Educause: 2011 Top Ten IT Issues Report

For this activity I decided to review the Educause: 2011 Top Ten IT Issues report. Just the title alone hooked me as it reminded me of something a manager told me once. “We do not face problems/issues here instead we have many opportunities and challenges to tackle”. While somewhat cliché I however started reading the report in a different light, that of a venturer seeking out possible venture opportunities rather than as an educator or learning technology specialist or even an IT leader/CIO that the report was primarily aimed at.

I found that the Educause: 2012 Top Ten IT Issues version was also now available and read both reports as part of my research.  Additionally, when I came across the 2012 report I also found this useful interactive graphic that tracks and compares the top 10 IT issues identified by Educause since 2000.

The “Top 10 IT Issues” report has been produced by Educause annually for 13 years. For the first 12 reports it was based on:

Members were asked to select the five most-important IT issues out of a selection of about thirty in each of four areas: (1) issues that are critical for strategic success; (2) issues that are expected to increase in significance; (3) issues that demand the greatest amount of the campus IT leader’s time; and (4) issues that require the largest expenditures of human and fiscal resources.

However, for the latest report they have changed the focus somewhat and its affect can be seen quite clearly in the difference between the top 10 list of 2011 & 2012. Only 2 issues from 2011 are evident in 2012’s list. The latest report was based on:

Members were asked the question: “What is the single-biggest IT-related issue currently facing your institution?” In an online survey in December 2011, panel members were asked to select the top IT issues for 2012 from the results of those focus groups and were invited to provide additional suggestions. Finally, the IT Issues Panel met in January 2012 to review the survey results and write-ins before voting on the final set of issues.

Top-Ten IT Issues, 2011

  1. Funding IT
  2. Administrative/ERP/Information Systems
  3. Teaching and Learning with Technology
  4. Security
  5. Mobile Technologies
  6. Agility/Adaptability/Responsiveness
  7. Governance, Portfolio/Project Management
  8. Infrastructure/Cyberinfrastructure
  9. Disaster Recovery / Business Continuity
  10. Strategic Planning

Top-Ten IT Issues, 2012

  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

In the original format of the report the 10 top IT issues were each described in detail and for each a list of “Strategic Questions” was posed by an expert in the field. In the latest report this format had been augmented by an additional 3 sections:

  1. Looking beyond Information Technology: Institutional Issues for 2012
  2. Looking beyond the Campus: Opportunities for Cross-Institutional Collaborations
  3. Looking beyond the IT Organization: Considerations for Institutional Leadership

These additions I feel provide extra food for thought and force the reader to think of IT in a more holistic or integrated way within educational institutions.


How, and how much, is it useful and valuable to the broader community of educators, as well as learning technologies specialists and venturers?

While the reports are primarily aimed at IT leaders/managers and decision markers, I think this report is also a valuable resource for others. For the venturers I think it is a good starting point for brainstorming on potential products and services they might create or provide. For educators and learning specialist it provides an overview of the current IT environment and the challenges IT teams face when implementing an IT infrastructure in their schools. It can hopefully help with communication and understanding between users and providers of technology within educational institutions.

Do you expect to seek out future versions of this report to help drive your own professional success, and also to recommend it to others in this regard?

Yes definitely, I think it gives a good overview of current and future IT issues and provides a launching pad (through the strategic questions) for further research and thought for each issue.

Posted in: Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace