Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Top IT Challenges for Higher Education

In January of 2017, EDUCAUSE released its Top 10 IT Issues report for 2017. This year’s report focuses on issues that affect student success at higher education institutions. Academic IT organizations support a wide array of users with drastically varying demands and needs. As colleges and universities are increasingly forced to do more with less, student success is a key indicator to measure the cost and value of higher education. The top IT issues identified were broken into four separate themes: (1) IT foundations; (2) data foundations; (3) effective leadership; and (4) successful students. The full list of issues and their descriptions are posted below:

  1. Information Security: Developing a holistic, agile approach to reduce institutional exposure to information security threats
  2. Student Success and Completion: Effectively applying data and predictive analytics to improve student success and completion
  3. Data-Informed Decision Making: Ensuring that business intelligence, reporting, and analytics are relevant, convenient, and used by administrators, faculty, and students
  4. Strategic Leadership: Repositioning or reinforcing the role of IT leadership as a strategic partner with institutional leadership
  5. Sustainable Funding: Developing IT funding models that sustain core services, support innovation, and facilitate growth
  6. Data Management and Governance: Improving the management of institutional data through data standards, integration, protection, and governance
  7. Higher Education Affordability: Prioritizing IT investments and resources in the context of increasing demand and limited resources
  8. Sustainable Staffing: Ensuring adequate staffing capacity and staff retention as budgets shrink or remain flat and as external competition grows
  9. Next-Gen Enterprise IT: Developing and implementing enterprise IT applications, architectures, and sourcing strategies to achieve agility, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and effective analytics
  10. Digital Transformation of Learning: Collaborating with faculty and academic leadership to apply technology to teaching and learning in ways that reflect innovations in pedagogy and the institutional mission

The EDUCAUSE “Top 10 IT Issues” website can be found at The full article is available at

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