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Top-Ten IT Issues for 2012
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Items below have been selected to provide further information on the 2012 top-ten IT issues. These resources may include articles, conference presentation materials, blogs, feeds, webinar archives, podcasts, and wikis that you can access by browsing and searching particular issues and topics in the EDUCAUSE Library.

  1. Updating IT Professionals' Skills and Roles to Accommodate Emerging Technologies and Changing IT Management and Service Delivery Models
  2. Supporting the Trends toward IT Consumerization and Bring-Your-Own Device
  3. Developing an Institution-wide Cloud Strategy
  4. Improving the Institution's Operational Efficiency through Information Technology
  5. Integrating Information Technology into Institutional Decision-Making
  6. Using Analytics to Support Critical Institutional Outcomes
  7. Funding Information Technology Strategically
  8. Transforming the Institution's Business with Information Technology
  9. Supporting the Research Mission through high-Performance Computing, Large Data, and Analytics
  10. Establishing and Implementing IT Governance throughout the Institution

 

1. Updating IT Professionals' Skills and Roles to Accommodate Emerging Technologies and Changing IT Management and Service Delivery Models

EDUCAUSE Library resources on Professional Development and Support Services

"7 Things You Should Know About ITIL." EDUCAUSE 7 Things brief, October 2010.
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a framework for guiding the design and delivery of IT services.

"Attract, Retain, and Engage the Best: Building an Inclusive IT Culture through Professional Development." ECAR research bulletin, June 2010.
This bulletin explores the process of building an appreciation for diversity into the fabric of an organization through a program that employs an innovative approach to professional development. Developed for the University of Rochester IT staff, the IT Professional Development Program capitalizes on the diverse talents of an IT organization to improve human capital and create transformational collaborations.

"Competency-Based Career Ladders for IT Professionals." ECAR research bulletin, June 2009.
This bulletin examines how CIOs can adopt competency-based human resource practices in their IT organizations to enhance the versatility of IT professionals. The bulletin is based on practices adopted at Pepperdine University. In 2007 Pepperdine embarked on a project to deliver a competency-based set of career ladders for all IT professionals across the institution and reorganized its IT practices to emphasize versatility.

"Continually Developing Your IT Staff: Three Proven Models from Experienced Leaders." Midwest Regional Conference 2011 presentation.
Three organizations share how they are approaching staff professional development challenges including the training for competencies needed in the future, but ensuring support for current organizational direction and needs.

The EDUCAUSE 2011 Core Data Service Report: Highlights and Insights into Higher Education Information Technology. January 2012. (Provides a broad view of the IT workforce.)

The Higher Education CIO: Portrait of Today, Landscape of Tomorrow, 2011. ECAR research report, October 2011. (Provides broad statistics of IT staffing levels.)

"Professional Development and Staffing for the Cloud." EDUCAUSE Live!, August 2010.
This webinar discusses how the utilization of cloud services will impact the skill set requirements and professional development paths for our staff.

"Talent Management: Aligning IT's Most Strategic Asset." EDUCAUSE Live!, September 2010.

"Technical Skills No Longer Matter." EDUCAUSE 2011 presentation.
What are the attributes that separate high and low performers among IT staff? Rarely are they associated with technical skills. In this recording, participants were challenged to align competencies across common IT positions, resulting in a set of best practices that will develop plumbers into strategists.

"Using Technology Dollars Wisely." EDUCAUSE Quarterly 34, no. 2, 2011.
To avoid overstaffing to meet peak times, IT leaders can bring on outside technologists during service and upgrades to core software that would otherwise force core IT staff to neglect everyday tasks to handle. In addition to the added flexibility, outside technologists bring a new perspective and expertise that can energize IT staff on campus.

2. Supporting the Trends toward IT Consumerization and Bring-Your-Own Device

EDUCAUSE Library resources on BYOD and Consumerization of IT

Field Research: Mobility in the Age of Consumerization. ECAR/Gartner report, February 2012. (ECAR subscription required for access.)
This 31-page report analyzes the results of a Gartner research study performed between August and October of 2011. The study focused on enterprise mobility and was designed to generate qualitative data using in-depth conversations and qualitative analysis. Trends, observations, and recommendations are the core of this research. The report includes recommendations that are appropriate to colleges and universities today.

"From Users to Choosers: Central IT and the Challenge of Consumer Choice." EDUCAUSE Review 45, no. 6 (November/December 2010).
This article discusses how the rise of the new consumer-oriented ubiquitous computing will reshape—and reduce—users' reliance on enterprise IT. As the people institutions are accustomed to thinking of as users refashion themselves into choosers, colleges and universities will need to devise new ways of supporting constituents and looking out for institutional interests.

