IT Forum Perspectives

What we're looking forward to at EDUCAUSE

We’re heading to Orlando for the largest gathering of higher education IT leaders, the EDUCAUSE annual conference. At EDUCAUSE, members of our team will be attending panels and presentations according to themes. We’re excited to be a part of the scene, see many of our members in person, and get a feel for what people are talking about.

Here’s what our staff members are looking forward to at the conference:

  • Kevin: The Data-Driven Enterprise
  • Ben: GRC benchmarks
  • Laura: Central IT
  • Will we see you there?

    If you'll be in Orlando for the conference, don't hesitate to stop and chat. We'll also be live tweeting throughout the week, so follow us on Twitter to get updates on what we're learning at EDUCAUSE.

Kevin Danchisko, Analyst
IT Forum

The Data-Driven Enterprise is a key research topic that we're focusing on, and I’m getting excited for some of the presentations related to business intelligence (BI).

Here are the themes I’ll be looking at:

Leveraging Business Intelligence (BI) to create change
Given all the opportunities BI provides, I’m excited to hear Lois Brooks discuss OSU’s approach especially given their inclusion of data as strategic asset in their strategic plan.

Relevant Sessions: Leveraging Data for Strategic Advantage; BI-Driven Social and Cultural Change

Presenting data and analytics in a meaningful and usable way

Robert Howard at Armstrong State University will discuss analytics and storytelling, which is all the more important because showing people raw data isn’t impactful in a world of tweets and infographics. Our colleagues from the Academic Affairs Forum recently profiled the University of Kentucky and its UKMobile App that includes one-question “micro-surveys” to obtain data about students as part of their student success research, so I’m particularly interested to hear Kentucky’s CIO Vince Kellen discuss this further.

Relevant Sessions: Connecting Data and Ideas through Effective Storytelling; Organize to Get Analytics Right

  • Speech“We’re missing opportunities to improve the university. We’re missing opportunities to increase our retention rates; we’re missing opportunities to get students graduated in four years; we’re missing opportunities to understand where we need to be recruiting.”
    -CIO and IT Forum member

Ben McGuire, Analyst
IT Forum

For our research on security awareness and governance, I’m excited to hear what CIOs and CISOs are rolling out. Seeing the tactics in person will really help contextualize all the research we’ve done so far. The key themes that I’ll be listening for are:

IT Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) benchmarks
There's a lot of interest in benchmarks on GRC practices within all types of institutions and the ECAR data should help illuminate the state of practice in the industry.

Relevant Sessions: Get Your Ducks in a Row: IT GRC in Higher Education

The role of the CISO
IT security is expected to be a major growth area at all types of institutions in the next five to ten years- this will mean new investment, power, and responsibility at the CISO level. Several of our members will be presenting on this topic, and I can’t wait to find out where they plan to move in the space.

Relevant Sessions: Strengthening CIO and CISO Collaboration on Security and Privacy

Laura Whitaker, Practice Manager
IT Forum

My “domain” is IT leadership, functional governance, the role of IT, among others. Here are key themes I'll be listening for:

Central IT can be a truly aligned/strategic function, and CIOs can be sources of leverage for university leadership
IT is a function critical to institutions' mission success, but is too often viewed as a mere utility. I'll be very interested to see how Doris Kearns Goodwin’s lessons from presidential leadership apply to the challenges of leading higher ed IT!

Relevant sessions: Increasing the Awareness of IT’s Value on Your Campus; Aligning IT with the Institutional Mission; Business Models, Higher Education, and the CIO; Envisioning the Future CIO; Technology Leadership and the CIO

Evolving the IT funding model (currently "broken" according to one panel session title)
Recently a CIO said to me, “when I ask others how they view IT they say ‘as a strategic enabler,’ but then they budget us as a cost center.” That’s not cool sustainable!

Relevant sessions: Funding Technology; Managing the IT Investment Portfolio

Next, Check Out

Using data to drive decision-making on campus has become a top priority for many institutions. But making it a reality is no small feat. Learn three elements we've uncovered in our research that can help you get from A-to-B on BI.

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