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Presenting: Educause Top 10 IT Issues List

Here we are again! One of the highlights of attending the annual Educause conference, this year in Philadelphia, is that on or around the final day of the event the ‘Top 10 IT Issues’ list is released for the next calendar year. So what focus will 2018 bring us?

According to Educause the following are the Top 10 IT Issues as voted on by many-a constituent in higher ed. Before anyone balks at higher ed, please remember – we have a pervasive and continuous connection to not only industry of today, but the workforce, leadership and consumer of tomorrow.

The Top 10 IT issues for 2018

1. Information security: Developing a risk-based security strategy that keeps pace with security threats and challenges.

2. Student success: Managing the system implementations and integrations that support multiple student success initiatives.

3. Institution-wide IT strategy: Repositioning or reinforcing the role of IT leadership as an integral strategic partner of institutional leadership in achieving institutions missions.

4. Data-enabled institutional culture: Using BI and analytics to inform the broad conversation and answer big questions.

5. Student-centered institution: Understanding and advancing technology’s role in defining the student experience on campus (from applicants to alumni).

6. Higher education affordability: Balancing and rightsizing IT priorities and budget to support IT-enabled institutional efficiencies and innovations in the context if institutional funding realities.

7. IT staffing and organizational models: Ensuring adequate staffing capacity and staff retention in the face of retirements, new sourcing models, growing external competition, rising salaries, and the demands of technology initiatives on both IT and non-IT staff.

8. (tie) Data management and governance: Implementing effective institutional data governance practices.

9. (tie) Digital integrations: Ensuring system interoperability, scalability, and extensibility, as well as data integrity, standards, and governance, across multiple applications and platforms.

10. Change leadership: Helping institutional constituents (including the IT staff) adapt to the increasing pace of technology change.


Digital integrations? Change leadership? Yes yes yes yes yes!

Sure there was a ‘Strategic Leadership’ issue in 2017, but i feel like it’s possible we’re getting past the ‘buzzword-of-it-all’ and into the meat of the matter – it’s the change and the connectivity, in reality and virtually. We’re getting there!

So how this works. On a semi-regular basis I will publish my thoughts on each of the issues on the list, using wherever applicable real-life and absolutely current experience. While some of the topics bore me because they’ve been on the list for-e-ver, they are certainly all areas where a light needs to be shined within every institution. The sustainability of educating our nation relies on it. Of course that sounds dramatic, but let’s not pretend that for a very long time we (as in IT) have normalized ourselves to work at a speed that exceeds many of our university peers. We CAN model how to traverse the future in an impactful way as times they are a-changin’!

For more information on Educause, please visit their website:

Also the annual conference? I highly recommend. Obviously as you’ll see by the following ad. But next year’s event is on Denver so I do hope to see you all there amongst thousands of my very favorite folks.

Next up –

My thoughts on #10 Change Leadership! Likely my favorite so don’t miss it!