"Going Mobile with a Web-Based Strategy." EDUCAUSE Quarterly 34, no. 1, 2011.
UCLA chose a mobile web strategy around an in-house–created Mobile Web Framework to deliver a device-agnostic environment with graceful degradation and a unified mobile presence.

"Navigating the Next IT Revolution," EDUCAUSE Live!, September 2011.
IT consumerization is one of three transformative forces in information and communications technology that rivals the disruptions that came with the advent of personal computing.

"A New Direction in Student Computing: Developing Spaces and Services to Meet Students' Evolving Needs." EDUCAUSE 2010 presentation.
The University of Washington has transitioned to a new model of student computing that reduces the number of general-access computing centers while developing new spaces and services to support students' use of laptops and netbooks on campus. This presentation includes research findings, recommendations, new solutions, and lessons learned.

3. Developing an Institution-wide Cloud Strategy

Resources on the EDUCAUSE Cloud Computing Microsite, specifically Cloud Decision Making

"Alternative IT Sourcing Strategies: Six Views." EDUCAUSE Review 46, no. 4 (July/August 2011).
Six CIOs are interviewed about alternative IT sourcing strategies and about whether they are, or aren't, "doing it themselves" at their institutions.

"Professional Development and Staffing for the Cloud." EDUCAUSE Live! August 25, 2010.
This webinar provides an overview on staffing issues when using cloud services. Questions asked include: What are the types and levels of information that IT professionals must understand and advance in the growing space of cloud computing? How will technical work change? How will the staff gain skill sets in negotiation, interorganizational collaboration, and risk management?

"Strategic Outsourcing and Cloud Computing: Reality Is a Sober Adversary." ECAR research bulletin, 2009.
This bulletin examines outsourcing and cloud computing through the lens of strategic decision making for higher education. Strategic decisions have long-term impact, create institutional advantage, are difficult to reverse, affect organizational scope, stretch resources and competencies, and often require high-level governance. As such, they are inherently risky because they often involve a high degree of uncertainty. Outsourcing, particularly when applied to core or infrastructure services, can have unintended consequences that should be weighed during the decision-making process.

"What Campus Leaders Need to Know About Cloud Computing." EDUCAUSE executive briefing, April 2011.
This briefing provides a high-level overview of cloud computing, including how it changes IT service and financial models, and the possible risk factors in moving services into the cloud.

"Which IT Strategy and Why? Betting on Clouds, Collaboration, and Contracts (or Contrarians?)." EDUCAUSE 2011 presentation.
Is there such a thing as a coherent IT strategy among the myriad decisions that confront IT leaders? Is each new or replacement system a unique challenge, or is there value in a larger plan? In this session, CIOs from major CIC (Big Ten) institutions debate their own experiences in making those decisions and assess the road ahead.

4. Improving the Institution's Operational Efficiency through IT

EDUCAUSE Library resources on Business Process Improvement and IT Effectiveness

"An Average Day with Mobile Technology." EDUCAUSE Quarterly 34, no. 1, 2011.
This slideshow provides examples of how one Student Affairs professional has incorporated the use of mobile technology to maintain daily productivity.

"Business Process Management." Evolving Technologies Committee, 2008.
The author provides a detailed explanation of a business process management solution in a higher education setting.

Exploration of Partnership Opportunities for Campus Collaborative Tools — Final Report. University of California, Berkeley, 2007.
This report was written by a committee from UC Berkeley that was charged with examining the benefits and drawbacks of outsourcing campus messaging services, such as e-mail and calendaring, to an outsourced vendor. The committee also explored associated collaborative tools offerings, such as collaborative writing; social bookmarking; photo, audio, and video sharing; and mapping.

Good Enough! IT Investment and Business Process Performance in Higher Education. ECAR research study, 2005.
This study takes a complex look at the performance of so-called business processes in higher education, with a special focus on how IT investments have influenced that performance. It explores the question of what higher education has gained from its sizeable investment in improving business processes.

"IT-Based Transformation in Higher Education: Possibilities and Prospects." EDUCAUSE paper, 2012.
The author points out that achieving both greater efficiency and better outcomes through information technology requires a commitment to fundamental, unfettered thinking about the future both within and outside current institutions.

"SharePoint: 7 Views and Uses from around Campus." Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference 2012 presentation.
This session highlights Princeton University's successful implementation of SharePoint over four years ago. The presenters showcase the ways that people around campus have used it to enhance or facilitate administrative tasks and activities.

"Unified Communications: How We Got Thereand Saved Money Doing It." EDUCAUSE 2010 presentation.
Audio and slides from this session describe how Minot State University designed, tested, and implemented a pure unified communications environment that included a single identity with presence at the core; a single inbox for e-mail and voicemail; and a unified user experience across voice, conferencing, instant messaging, and e-mail.

