Today EDUCAUSE, higher education’s largest technology association, released its annual list of Top 10 IT Issues for 2017 highlighting student success as a priority for institutions. EDUCAUSE will also publish two related reports later this year: (1) the annual Top 10 Strategic Technologies report, which identifies relatively new technologies that institutions will be spending the most time implementing, planning, and tracking in 2017 and (2) Trends Watch 2017, which identifies IT and other trends exerting the most influence over IT strategy.

“The Top 10 IT Issues List may not change dramatically from year to year, because it takes many years to tackle the most significant issues” said Susan Grajek, vice president of data, research, and analytics at EDUCAUSE.  “But in discussions among the panel members who developed the final list, the primary priority for addressing today’s digital challenges was student success.”

Along with—and contributing to—student success, panelists also prioritized institutional success. These foci are illustrated throughout the IT issues, which can be categorized into the following four related themes: IT foundations, data foundations, effective leadership, and successful students.

“EDUCAUSE members understand their challenge, which is to use information technology to address their institutions’ most pressing priorities,” said Grajek. “Student success emerges for 2017 as the most universally important of those priorities. The themes that emerged throughout the IT issues illustrate the need to develop IT and data foundations, ensure effective leadership and enable successful students.”

2017 Top IT Issues

1. Information security

2. Student success and completion

3. Data-informed decision making

4. Strategic leadership

5. Sustainable funding

6. Data management and governance

7. Higher education affordability

8. Sustainable staffing

9. Next-generation enterprise IT

10. Digital transformation of learning

EDUCAUSE says their 2017 research–including The Top 10 IT Issues report, The Top 10 Strategic Technologies report, and the Trends Watch report–is important to higher education leaders and decision makers because it helps them anticipate and articulate challenges and inform their actions and strategic plans.

The list of top IT issues is developed by a panel of experts comprised of higher education IT and non-IT leaders, Chief Information Officers (CIO), and faculty members–and then voted on by the EDUCAUSE community. The annual Top 10 Strategic Technologies and Top Trends were identified during that same voting process.

The Top 10 Strategic Technologies report identifies relatively new technologies that institutions will be spending the most time implementing, planning, and tracking in 2017. The Top 10 Strategic Technologies were selected from a vetted set of 85 technologies.

(Next page: EDUCAUSE 2017 top IT issues, technologies and trends)


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