Nov 18 2015

Information Security Ranked Top Issue for Higher Ed IT in 2016

2016 is just around the corner, and higher ed leaders have already pegged 10 top areas of focus.

Security has become a top priority among many higher education leaders, according to a new IT trends list from EDUCAUSE.

Attendees of EDUCAUSE 2015 were treated to a preview of the organization’s 2016 Top 10 IT Issues and Strategic Technologies. The annual survey polls EDUCAUSE’s members on their expectations for the biggest challenges that will face the leaders of higher education IT in the coming year.

During the show, EdTech spoke with Susan Grajek, EDUCAUSE's vice president for data, research and analytics, about what higher education institutions should take away from this year's list.

Among the biggest shifts from last year — information security tops the list.  Grajek says that ranking is related to the volume of data and the rate at which cyberthreats are increasing.

"There's just so much more data that we need to manage, but also because the threats keep increasing," says Grajek.

The 10 issues are divided into three themes: Divest, reinvest and differentiate. These reflect the areas of focus EDUCAUSE members believe should be placed on IT issues in the future.

"In order to create the room and the capabilities and maturity to differentiate and invest in e-learning and analytics in a real, competitive way, institutions need to retool and re-engineer what they're doing," says Grajek. "Divest yourselves of some of the older ways that you may be delivering services, but also some of the ways that you may be managing data."

The top 10 IT issues of 2016 are:

  1. Information Security (Reinvest)
  2. Optimizing Educational Technology (Differentiate)
  3. Student Success Technologies (Differentiate)
  4. IT Workforce (Reinvest)
  5. Institutional Data Management (Divest)
  6. IT Funding Models (Reinvest)
  7. BI and Analytics (Differentiate)
  8. Enterprise Application Integrations (Divest)
  9. IT Organizational Development (Reinvest)
  10. E-Learning and Online Education (Differentiate)

The full report from EDUCAUSE, including a detailed overview of each issue, will be released in January. For now, a preview can be downloaded from EDUCAUSE's website.


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