5. Integrating Information Technology into Institutional Decision-Making

EDUCAUSE Library resources on IT Strategic Planning and Institutional Strategic Planning

"Facing Education's Mounting Challenges with Collaboration and IT." ECAR research bulletin, April 2011.
This bulletin offers higher education executives and their IT leaders reasons and recipes for joining together to decrease the lag time from technological to organizational innovation. It outlines higher education's priority challenges in terms familiar to executives and governing bodies in higher education. The summary of these challenges, "the completions priority and its interconnected challenges," can provide IT leaders a faster start toward richer discussions with executives.

"Harnessing the Power of Information Technology: Open Business Models in Higher Education." EDUCAUSE Review 47, no. 2 (March/April 2011).
"One key to harnessing information technology to improve outcomes and reduce costs is business model innovation that results in more open, unbundled operations in learning and credentialing, research and development, and business management."

"Information Technology and Tomorrow's University: A President's Confessions and Advice." EDUCAUSE Review 46, no. 1 (January/February 2011).
The author of this article provides suggestions to IT leaders to address several core technology issues and challenges and argues that these issues constitute six building blocks that can form a new pyramid, one leading ultimately to higher education IT value.

"Making the Case for the Information Strategy." ECAR research bulletin, September 2011.
This bulletin seeks to address the general experience of universities, wherein the tension between information management and general management is a universal concern. The starting point is that there is a case for an information strategy at the formal and ambitious end of the spectrum.

"Strategic Plan Recommendations: Proposed Initiatives." Framingham State University, 2011.
The University Technology Council at Framingham State began developing new recommendations and proposed initiatives for updates to the university's strategic plan in 2010. The resulting 5 major recommendations and 25 proposed initiatives provide a coherent guide for the university's strategic use of information, application of technology, and provision of related services beginning in 2011 through 2015.

6. Using Analytics to Support Critical Institutional Outcomes

EDUCAUSE Library resources on Analytics, Academic Analytics, Learning Analytics

"7 Things You Should Know About Analytics." ELI 7 Things series, April 2010.
This two-page brief provides a description of analytics and how these data tools provide statistical evaluation of rich data sources to discern patterns that can help individuals at companies, educational institutions, or governments make better informed decisions.

"Analytics in Higher Education: Establishing a Common Language." ELI white paper, January 2012.
First, we present the different descriptions of the various types of analytics being discussed in the academic and practitioner literature. Second, we propose a conceptual framework that depicts the types of analytics and their relationship to each other. Finally, we propose a synthesized set of definitions for analytics-related terms commonly found in academia.

"Analytics Rising: IT's Role in Informing Higher Education Decisions." ECAR research bulletin, May 2011.
This bulletin describes how CIOs and other IT leaders, through a focus on analytics, can work together with other institutional groups to provide clear and meaningful information for decision makers across all institutional levels.

"Assessment and Analytics in Institutional Transformation." EDUCAUSE Review 46, no. 5 (September/October 2011).
This article points out how assessment and analytics, supported by information technology, can change institutional culture and drive the transformation in student retention, graduation, and success.

"How the ICCOC Uses Analytics to Increase Student Success." EDUCAUSE Quarterly 33, no. 4, 2010.
This article examines how the Iowa Community College Online Consortium turned to analytics to identify at-risk students so that educators could intervene and offer customized support to struggling students.

"The Power and Potential of Analytics in Higher Education." EDUCAUSE Live!, November 2011.
This webinar focuses on the higher education ecosystem of analytics and the interrelationships of data developed for standard reports to query and inform stakeholders about student outcomes. The session addresses challenges including institutional capacity, talent, and collaborative skills, as well as balancing institutional needs with current vendor solutions.

The Rise of Big Data in Higher Education.* EDUCAUSE Live!, March 2012.
The era of big data has arrived in higher education as IT becomes increasingly embedded in the processes that constitute "going to college," such as course enrollment, classroom instruction, and student services. Of equal value, data about student journeys, successes, and failures can be captured to improve both individual and collective outcomes across all of higher education when provided back to students in useful ways. *This webinar is part of the Spotlight on Analytics series.

7. Funding Information Technology Strategically

EDUCAUSE Library resources on IT Funding

The EDUCAUSE 2011 Core Data Service Report: Highlights and Insights into Higher Education Information Technology, January 2012. "The IT Organization, Budgets, and Funding" chapter provides statistics on where IT funding sources are from and what the budget is being spent on.

"Expert Discussion Session: Unexpected Outcomes from the Cost-Cutting Era." EDUCAUSE 2011 presentation.
Two CIOs share their experiences and some of the outcomes from these belt-tightening measures.

