Higher education must accelerate technology adoption as students and faculty expect digitalization, according to a new report from the Information Technology Research Group

Combining insights from Info-Tech’s proprietary data and related industry diagnostics, the Emerging Trends report will help higher education technology leaders better understand the impact of emerging trends in the field. The findings reveal where higher education should be headwinding to advance institutional strategies through digital technologies.

“The role of the CIO in higher education is becoming increasingly important,” he said Mark Mayby, Director of Industry Practice Research at Info-Tech. “However, traditional academic hierarchies still limit the CIO’s position. During the pandemic, IT was asked to maintain organizational continuity. Now, leadership is again turning to IT to support digital transformation. With the constant need to do More, IT is gaining a seat, albeit in fits and starts.”

According to Info-Tech’s Stakeholder Satisfaction Data, higher education IT currently has a higher satisfaction score than the average for other industries. To truly scale up maturity, however, institutions themselves will need to adjust their priorities. The company explained that IT must coordinate with key stakeholders on a shared vision for the organization’s future and IT’s role in it.

“Many technology trends are accelerating, driven by demand, but so are CIO pain points,” Maby added. “There are challenges in meeting the demands of faculty, staff and administrators in the face of the pandemic; the need to keep up with changing student expectations; and the increased workload of IT departments. Despite these challenges, IT’s role is to help their institutions adopt technology and processes, looking at their long-term technical and security implications.”

A new report explores four trends higher education CIOs need to be aware of in order to innovate during another shift and gain insight into how they can dramatically impact operations and efficiency. With emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and big data, higher education can see many benefits, including:

  • Institutional Growth and Sustainability
  • Operational Excellence and Accountability
  • Teaching and Research Value
  • Reduce risk and increase resilience
  • Enhance brand influence

“Info-Tech’s approach focuses on analyst surveys of strategic foresight, a way to help IT departments and agencies understand what’s going on in the wider industry environment,” Maby explained. “As a methodology, strategic foresight goes from identifying signals to bringing them together to form trends and uncover what’s driving them to determine which strategic moves are most likely to be successful at the industry level.”

The following four strategic foresight trends outlined in the Info-Tech study should be top of mind for higher education IT leaders and executives in the coming months:

  1. Security is Survival – Make Protection Frictionless. As endpoints grow and boundaries shrink, IT must take a new approach to protecting organizations.
  2. New workplace/new learning space – meeting learner expectations. The way we teach, learn and work is constantly evolving, and IT needs to keep up with changes in technology and preferences.
  3. Recoding organizational DNA—value-driven modernization. As cloud-based systems become the norm, IT leaders need to consider the costs and benefits of moving to the cloud and whether organizations are ready, as most organizations do not have the foundation or mature enough enterprise systems to support cloud-based infrastructure.
  4. Lighten the burden – technology-driven transformation. Innovation is key for institutions to remain competitive in an ever-changing environment. IT can be a partner in this innovation.

The trend report also provides the benefits and risks of each trend, as well as case study-based recommendations that IT leaders can use to transform their higher education technology programs to improve strategic partnerships with stakeholders and advance institutional transformation .

To learn more about each trend that Info-Tech is reporting in the coming months, download and read the full 2022 Higher Education Strategy Foresight Trends report.

For more information on Info-Tech Research Group and to download all the latest research, please visit Information Technology Network and by connecting LinkedIn and Twitter.

About the Information Technology Study Group

Information Technology Research Group is one of the world’s leading information technology research and consulting firms, proudly serving more than 30,000 IT professionals. The company conducts unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely and informed decisions. For 25 years, Info-Tech has worked closely with IT teams to provide them with everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, to ensure they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

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