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Learnings and themes from the 2019 EDUCAUSE Conference in Chicago

Nov. 7, 2019 | By Kevin Turner

young professional submitting application and working on resumes kills

This year’s EDUCAUSE 2019 conference was held in the Windy City and featured more than 300 sessions, 800 presenters and 275 solution providers all under one roof. It was an impactful few days that allowed the industry to collaborate, learn and share how to best manage and operate higher education institutions and provide the best opportunity for student success.

What were some of the major themes focused on at this year’s EDUCAUSE conference?

Some of the consistent themes we heard were around the increasing complexity of technology, architecture and data, the use of data to create better student success program, and how some newer technologies, such as blockchain and AI, are starting to augment and shape the ways we engage, advise and support positive student experiences and outcomes.

What challenges were addressed at EDUCAUSE?

Interestingly, it was the various points of view of different management levels within IT and how they do or don’t align with where universities are looking to invest and save money, and how they are trying to manage the pitfalls of holding on to legacy technology too long.

How is digital transformation impacting higher education today?

Higher education is very competitive when it comes to attracting, retaining and transitioning students to alumni and having the requisite technology, architecture and data to support the full life cycle of student engagement. The need for this is stressing some systems and brings security, interoperability, cloud, mobility and dynamic workplace learning to the forefront. Again, this all ties back to providing the best student experience in order to maximize revenues while at the same time reducing cost.

What does the future of technology in higher education look like?

IT within higher education has changed a lot in recent years, especially in terms of being elevated from a cost center to transforming the business of higher education and student success. Ultimately, this means a massive cultural shift is underway, where IT is truly becoming more customer-centric and impacting the business in thoughtful, strategic ways. As universities continue to embrace SaaS applications such as Salesforce and Workday, they will no longer have to maintain and upgrade their large enterprise systems but will need to strategize upfront with procurement, security, legal and data stewards in order to be sure the university maintains access to their own data and operation technology devices.

Learn how we can help your school tackle its own unique issues and map out a strategy for transformation.

Kevin Turner has more than 20 years of professional services, consulting and sales leadership experience in the public sector. Prior to joining TEKsystems in 2017, he was an associate partner at IBM Global Business Services. As part of IBM’s public sector big data and analytics practice, he worked with leaders in higher education to improve core operations through holistic business solutions. He is particularly focused on content analytics and content alignment to academic, administrative and learning objectives.