A different kind of technology recycling

Repurposing everything from drones to integration tools at Wellesley College

A different kind of technology recycling
Credit: Bob Brown/NetworkWorld

You can find plenty of examples of sustainability on a quick spin around Wellesley College in suburban Boston, where solar panels shimmer above the athletic fields and Wells on Wheels supply water in an effort to dissuade disposable bottled water use. But when Wellesley College CIO Ravi Ravishanker blogged this past week about the "Creative (Re)Uses of Technologies," he focused less on environmental green and more on maximizing the green spent on various technologies.

Ravishanker touted, for example, his team's resourcefulness in finding fresh uses for a drone acquired for teaching and learning -- and in fact, it was used by a college research team to film archeological sites in Greece. But since then, the drone has also been employed to map the school's Nehoiden golf course, and plans are to post the data online and maybe even work in some virtual reality technology to let people play a round remotely.

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Another example involved an integration tool called Nolij Transfer initially used to grab data on incoming students. But a clever staff member also came up with a way to pair the tool with ERP alternative Workday and administrative software Banner. "Our implementation partners were literally shocked to see how easy this is because this is where other institutions spend a lot of their time and effort. This is the kind of creative reuse that serves us well!," Ravishanker wrote.

All of which got me thinking if CIOs and IT professionals reading this have examples you might share of technologies you've bought for one reason that have been repurposed for another. If so, message me at bbrown@nww.com and I can compile whatever comes in...

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