IT Trends

Report: Most Higher Ed CIOs Expect Digital Transformation to Cause Significant Change to The Business Model

More than half — 59 percent — of chief information officers working in higher education expect a significant change to their organization's business model as a result of digital transformation, according to a recent survey from Gartner.

The information is from Gartner's 2018 CIO Agenda Survey, which included responses from 3,160 CIOs in 98 countries, 247 of which work in higher education.

A third of higher ed CIOs who responded identified enrollment as their top business priority, leading all others.

"The growing need to ensure academic quality by competing for the best and the brightest explains the second business priority, student success (22 percent)," according to a news release. "Enrollment and student success are both related to growth/market share, but only 14 percent of the respondents explicitly mention this as a top business objective, putting it in joint third place, alongside retention."

Technology areas identified by higher CIOs as most "most important to helping your business differentiate and win or is most crucial to achieving your organization's mission" include:

  • Business intelligence and analytics, cited by 23 percent of respondents;
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP), at 15 percent, came in second, which is "surprising," according to a Gartner news release, "as higher education institutions, in general, have not had a good track record in using ERP to re-engineer the institutions' operations and decision making";
  • Customer relationship management, at 12 percent, "clearly supports enrollment and retention business objectives";
  • And e-learning and learning management systems, in fourth place at 11 percent, are "similarly aligned with business priorities such as student experience and success," according to the company;
  • Infrastructure and data centers were cited by 11 percent of respondents;
  • Cloud services and solutions were called a priority by 10 percent of higher ed CIOs surveyed;
  • Student information systems were called a priority by 6 percent of respondents;
  • 5 percent of higher ed CIOs surveyed said that digitalization and digital marketing are business priorities;
  • 4 percent said that security and risk are priorities; and
  • The same number, 4 percent, said that networking and communications are a top business priority.

There was no clear winner for the "top tech areas for new spending," according to the survey, with information security coming in first at 18 percent, followed by ERP at 16 percent and business intelligence and analytics in third at 15 percent.

"Compared to the top new technology spending list for all survey respondents, one key thing stands out," according to a news release. "New spending on digitalization/digital marketing is mentioned by 12 percent of respondents overall, but doesn't appear at all on the higher education list, despite "digital" being fifth in top business priorities."

The remaining top 10 areas for new tech spending according to the CIOs surveyed include:

  • Networking and communications at 14 percent;
  • Cloud services, also at 14 percent;
  • E-learning and learning management systems at 13 percent;
  • Infrastructure and data centers at 12 percent;
  • Customer relationship management at 7 percent;
  • Communication and connectivity at 3 percent; and
  • Student information systems, also at 3 percent.

"Compared to the top new technology spending list for all survey respondents, one key thing stands out," according to Gartner. "New spending on digitalization/digital marketing is mentioned by 12 percent of respondents overall, but doesn't appear at all on the higher education list, despite 'digital' being fifth in top business priorities."

Further, digitalization and digital marketing is only ranked as the eighth most important business objective by higher ed CIOs, while it's at number two for CIOs in general.

"This may be because higher education is among the least digitized industries," said Jan-Martin Lowendahl, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, in a prepared statement. "The average higher education institution has a large backlog of digital enablement before it can even think about digital transformation."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

comments powered by Disqus

Campus Technology News

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.