Top 10 Issues Facing Higher Education in 2016: What You Need to Know

Written by Danny Mareco Danny Mareco | February 3, 2016 | Read Time: 2 mins

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Managing information technology in higher education has never been a simple task. From changing budgets and increasing user expectations, to new requirements and the technology itself, keeping pace with all of the changes can seem nearly impossible.

It also doesn’t help matters much that most colleges and universities are trying to apply old answers to new problems. Campuses today believe that they’re current IT infrastructures or ecosystems should be able to support (without having to adapt or change) the increasing variety and capabilities of today’s new technologies.

How can you ensure your campus Wi-Fi network is ready to support not only today’s expectations and requirements but also scale and evolve as new technology comes online?

A great place to start is by taking a close look at EDUCAUSE’s Top 10 IT Issues for 2016. This detailed report offers a very transparent response to the current needs and most pressing issues facing campus networks today.

Again for this year, EDUCAUSE asked its panel of experts, which includes CIO’s and various other IT leaders, to help them create this year’s list. From there, the list was shown to each member of EDUCAUSE and ranked.

Themes in 2016 Higher Education

Each one of the 10 issues is placed within a specific theme selected by EDUCAUSE and its panel of experts. This year’s themes are:


(Issues #5 – Institutional Data Management & #8 – Enterprise Application Integrations)

Moving away from ineffective methods and embracing new practices that better support the new higher education environment.

You have to make room for new technologies and new infrastructures by “divesting” your institution from the inefficient strategies of today, which means optimization won’t work.

58% of higher education institutions report that business process redesign plays a major role when creating their new IT strategies.


(Issues #1 – IT Security, #4 – IT Hiring and Retention, #6 – Funding Models, #9 – IT Organizational Development)

It’s time that colleges and universities also lay the foundations for utilizing IT to create meaningful value.

Instead of looking at your IT budgets and spending as costs they should be instead looked at as investments.


(Issues #2 – Optimizing EdTech, #3 - Student Success Technologies, #7 – Business Intelligence and Analytics, #10 – E-Learning and Online Education)

To create real value colleges and universities need to understand when variability is a waste and when it actually adds value. Which specialized or standardized practices should you invest in rather than just pay for? Which activities or processes can you mold to create a meaningful difference in your mission, values or people (students, staff)?

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