According to the recently published EDUCAUSE Review, the Top Ten IT Issues for Higher Education 2016 cluster into three categories: divesting, reinvesting, and differentiation. Information technology in higher education is changing so rapidly that colleges and universities are challenged to find innovative ways to respond to the new and very different technologies that are shaping life on campus.
The annual Top 10 Issues list enables us a moment to take it all in–to pause amid the tremendous activity where higher education and information technology meet. When we know the biggest opportunities and biggest challenges, we can navigate the future more effectively and focus our energies in a more thoughtful and productive way.
Here is the EDUCAUSE List of the Top 10 IT Issues for Higher Education, 2016 followed by UT Austins responses (in italics):
- Information Security ( Further investment in Intrusion Detection Services )
- Optimizing Educational Technology ( Extending the Canvas Learning Management System and Exploring Digital Asset Management )
- Student Success Technologies ( Provost’s Office is taking the lead on Student Success initiatives, such as the new student portal )
- IT Workforce Hiring and Retention ( Continued investment in training, flexible schedules, and telecommuting where it makes sense )
- Institutional Data Management ( Continued Data Management governance and building the Institutional Data Store )
- IT Funding Models ( ITS zero-based budget update and the work of the Network Funding Task Force )
- BI and Analytics ( Enhancing Information Quest, and Learning Sciences is leading on developing Learning Analytics )
- Enterprise Application Integrations ( Administrative Systems Modernization and new Technical Architecture )
- IT Organizational Development ( Shifting to higher service levels with ITIL and ServiceNow )
- E-Learning and Online Education ( Project 2021, a five-year endeavor to modernize undergraduate degree programs )
While the correlations are not exact, the 2015 IT Governance Accountability Report does show many of our own IT governance priorities address the key issues. Whether it is creating a plan to retire under-utilized ITS services, building the Digital Asset Management System, improving the campus networks or enhancing the research computing infrastructure, UT Austin is in synch with the pressing requirements to anticipate, prepare for, and lead in the evolving world of IT in higher education. Doing so builds excellence in our core missions of teaching, research, and service while helping reduce administrative costs by being more efficient and effective.