Information technology is growing at such a furious pace that colleges and universities are finding it hard to keep up. CIOs are also under the pressure of students expecting more and more. The demonstration of information technology’s business value has become a priority, as information technology can go a long towards helping an institution reach its targets.
Things have changed a lot since the early days. There was a time when the college library was seen as one of the main selection criteria by prospective students. It still is an important feature, but now we are seeing students being much less dependent on ‘books’. Day after day, information technology is having a greater role in higher education.
One of the major changes in student mindset over the years has been to focus more on ‘analysis’ than on simply memorising information – search engines like Google have made students see memorising too many facts as not as important as it used to be. With smart-phones in students’ hands, information has become instantly accessible at any time and from any place.
Among the selection criteria of prospective students are campus facilities like mobile applications and Wi-Fi. Many students have become extremely dependent on the benefits of wireless internet. With almost all students using smart devices, providing sufficient bandwidth is becoming an increasingly difficult task for higher education institutions. Higher education institutions are now prioritising sufficient user support.
Mobile computing has also become one of the top priorities of higher education institutions – they are quickly creating mobile applications for providing information related to academics. These mobile applications are also used to provide campus resources. Business analytics is also seeing increased use by CIOs. Digital badges are now being considered as a replacement for course certificates or diplomas.
Another priority is to see to the enhancement of the IT organization’s ability to manage change, which can be a challenge as there can be great differences within a community as far as priorities, abilities etc are concerned. CIOs are also seeing the importance of the development of security policies concerning cloud, mobile and digital resources. Development of IT architecture with high adaptability is also being considered as a priority.
There is also the understanding that being a higher education institution filled with young people, one can’t be rigid for the sake of security. Therefore, CIOs are seeing the need for the perfect balance of speed and security, while still remaining open. Bandwidth is being considered as one of the most important priorities because if the bandwidth is not sufficient, students will find themselves ‘handicapped’.
Saving time is also being seen as a top priority by CIOs. CIOs are seeing the need to go about making the changes and upgrades necessary to save everyone’s time – whether it’s a student’s time or a professor’s. Another priority is the modernization of core applications. Consolidation is seen as a very effective strategy by CIOs to speed up the technology side of a higher education institution.
The IT revolution has taken over the world of higher education. Education has actually become much ‘smarter’.