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Analytics Demystified: The Business of Higher Education

Why You Need to Invest in IT in 2019

January 30, 2019

In our recent blog post 8 Higher Education Trends You Need to Be Ready for in 2019, we took a close look at the business and societal trends that will be front and center in 2019. In this post, we are focusing on the technology trends that will shape your plans over the upcoming year.

Putting Your Data to Work

Tasked with achieving more with less, institutions are turning to the one resource they have in plentiful supply: data. Properly mined and analyzed, your data can be used to predict student performance, improve student retention, and measure program effectiveness. That's why, according to this recent report released by EDUCAUSE, higher education institutions are expected to more broadly adopt analytics technologies in 2019.

The good news about this trend is that you likely have a mountain of data residing in your systems. The bad news is that it is getting harder and costlier for you to get at it and make use of it. Many institutions find that their data is siloed away in various departments and chained down to departmental agendas. If creating a culture of data-driven decision-making is one of your goals for 2019, you'll need to invest in technologies that will help you efficiently find, collect, and understand all the data you have tucked away. 

Turning to Managed Services

As institutions increase their use of data analysis, their faced with added challenges such as protecting the privacy of their student information. But their IT resources are already under strain from the ceaseless influx of new technologies on campus.

To relieve the burden on their IT staffs, institutions will be turning this year to managed services to take on duties such as data protection. Hiring a managed services can supplement your day-to-day resources, gain you knowledge and skills in new technologies, and free up internal resources for more strategic projects. If keeping your IT resources robust enough to protect your data is a priority this year, look into hiring managed services.

Being Mobile-Friendly

Nearly 90% of students own a smartphone, and for good reason. Being online gives them the 24/7 access to people, products, and services that they need because they are unbelievable busy. 

Recent surveys have found that a quarter of college students are both full-time workers and full-time students. Nearly 40 percent of undergraduate students and 76 percent of graduate students work at least 30 hours a week. One in four is caring for a child. That's why unhindered access to financial and educational advisers is so critical to the new student's success. 

When your students find the time to reach out to you, you need to be online and available. If meeting your enrollment, retention, and net tuition revenue targets is key to your 2019 success, you need to invest in technologies that will let you engage with students at all times, on all devices. 

Moving to the Cloud

Your students are digital natives. If you want to enroll and retain them, you need to be a digital native too. Your digital transformation plan can no longer be delayed or short-changed. Your ability to compete depends on it.

Digital transformation requires adopting practices across your organization that foster communication, engagement, and collaboration. These practices must permeate organizational culture to be truly successful. Cloud computing is the foundation for a successful digital transformation. Moving to the cloud is the surest way to align the technology and operations of your organization as you make the digital shift.

Organizations cite cost savings as their primary drivers for cloud adoption. They also list increased flexibility, scalability, and speed. If completing your institution's digital transformation is a top priority, it might be time to move to the cloud.

2019 will be a pivotal year for institutions to invest in digital technologies. Those who do invest will find themselves better equipped to compete in the changing higher ed market.

Digital Transformation in Higher Education

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