Get the latest live chat benchmark data broken down by team size & industry

Read more

Higher Education Guide - How to meet your students' sky-high support expectations

Increase student engagement & satisfaction with these proven strategies

Read now
HE hero banner
The Top 4 Challenges Facing Higher Education IT Departments blog featured image

The Top 4 Challenges Facing Higher Education IT Departments

It’s an exciting but challenging time for IT departments in higher education. The introduction of new technologies into education is rapidly improving the student experience and outcomes. 60% of students agree that technologies introduced since Covid-19 have improved their learning and grades. However, on the other hand, IT departments must now juggle an ever-growing digital infrastructure and the security issues that come along with this. 

If this wasn’t enough, IT departments are now also expected to provide fast and convenient support to students and faculty who are learning how to use these new technologies, alongside the typically high general support requests. 

To meet the needs of higher education students and institutions today, IT departments have a lot on their hands. Here are the 4 key challenges facing higher education IT professionals today. If you’d like to learn more about this and how your department can tackle these challenges, download the cheat sheet below. 

The 4 Challenges Facing IT & How to Overcome Them

The 4 Challenges Facing IT & How to Overcome Them

Discover how IT departments are tackling the 4 universal challenges that all higher education institutions are facing in this complete guide.

Read more
Slides

1. Growing digital infrastructure 

Closures during the COVID-19 pandemic forced higher education to adopt remote learning tools in a hurry. Strikingly, tools that were only meant to keep schools open have now resulted in better outcomes, with 60% of students saying that new learning technologies have led to improved grades.  

It’s clear that digital learning tools have been a net benefit for schools and students, and there’s no sign of slowing down. The education technology market is expected to see $133.05 billion USD in growth from 2021 to 2026. Unfortunately, supporting these new digital tools and channels presents a challenge for IT departments in higher education whose resources are already stretched. 

2. High support volumes 

While technology creates new ways to provide services, it also raises expectations. Today’s students have grown up in a time when the Amazons of the world have set the bar at a level that few higher education institutions can hope to meet. Coming from these high expectations, it’s little surprise that 75% of Gen Z agrees that the experience a company provides is as important as its services. 

To meet student expectations, higher education has seen spending on student services growing at four times the rate of spending on instruction. With higher education IT departments working to manage student expectations, high support volumes become a significant challenge to overcome. It’s not enough to simply provide high quality service anymore because the majority of Gen Z believes service quality also relies on outstanding speed and convenience. 

3. Data security 

Strong data security has always been expected from public organizations, but unfortunately public trust has been stretched in recent years. While institutional trust among higher education remains high, major improvements are possible. A survey of undergraduate students across the U.S. showed that more students trust their school with their data (45%) than understand how their school uses their personal data (22%). 

To maintain student trust, colleges and universities must be more open in their data security policies. This is a challenge taken up by IT departments that requires compliance with the top industry regulations and standards. 

4. Staffing issues 

As higher education deals with admissions challenges in the wake of the pandemic, institutions with limited resources increasingly struggle to recruit new talent. Inside Higher Ed has even referred to this as an “invisible understaffing epidemic.” 

Especially in the IT sector, remote work options have allowed employers with deep pockets to siphon away available talent. 54% of recruiters have now seen candidates turn down an interview or job offer for lack of flexibility and remote work. As with many in-demand jobs, IT departments in higher education are now challenged to maintain adequate staffing levels. 

Wrap-up 

To meet the needs of higher education students and institutions today, IT departments have a lot on their hands. Here are the 4 key challenges facing higher education IT professionals today. If you’d like to learn more about this and how your department can tackle these challenges, download the cheat sheet below.

The 4 Challenges Facing IT & How to Overcome Them

The 4 Challenges Facing IT & How to Overcome Them

Discover how IT departments are tackling the 4 universal challenges that all higher education institutions are facing in this complete guide.

Read more
Slides

About Kate Rogerson

Kate is the Content Marketing Manager at Comm100. She has extensive experience in content creation for technology companies across the world, including the UK, Australia and Canada. She specializes in B2B messaging, branding and soccer trivia.