Educause Analyzes How Higher Education Institutions Will Emerge from the Pandemic

IBL News | New York

Educause released its report 2021 Top IT Issues: Emerging from the Pandemic, intended to guide higher education leaders use technology.

This year, the institution offers three lists, examining the top 5 issues within three scenarios of restore, evolve, and transform.

“For some institutions, the pandemic will indeed be an extinction event. Others will strive to evolve, and our data suggest that many of those will incorporate some transformational elements and will also try to restore their previous financial health or cultures. But the pandemic will lead other institutions to reinvent themselves and, in doing that, contribute to higher education’s epigenetic change.”

“2021 will require that the higher education industry and its leaders answer the difficult questions and start moving forward to emerge from this pandemic—by restoring, evolving, and/or transforming.”

Educause identified several potential Top IT Issues for 2021.

Scenario 1: Restore. Figuring out what to do to get back to where we were before the pandemic.

#1: Cost Management
Reducing institutional costs and increasing workforce efficiency through process redesign and automation, data and analytics, and other technology solutions

#2: Online Learning
Strengthening online and hybrid education by providing on-demand support for course development and delivery and advocating for processes, policies, and support structures to increase student and institutional readiness

#3: Financial Health

Revising budget models and IT governance to preserve critical IT operations and capacities in the face of institutional financial challenges

#4: Affordability and Digital Equity

Providing increased support for students’ technology needs and enabling technology availability from anywhere, particularly off campus

#5: Information Security

Providing information security leadership that supports faculty, students, and staff returning to campus, while being budget-conscious and ensuring a safe and secure recovery

Scenario 2: Evolve. Focusing on adapting to the new normal.

#1: Student Success
Advancing student support services to help students attain their academic and career goals by integrating data systems, user interfaces, policies, and guided pathways

#2: Equitable Access to Education
Providing technologies, support, and policies for diverse users and equitable access to bridge the digital divide and reduce equity gaps

#3: Online Learning
Progressing from emergency remote teaching and learning to online learning by advancing best practices in technology-enabled teaching and learning

#4: Information Security
Developing a cybersecurity operations strategy that effectively detects, responds to, and mitigates security threats regardless of where students, faculty, and staff are located

#5: Financial Health
Partnering with advancement, research, and other institutional areas to develop new funding sources and partnerships

Scenario 3: Transform. Focusing on redefining our institution and taking an active role in creating the innovative future of higher education.

#1: Institutional Culture
Contributing to a culture of transformation by modeling agility and future thinking when designing IT programs and services

#2: Technology Alignment
Identifying and applying sustainable digital strategies and innovations that are driven by the institution’s ambitions and transformational goals

#3: Technology Strategy
Developing an enterprise architecture to enable business outcomes, manage data to enable decision-making and future opportunities, streamline business processes, and enable digital resources to keep pace with strategic change

#4: Enrollment and Recruitment

Exploring and implementing creative holistic solutions for recruitment, including analytics-based marketing around student career outcomes, technology-enabled transfer agreements and partnerships, and use of social media to build student communities

#5: Cost Management

Focusing digital transformation efforts and IT service delivery on helping the institution maximize value and reduce overhead.



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