"Funding-Model Archetypes for Central Information Technology Functions." ECAR research bulletin, January 2012.
This CDS Spotlight ECAR research bulletin focuses on EDUCAUSE Core Data Service survey results related to funding models for IT functions.

"Increasing Corporate Philanthropy to Enrich Technology Innovation in Higher Education." EDUCAUSE Quarterly 33, no. 4, 2010.
The author provides suggestions for higher education in creating partnerships with corporate philanthropists.

8. Transforming the Institution's Business with Information Technology

EDUCAUSE Library resources on IT Effectiveness

"Facing Education's Mounting Challenges with Collaboration and IT." ECAR research bulletin, April 2011.
This ECAR research bulletin offers higher education executives and their IT leaders reasons and recipes for joining together to decrease the lag time from technological to organizational innovation. It outlines higher education's priority challenges in terms familiar to executives and governing bodies in higher education. The summary of these challenges, "the completions priority and its interconnected challenges," can provide IT leaders a faster start toward richer discussions with executives.

"If Not Now, When?" EDUCAUSE Review 46, no. 6 (November/December 2011).
The author discusses the unprecedented challenges facing the educational system along with higher education's cultural success at solving challenges through the widespread application of information technology have created the conditions for rapid change.

"IT-Based Transformation in Higher Education: Possibilities and Prospects." EDUCAUSE paper, 2012.
The author points out that achieving both greater efficiency and better outcomes through information technology requires a commitment to fundamental, unfettered thinking about the future both within and outside current institutions.

9. Supporting the Research Mission through High-Performance Computing, Large Data, and Analytics

EDUCAUSE Library resources on High-Performance Computing (HPC)

"Data-Intensive Research: The Implications of 'theFourthParadigm' for Universities Today." EDUCAUSE 2011 presentation.
This video discussion illustrates the far-reaching changes this new paradigm will have on scientific discovery and what it means to you in supporting the advancement of research.

E-Science and Data Support Services. ARL member study, August 2010.
This study draws on data from 57 of 123 ARL member libraries (a 46% response rate for the survey). Over 75% of survey respondents reported that their institution either provides infrastructure or support services for e-science or is planning infrastructure for such activities.

"Five New Paradigms for Science and an Introductionto DataONE." EDUCAUSE Review 47, no. 2 (March/April 2012).
The five paradigm shifts described in this article have created a need for new information infrastructure and research approaches.

"Making the Case for the Information Strategy." ECAR research bulletin, February 2012.
This bulletin seeks to address the general experience of universities, wherein the tension between information management and general management is a universal concern. The starting point is that there is a case for an information strategy at the formal and ambitious end of the spectrum.

"Innovation and Information Infrastructure: Making Sound Investments for E-Research." ECAR research bulletin, November 2010.
This bulletin provides a framework to assist universities in making sound investments in research information infrastructure in an increasingly complex global knowledge economy. In today's globalized world, many of the drivers and challenges are common across the world's developed and developing nations—hence, the strategies adopted by nations and universities are becoming increasingly similar across the globe.

10. Establishing and Implementing IT Governance throughout the Institution

EDUCAUSE Library resources on IT Governance

"Decentralized IT Governance and Policy in Higher Education." ECAR research bulletin, 2009.
This bulletin focuses on the challenges and strategies related to integrating IT governance and policy across multiple university entities (schools, colleges, departments, and campuses).

The EDUCAUSE 2011 Core Data Service Report : Highlights and Insights into Higher Education Information Technology. January 2012. (Page 10 includes information about alignment between IT and institutional strategic plans.)

"Making IT Governance Work." ECAR research bulletin, October 2010.
This bulletin details the strategic approach to IT governance currently in practice at Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom. With applicability to higher education institutions globally, the bulletin covers the practical matters related to adopting a model and then putting governance into practice.

"Organizing IT for Optimal Value: Which IT Governance Structure Is Best for Your Organization?" EDUCAUSE 2008 podcast.
This session presents a few different approaches to IT governance and their relative strengths and weaknesses. These models will help you consider IT governance strategies that may be a good fit for your organization.

Process and Politics: IT Governance in Higher Education. ECAR research study, 2008.
This study examines the extent of participation in IT governance by campus leaders and constituents; the use of IT governance mechanisms such as IT steering committees, project review, and performance measurement; and practices associated with good IT governance outcomes.

"Two Views of Alignment." EDUCAUSE Review 45, no. 2 (March/April 2010).
This article showcases views from both from the top of the institution and from the top of the IT organization. The authors explore how the IT organization can best align with and support the institutional mission, this Leadership department column is co-authored by the president and the CIO of the University of Central Florida.

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