Higher Education’s 2019 Trend Watch & Top 10 Strategic Technologies

Strategic Technology

This research examines technological investments institutions will spend the most time implementing, planning, and tracking in 2019, as well as the related trends that could influence institutional IT strategy.

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Key Findings

The trends and technologies reviewed in this report were identified through an EDUCAUSE survey conducted in the summer of 2018 and completed by 297 US institutions.

Top 10 Strategic Technologies

    1. Uses of APIs
    2. Active learning classrooms
    3. Blended data center (on premises and cloud based)
    4. Incorporation of mobile devices in teaching and learning
    5. Open educational resources
    6. Institutional support for accessibility technologies
    1. Technologies for improving analysis of student data
    2. Application performance monitoring
    3. Predictive analytics for student success (institutional level)
    4. Integrated student success planning and advising systems (tie)
      IT asset management tools (e.g., CMDB) (tie)

Most Influential Trends

Five trends are influential at 61% or more of colleges and universities (listed below from highest to lowest level of influence):

  1. Growing complexity of security threats
  2. Student success focus/imperatives
  3. Data-driven decision-making
  4. Increasing complexity of technology, architecture, and data
  5. Contributions of IT to institutional operational excellence

Top IT Issues Alignment

The top 10 strategic technologies are characterized by features that will facilitate student success; improve data collection, security, and use; and support IT business strategies—the themes of the 2019 Top 10 IT Issues. Read more >

Top 10 IT Issue Themes

Adoption Trends

Two technologies—the uses of APIs, and active learning classrooms—remain at the top of the list in 2019. Read more >

Use of APIs

Influence on IT Strategy

Some of the most hyped trends in higher education—adaptive learning, the Internet of Things, alternative credentialing models, and artificial intelligence (AI)—are expected to have only a limited impact on IT strategy in 2019. Read more >

Limited Impact




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Related Resources

Issues, Technologies, and Trends Resources

Higher education leaders and decision makers use the annual Issues, Technologies, and Trends resources—the Top 10 IT Issues, the Strategic Technologies and Trends, the ELI Key Issues in Teaching and Learning, and the Horizon Report—to know what's important and where to focus in their IT planning and management activities. When viewed together these resources provide more complete and nuanced guidance on institutional IT priorities.