Let's continue the list of blog posts that caught my attention in 2011. Here is the second half the list, in no particular order:
The ultimate goal for many higher ed institutions is to provide scalable resources on demand. But the greatest obstacle faced by most college and university IT departments during periods of growth is infrastructure sprawl. When IT infrastructure is deployed to meet growing administrative demands, the traditional approach has been to create distinct silos that support individual applications and services. Unfortunately, this results in an extremely slow, inefficient use of resources across the campus.
Take a moment, and think back to what IT was like 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago. Now shift your "lens" to look forward. What technologies will fall away? Global Knowledge provides their list of 10 tech skills that are heading the way of the dinosaur.
"IT must become a successful steward, rather than owner, of technology" rings with me. It is a concise statement to where IT is headed today. IT will ignore the impact of BYOD at its peril. Look around campus, at our students. I haven't seen many with iPads or other tablets, but they are there, and their numbers are growing. Many students look to their smartphone to check email, not a laptop or a lab computer. The era of the BYOD is already here.
Many of our students have never seen a floppy disk. Instead, they likely use USB flash drives to transport their data. But today, even a 16GB drive is almost obsolete, when you can put all your files "in the Cloud" and access them anywhere. What will be our storage options in another 5-10 years? Where will we keep our data? That's why we always need to look forward to what's next, to think about how to adapt new technology for the campus.
ECAR has just released The National Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2011. The 2011 study differs from past studies in that the questionnaire was reengineered and responses were gathered from a nationally representative sample of 3,000 students in 1,179 colleges and universities. The report provides their very interesting findings, and lots of other detail.