The EDUCAUSE 2021 Top IT Issues [video]

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The EDUCAUSE Top IT Issues list has been refactored for 2021 to help higher education shape the role that technology will play in the recovery from the pandemic.

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Narrator: Thanks to our 2021 Top IT Issues sponsor Spectrum Enterprise. The COVID 19 pandemic has challenged all industries and sectors and higher education was no exception. Yet, the diversity of campus cultures, financial health, business models, and students led to a similar diversity in the impact of and response to the pandemic. And there's every reason to expect similar diversity in higher education's emergence from the pandemic. With this in mind, EDUCAUSE took a different approach to this year's IT Issues project. With planning horizons sharply attenuated, we thought a single list of top issues was too constraining. Instead, we used a scenario approach to consider three different ways institutions might emerge from the pandemic. The first scenario is restore. The institutions in this scenario will be focused on figuring out what to do to get back to where they were before the pandemic.

Melissa Karmer Cresswell: We can't just do everything that we've been doing a little less. We need to figure out what are the things that we can still go 100% on.

Narrator: EDUCAUSE members ranked the top five issues in this scenario as cost management, online learning, financial health, affordability and digital equity, and information security. The second scenario is evolve. The institutions in this scenario will be focused on adapting to the new normal.

D.P. Harris: We're entering the interactive era of education interactive and on demand era of education. So the 2020 plus era, our students are expecting an on-demand interactive multimedia experience. We need to transform our courses to meet the needs of the current students. Use the technologies and methodologies that they're used to using.

Narrator: EDUCAUSE members ranked the top five issues in this category as student success, equitable access to education, online learning, information security, and financial health. And our third scenario is transform. These institutions will be focused on redefining themselves and taking an active role in creating the innovative future of higher education.

Joe Mancini: In a lot of ways COVID was an accelerator. It made us do things that we just weren't getting around to essentially.

Narrator: The top five issues in this scenario include institutional culture, technology alignment, technology strategy, enrollment and recruitment and cost management. What will be left and what will we face on the other side of COVID-19? What role will technology play in the recovery for higher education? Will the pandemic prove to be higher education's extinction event or will this ecosystem emerge stronger and fitter for the future? Let's put ourselves in the post-pandemic future and reflect on what it might bring. Thanks to 2021 Top IT Issues sponsor Spectrum Enterprise.