The IT Investments Securing the Future of Higher Education
The future of higher education still seems uncertain after the massive disruptions of the last two years. Universities and colleges are struggling with budget difficulties amid cybersecurity threats. Even amid these uncertainties, learning still moves forward, as IT leaders have stood in the gap by safeguarding and fulfilling the new normal that has been created by doing everything from securing remote learning to implementing transformative technologies and modernizing infrastructure. In the coming semester, cloud adoption and new collaboration tools will continue to be the key feature of higher education.
Education stakeholders have been using data-driven insights to create more sustainable and smarter education models. They will need to continue to do so. In order to help education leaders understand which investments were priorities, IDG and CDW partnered together to survey how K—12 and higher education leaders are handling spending in four key areas: workplace productivity, security, transformative technologies for students, and infrastructure modernization.
Here’s what they found. CIOs in K—12 schools and higher education will use these findings as a guide when considering which IT investments to prioritize.
Many campuses see professors working from home. Data and collaboration tools are vital to increasing workplace productivity, with 42% of respondents planning to invest further in collaboration to support workplace flexibility, productivity, and engagement.
The FBI issued a warning in March that online classrooms are highly vulnerable to cybercriminal hijacking. Colleges are also seeing a spike in ransomware attacks and phishing scams. According to the survey, 37% of those who make the decisions say third-party security assessments need to be the top priority. At the same time, 35% say the most vital technologies for risk mitigation are technologies that support remote learning and cloud technology, and 46% of higher education respondents were significantly more likely to cite data analytics as one of the top risk mitigation solutions.
Of the education leaders interviewed, 39% saw identifying cost savings as among the top ways to improve their risk posture over the next few years. In this way, they believe they can reinvest the money they save into more security enhancements.
Another 38% said that staff and faculty training remained a high priority. It’s vital that staff and faculty undergo security awareness training on a regular basis if the company is to stay safe.
Transformative Technologies for Students
The most transformational technology for students, it seems, is cloud adaption. Cloud-based client computing can deliver secure and consistent online learning for faculty and students on almost any platform. About 43% of respondents said that cloud monitoring and management would be a top priority for IT modernization this year.
Many college students were dissatisfied with their remote learning experiences in the spring. Therefore, universities and colleges have been modernizing the structure to enhance the student experience. In fact, 40% of education leaders say that improving experiences online is one of the top priorities. Still, 43% claim that the empowered students are the main drivers behind the investment and that they expect a seamless user experience.
From securing online learning to boosting student retention, education leaders everywhere are working hard toward a productive and secure future.