Colleges announce tech trends for 2017

Higher ed professionals plan to spend more on academic tools like last year
By: | Issue: January, 2017
December 21, 2016

Campus technology leaders report significant new investment to come this year in the area of academic tech tools such as lecture capture, AV equipment and active classroom initiatives. It’s the third year in a row academic technology led the list of top significant investments in a UB survey. 

But while investment in internet/Wi-Fi infrastructure has been the second largest spending area in past years, network/data security grabbed that slot for 2017. Nearly three in 10 respondents say their institution suffered a cyberattack in the past year. 

Cloud computing/storage tied for second in anticipated spending for 2017, followed by internet/Wi-Fi.

Four in 10 of the 74 CIO, technology director and other technology administrators responding to the UB survey anticipate spending on technology will increase in 2017, relative to 2016.

Last year, 42 percent of respondents expected an increase, and the year before it was even more—half of respondents. Only 10 percent of respondents this year report they will be increasing technology staff in 2017. 

Three-fourths of respondents expect greater enrollment in online courses, and 60 percent of respondents say their institutions will expand online education programs.

Also indicating strong growth in distance learning is that nearly half expect to expand infrastructure in this area. And almost one-third of respondents say additional resources will be devoted to online learning in 2017.

In a separate UB survey, presidents, provosts and chancellors identified their institution’s highest priorities from a list of 12 items. Online learning ranked fourth, with 26 percent of these leaders considering it key for the coming year. 

For tech leaders, working with others across campus will be important in the coming year. More than half anticipate collaborating more closely and frequently with other departments on issues of practice and policy.

Status of online learning initiatives

Statements tech leaders say will apply to 2017

  • 75% anticipate greater enrollment in online courses 
  • 60% predict they will expand their online education program options 
  • 49% predict they will expand their online learning infrastructure 
  • 32% predict additional resources will be devoted to online learning 
  • 22% predict more will be invested in technology to enable flipped classrooms/distance learning 
  • 15% predict there will be no plans to offer online-only courses 
  • 3% say they are launching their first online-only courses 
  • 2% say they will pull back on online offerings 

A look back

  • 67% anticipated greater enrollment in online courses for 2016 
  • 56% expected to expand online program options for 2016 
  • 45% planned to devote additional resources to online learning for 2016 

Cybersecurity focus

  • 29% of respondents who reported their institutions were victims of a cyberattack in 2016 (up from 12% in 2015)
  • 32% of tech leaders said special attention and additional resources will be devoted to cybersecurity in 2017 (up from 23% in last year’s survey)