These higher-ed IT issues, previewed at EDUCAUSE 2019, will shape IT leadership in 2020.

10 higher-ed IT issues that will dominate 2020


These higher-ed IT issues, previewed at EDUCAUSE 2019, will shape IT leadership in 2020

Grajek interviewed senior institutional leaders and CIOs across the country to develop “Higher Education’s Grand Challenges” which provide a useful backdrop for this year’s Top 10. According to her research, the key issues facing higher ed are:

  • Student success: Persistence, retention, and completion; engagement; and outcomes
  • Financial health: Enrollment, costs, funding, and natural disasters
  • Reputation and relevance: Affordability, political climate, teaching, academic programs, and research
  • External competition: Alternative credentials, employer-based learning, talent, and global higher education

The top 10 higher-ed IT issues, which will be released with more details in January 2020, are:

1. Information security strategy: Developing a risk-based security strategy that effectively detects, responds to, and prevents security threats and challenges (#1 in 2019)

2. Privacy: Safeguarding institutional constituents’ privacy rights and maintaining accountability for protecting all types of restricted data (#3 in 2019)

3. Sustainable funding: Developing funding models that can maintain quality and accommodate both new needs and the growing use of IT services in an era of increasing budget constraints (#7 in 2019)

4. Digital integrations: Ensuring system interoperability, scalability, and extensibility, as well as data integrity, security, standards, and governance, across multiple applications and platforms (#5 in 2019)

5. Student retention and completion: Developing the capabilities and systems to incorporate artificial intelligence into student services to provide personalized, timely support

6.Student-centric higher education: Creating a student-services ecosystem to support the entire student life cycle, from prospecting to enrollment, learning, job placement, alumni engagement, and continuing education

7.Improved enrollment: Using technology, data, and analytics to develop an inclusive and financially sustainable enrollment strategy to serve more and new learners by personalizing recruitment, enrollment, and learning experiences

8. Higher education affordability: Aligning IT organizations‚ priorities, and resources with institutional priorities and resources to achieve a sustainable future (#10 in 2019)

9. Administrative simplification: Applying user-centered design, process improvement, and system reengineering to reduce redundant or unnecessary efforts and improve end-user experiences

10. The integrative CIO: Repositioning or reinforcing the role of IT leadership as an integral strategic partner of institutional leadership in supporting institutional missions (#9 in 2019)

Laura Ascione