Feb 17 2022

Preparing for Long-Term University Success

Proactivity and preparedness are just the first steps in higher education strategic planning.

In higher education, strategy is all about the big picture. Thinking strategically goes beyond preparedness and proactivity. Colleges and universities are well past the triage period of the early pandemic and are thinking about the permanent technology changes and improvements that they’ll take away from the experience for the enduring success of their institutions.

EDUCAUSE identified its top 10 higher education IT issues for 2022, which consider many of the lessons these institutions learned over the past two years. The list begins with developing a shared vision and strategy that guides an institution’s digital transformation. It addresses student success as institutional success, noting that investments in digital equity have lasting effects on student experience. Finally, the list notes how proactive risk management techniques help support a sustainable university.

Universities are Actively Planning for Prolonged Success

In this issue, we’re sharing stories about colleges and universities that are thinking strategically to meet their long-term goals. At North Central Missouri College, a digital transformation project has modernized its network, streamlined its data center and improved physical security as part of the college’s five-year strategic plan. The University of Florida worked with NVIDIA to build a network fast enough to support the largest supercomputer in higher education, which calls its campus home.

Cross-departmental and cross-campus strategies contribute to overall university success. Higher education institutions also stand to benefit when they establish cloud centers of excellence as part of their overall cloud adoption approach. At Arizona State University, the team established a CCoE early in its journey to help align priorities across the university. And institutions like Virginia State University and Utah State University are using IT service management platform ServiceNow to coordinate campuswide department operations, beyond IT.

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Strategy extends to student experience as well. Networks of schools in Idaho and New Mexico are banding together to share coursework via online consortiums. While many schools scrambled to put together online programs at the height of the pandemic, these partnerships are thinking strategically to build the infrastructure needed to support them for the long term.

By prioritizing IT spending to support campus modernization, research endeavors, service management and student experience, these schools are setting themselves up for success.

The higher education landscape is always changing, and colleges and universities are consistently asked to switch gears on the fly. In times like these, having a forward-thinking strategy already in place can only be an asset.

Ryan Petersen
Editor in Chief

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