cybersecurity IT issues

EDUCAUSE: The top 10 IT issues in 2018

Security once again tops the list of EDUCAUSE's Top 10 IT Issues in higher education. A focus on student success and programming becomes prominent.

It’s that time again when almost every attendee part of the annual EDUCAUSE conference crams next to each other in a convention ballroom to hear about what their higher ed peers have to say about the IT issues and challenges they expect to face next year.

EDUCAUSE’s annual IT issues report is published in the beginning of the year, but this session provides a great preview of what’s to come. Attendees were granted an exclusive preview of ‘2018’s Top 10 IT Issues,’ and panel members discussed the issues and their importance. [Editor’s note: See the 2017 issues here.]

“I bet you can guess what the top issue of 2018 is,” said Susan Grajek, vice president of communities and research for EDUCAUSE, “because it was the same top issue for last year and the year before–security!”

New tweaks or additions to this year’s list include a move from data-informed decision-making to data-enabled institutional culture, strategic leadership to change leadership, sustainable staffing to sustainable funding, digital transformation of learning to digital integrations, and next-gen enterprise IT to institution-wide IT strategy.

IT strategy moved significantly up on the list, with last year’s enterprise IT coming in at number 9 and this year’s institution-wide IT strategy coming in at number 3.

The Top Ten 2018 IT Issues were also grouped into four major themes for 2018, which include Students, Data, Security, and Planning and Funding.

The Top 10 IT issues for 2018

1. Information security: Developing a risk-based security strategy that keeps pace with security threats and challenges.

2. Student success: Managing the system implementations and integrations that support multiple student success initiatives.

3. Institution-wide IT strategy: Repositioning or reinforcing the role of IT leadership as an integral strategic partner of institutional leadership in achieving institutions missions.

4. Data-enabled institutional culture: Using BI and analytics to inform the broad conversation and answer big questions.

5. Student-centered institution: Understanding and advancing technology’s role in defining the student experience on campus (from applicants to alumni).

(Next page: IT issues 6-10)

6. Higher education affordability: Balancing and rightsizing IT priorities and budget to support IT-enabled institutional efficiencies and innovations in the context if institutional funding realities.

7. IT staffing and organizational models: Ensuring adequate staffing capacity and staff retention in the face of retirements, new sourcing models, growing external competition, rising salaries, and the demands of technology initiatives on both IT and non-IT staff.

8. (tie) Data management and governance: Implementing effective institutional data governance practices.

9. (tie) Digital integrations: Ensuring system interoperability, scalability, and extensibility, as well as data integrity, standards, and governance, across multiple applications and platforms.

10. Change leadership: Helping institutional constituents (including the IT staff) adapt to the increasing pace of technology change.

For more information on EDUCAUSE’s 2018 IT issues, be sure to check the EDUCAUSE website and news in spring 2018. For more information on the conference, click here.

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