EDUCAUSE Top Ten Issues, 2014


By Susan Grajek and the 2013–2014 EDUCAUSE IT Issues Panel
The entire article and related data can be accessed here

article-header-art-TopTenFasten your seatbelts. From the looks of this year’s top-ten IT issues,1 2014 is turning out to be an exciting year. The field of higher education information technology is experiencing a sea change that has, arguably, been building since the advent of the personal computer in the early 1980s. It was then that IT organizations saw their mainframes challenged by microcomputer upstarts and that computing began to interest more than just the scientists and accountants. What we now call the consumerization of information technology has been developing ever since—chip by chip, app by app, and shopping cart by shopping cart. The democratization of information technology means that faculty and students have not only the desire but also the means to reshape the way they use technology in their work, that all members of the campus community want ubiquitous access to computing, and that presidents, provosts, and trustees expect to use information technology to help realize their institutions’ strategic visions.

Top-Ten IT Issues, 2014

  1. Improving student outcomes through an institutional approach that strategically leverages technology
  2. Establishing a partnership between IT leadership and institutional leadership to develop a collective understanding of what information technology can deliver
  3. Assisting faculty with the instructional integration of information technology
  4. Developing an IT staffing and organizational model to accommodate the changing IT environment and facilitate openness and agility
  5. Using analytics to help drive critical institutional outcomes
  6. Changing IT funding models to sustain core service, support innovation, and facilitate growth
  7. Addressing access demand and the wireless and device explosion
  8. Sourcing technologies and services at scale to reduce costs (via cloud, greater centralization of institutional IT services and systems, cross-institutional collaborations, and so forth)
  9. Determining the role of online learning and developing a strategy for that role
  10. Implementing risk management and information security practices to protect institutional IT resources/data and respond to regulatory compliance mandates*
  1. Developing an enterprise IT architecture that can respond to changing conditions and new opportunities*

* Tie

Many of the issues are not new. We have been discussing them for several years, and many appeared in one form or another in the top-ten lists for 2011 and 2012. But they have been the purview of early adopters and innovators, fodder for case studies and opinion pieces. This year the new ideas, solutions, and models that have been accumulating in higher education and technology will hit IT organizations—and the institutions they serve—fast and hard. 2014 is the year the front part of the herd will join the mavericks, tipping the balance for the rest.

Those who have been sitting back now need to sit up. Those who have been rolling their eyes about the overuse of words such astransformation and disruption may need to look for synonyms because even if the words may be tired, the phenomena they describe are very much alive and well. It is time to stop considering whether to “be the change you want to see in the world” because the change is here. It is time to be—and, better yet, to lead—the change you already see.

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