How to Navigate EDUCAUSE’s Top 10 IT Issues for 2018
Every year, EDUCAUSE unveils predictions for the top ten IT issues for the year ahead. Curated by a select panel, the list encompasses the gamut of higher education tech trends. The trends for 2017 included information security, student success and completion, data-informed decision making, and data management and governance.
Meeting for quarterly discussions, the panelists identified a total of 18 issues, which they whittled into a list of ten trends—all of which fell within four themes:
- Planning and funding
EDUCAUSE’s Top 10 IT Issues for 2018
1. Information security
Like last year, information security took first place as EDUCAUSE’s top IT issue. This isn’t surprising. Given the increasing threat of breaches to data, information security is top of mind and here to stay. It’s critical that higher education institutions develop risk-based security strategies that keep pace with the ever-expanding presence of security threats and challenges.
We know that the success of your IT department is vital to the success of your institution. We are committed to providing industry-leading information security solutions. Through Jenzabar Cloud Services, we equip your institution with the scalable tools it needs to enhance security, extend your IT staff, and optimize system performance. In addition, you can rely on Jenzabar Managed Services experts in risk management to help you implement and manage data and network security plans, disaster recovery plans, and emergency alert systems.
2. Student success
Student success claims second place on EDUCAUSE’s list two years in a row! Again, this does not come as a surprise. Now, more than ever before, it’s critical to equip your students with the tools they need to succeed.
Here at Jenzabar, we believe that the seeds for student success are sewn before they even set foot on campus. That’s why we are passionate about providing students with the resources and tools they need every step of the way. Through Jenzabar Guided Pathways to Success, students are empowered from college readiness all the way through to completion and career. Jenzabar Retention and student success solution and services take a holistic approach to student success, allowing your institution to start small, make an impact, and grow your retention program.
3. Institution-wide IT strategy
For any institutional strategy to succeed, it is critical to have a campus-wide buy-in. This applies equally, if not more, to implementing an institution-wide IT strategy successfully. Repositioning or reinforcing the role of IT leadership is integral in achieving institutional missions and goals.
When it comes to implementing an institution-wide IT strategy, the right technology partner can make all the difference. Jenzabar is proud to be higher education’s trusted advisor. Our senior management team claims over 220 years of higher education experience and our typical client-serving Jenzabar associate has 20. Consequently, when we arrive on campus or take your call, you can rest assured that we have walked in your shoes and understand your needs.
That’s why we developed the Jenzabar One solution set, which gives you flexible deployment options, including a pace-layered approach where you can deploy one application at a time or a big bang approach to minimize running parallel systems.
4. Data-enabled institutional culture
With higher education evolving at unprecedented rates, it is critical that institutions incorporate business intelligence (BI) and analytics into their campus-wide conversations and methodologies.
To thrive in today’s higher education landscape, your institution needs the tools to make data-informed, fiscally-responsible decisions. We believe that predictive analytics is one of the most efficient, robust, and cost-effective ways to maximize institutional success. Extending the boundaries of traditional reporting, Jenzabar Analytics integrates seamlessly with Jenzabar solutions to extract institutional data, analyze it, and provide business performance reports so you can make your best decisions.
5. Student-centered institution
Again, this is a trend making its debut on EDUCAUSE’s list. What’s more, it’s important to note that this is the second student success-centric trend on the list—both of which earned a spot in the top five. This is both significant and emblematic of the mounting importance of the student-centered institution.
As with student success, we couldn’t be more excited to see this earn such a prominent spot on EDUCAUSE’s IT radar. Many of Jenzabar solution’s take a student-first approach, but it’s not only technology where we support students. Earlier this year, we debuted the Jenzabar Internship Program, designed to provide Jenzabar institution students with summer internships on their respective campuses. The program was a banner success, with 50 interns completing outstanding internship projects on their campuses over the summer.
6. Higher education affordability
With Americans owing over $1.3 trillion in collective student loans, higher education affordability is on everyone’s mind. It is essential that higher education leverage IT to drive institutional efficiency and innovation, and maximize return on investment.
Texarkana College knows a thing or two about improving services while significantly reducing annual operating costs. To keep pace with change, they knew they needed to implement a new ERP and, after considering a variety of options on the market, opted for Jenzabar. To say that this solution maximized return on investment is an understatement; after a year, the College had saved $1 million in annual operating costs.
7. IT staffing and organizational models
In the midst of retirements, new sourcing models, and growing external competition, the panelists unanimously agreed on the importance of sustainable staffing practices.
We recognize that hiring and retaining IT staff in higher education can be challenging, often lacking the resources to compete with more endowed tech-centric industries. Jenzabar Managed Services gives your institution the requisite tools to help your IT department deliver top quality services to all your constituents. Through this comprehensive suite of support and services, your IT department can focus on proactive management to deliver a secure, scalable environment with responsive services aligned with your institution’s mission.
8. Data management and governance (tied)
Tied with digital integration, data governance is another issue that earned a spot on both this and last year’s lists. Unparalleled levels of data require effective institutional data governance practices.
As part of your institution’s data governance practice, we believe it is critical you develop an institution-wide cloud strategy. Check out our high-level overview of the key elements of cloud computing in higher education, and learn best practices for developing and implementing an institution-wide cloud strategy to make the most of your technology.
9. Digital integrations (tied)
Tied with data management and governance, digital integrations are more important than ever before. To maximize success, higher education institutions count on interoperable, scalable, and extensible solutions across multiple applications and platforms.
Unveiled at our annual meeting in May, we have released Jenzabar One to be an interoperable solution set, exclusively serving the higher education community. Through it, colleges and universities have the freedom to choose the products that best suit their needs today and the flexibility to adapt to institutional and technological changes in the future.
10. Change leadership
In today’s higher education landscape, it’s critical that your constituents adapt to the increasing pace of technological changes. This is important in every department across campus, but perhaps nowhere more so than IT.
Over the summer, Jenzabar sponsored a University Business webinar that examined the upside to change on campus—particularly within the IT department. Lauding change as the catalyst that ushers new and innovative technology strategies, they discussed tacks for creating campus-wide buy-ins, identifying when to implement change, and avoiding common mistakes and pitfalls. To check out the full webinar, click here.