The combined student and employee population at Cedarville University, Cedarville, OH, is about 4,000. Yet, on any given day, more than 9,000 devices may be accessing the Internet through Cedarville’s system. That ratio illustrates why grappling with the rapid proliferation of web-enabled devices on campus is the new No. 1 concern on Educause’s recently released Top-Ten IT Issues report for2013.
“Now that faculty, staff, and students all have these portable devices, they expect to use them. Before, IT organizations had to address network coverage, but the pure density of devices on campus and their bandwidth requirements cause new challenges,” noted the report.
Issue No. 2 involves taking advantage of technology to help bolster students’ outcomes, an issue clearly influenced by recent pressure from legislators and others to focus on what students learn and ensure they’re getting value for their tuition dollars. A related issue calls for ascertaining a strategy to support online education.
Other issues new to Educause’s annual list include structuring IT staffing to meet new challenges and balancing the need to secure systems and information with the need for user access.
Five of the issues on the 2013 list are carryovers from 2012: creating strategies for institutional cloud computing, strategic funding for IT projects, supporting bring-your-own-device and other trends, using technology to take campus business initiatives to the next level, and tapping into data analytics to guide institutional outcomes.