IT Security, Mobile Among Top IT Strategies

January 13, 2016

Information security has leaped to the top of Educause's annual list of IT issues facing higher education, released Wednesday morning. The emphasis on IT security comes after a year of data breaches at government agencies, major corporations and institutions such as Pennsylvania State University. In last year's report, hiring and training IT staffers took the top spot. A separate list of IT strategies, also released on Wednesday, shows colleges are growing more interested in using mobile devices both in classrooms and administrative offices.

Educause uses a panel of administrators, staffers and faculty members to pick the top issues and strategies, which are then ranked by the organization's members. This year's theme is "divest, reinvest and differentiate," meaning colleges are looking to use technology to set themselves apart. To do so, however, the colleges need to re-evaluate their budgeting and the services they provide. This year's full rankings:

Top IT issues:

  1. Information security
  2. Optimizing educational technology
  3. Student success technologies
  4. IT workforce hiring and retention
  5. Institutional data management
  6. IT funding models
  7. Business intelligence and analytics
  8. Enterprise application integrations
  9. IT organizational development
  10. E-learning and online learning

Top strategic technologies:

  1. Incorporation of mobile devices in teaching and learning
  2. Software as a service
  3. Administrative or business performance analytics
  4. Accessing online components of blended/hybrid courses from mobile devices
  5. Mobile apps for enterprise applications
  6. Service desk tool and management strategy
  7. Learning analytics
  8. Data collection and sophisticated analytics methodologies for information security
  9. Application performance monitoring
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