM Academic Initiative

Building skills for a Smarter Planet

Spotlight on Dr. Ron Dattero

Making education relevant with IT Service Management

Dr. Ron Dattero
Professor, Department of Computer Information Systems
College of Business Administration
Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, USA

Dr. Ron Dattero has the Professional Level Competence Certificate in ITSM and the Foundation Certificate in ITSM according to ISO/IEC 20000 and the ITIL version 3 Foundations Certificate. He has published numerous articles, including "An Overview of Information Technology Service Management" in Communications of the ACM.

An innovative leader at Missouri State University

Professor Ron Dattero is keenly focused on helping students be more than "book smart." He wants them to also graduate with a set of skills they will need to be successful in the workforce. Throughout his career, he has insisted that students gain experience in collaborating and applying current technology to "get the job done" in a results-oriented business environment. And, he understands the importance of delivering business value. These beliefs led him to play a key role in the creation of an Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) undergraduate major at Missouri State University, which was the first of its kind in the USA and perhaps in the world. ITSM is a discipline for managing IT systems that is philosophically centered on the customer's perspective of IT's contribution to the business, as opposed to technology-centered approaches to IT management and business interaction.

In 2007, when this effort began, ITSM was not present in university curricula. Dr. Dattero worked closely with two of IBM's leading experts on ITSM, Paul Kontogiorgis and David Graves. Together they were able to launch a very successful program at unprecedented speed as described in this YouTube video. To date, Dr. Dattero has taught more than 250 students in the Missouri State University ITSM program and many of them have also achieved ITSM professional certification, which gives them a valuable credential to add to their resumes before they begin their careers. The IBM Academic Initiative has promoted the ITSM curriculum by providing no-cost IT Services courseware to its members.

Continuing to be a forward thinker, Dr. Dattero introduced his students to ITSM-specific games, such as the IBM Service Management Virtual Simulator, which challenges them to solve ITSM problems. The IBM Service Management Virtual Simulator is an engaging way for students and IT professionals to learn ITSM concepts. Dr. Dattero also led the recent movement to bring the IBM Academic Skills Cloud to his school. Missouri State University is now one of 50 institutions in the world providing their students with hands-on experience in an enterprise-level environment that is growing rapidly in importance. Dr. Dattero taught the first cloud computing class using the new technology in Spring 2012.

In our technology-driven world where businesses must adopt new practices and implement new tools to stay ahead of their competition, universities struggle to keep students in pace with these developments. Thanks to Dr. Dattero, his supportive administration, and the smart application of IBM resources, Missouri State University is making significant strides.

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