A long road with 2019, 2020, 2021 and beyond

Here’s how to future-proof your college campus


Leaders must focus on transforming academics, securing data, improving student services, and modernizing IT to support future innovation on campus

Improving student services

Institutions know they need to improve student services in the face of increased competition for students. Online services, such as portals and mobile apps, are important to this goal. For instance, mobile apps can offer admissions information, orientation schedules, activities, and map progress toward academic goals.

Up next: Technology will play an even bigger role in improving students’ experiences. For instance, leaders at Florida State University are looking to companies such as Disney and Netflix to create a completely new experience for students using artificial intelligence and data.

Securing students and data

Cybersecurity and physical security are both in the top 10 concerns for campus leaders. Education and campus community involvement are important to both security efforts.

Institutions are responsible for a vast amount of private data and personal information, but many are at risk for security breaches and attacks. Many institutions are partnering to create shared cybersecurity centers that monitor threats around the clock, while others are encouraging students and faculty to take extra steps to protect their data.

Up next: Security systems will evolve to feature AI-powered tools identifying suspicious behaviors. New technologies could help students wield more control over their academic credentials and data after graduation. Many ed-tech leaders recognize the importance of blockchain in creating secure digital records of learning and credentials.

Related: What will universities be like in the future?

Modernizing IT

CDE survey participants say that, on average, roughly half of their IT infrastructures need immediate investment, and this includes nearly all departments and business functions from email and financial systems to learning management and student information systems.

Data management is an especially challenging area, and just 8 percent of surveyed leaders say their institutions manage data in a highly effective manner.

Up next: Using advanced analytics systems could inform and improve decision-making, and these systems are particularly important as campus leaders move to create smart campuses.

Laura Ascione