Information Technology in Higher Education

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        <p>Information technology (IT) in higher education (HE) has
received tremendous attention from researchers, educators,
administrators, and politicians due to the recognition that technology
now connects people in ways previously unimaginable.</p>
<p>The U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics reported that from
2000 to 2008, undergraduate enrollment increased by 24 percent to 16.4
million students. Projections indicate that it will continue to increase,
reaching 19.0 million students in 2019.</p>
<p>The external forces pushing for new ways of assessing the higher
education institution's overall performance and demanding to do more with
less are exerting tremendous pressure on the organizations to provide
higher quality programs at stable or reduced prices.</p>
<p>The financial and technological demands are escalating, and there is
an insatiable demand for increased technological services for students in
higher education. Â As competition for students increases, as students
become more demanding consumers, and as the popularity of the Internet
continues to grow, higher education institutions are investing more in
the development and delivery of distance learning courses and programs to
become more student-centered rather than administration or faculty-
centered.</p>
<p>Investments in IT have become a dominant part of the capital
expenditure budgets of higher education. Managing IT investments is
complex and the implication of the decisions by IT management is not well
understood, some IT directors reports that the inability to realize value
is due in part to the lack of alignment between the business and IT
strategy planning of the enterprise. Â Â In order to derive significant
value from investment in IT, management have to ensure a clear link
between business goals and the IS/IT strategies that support them. </p>
<p>Impact methodologies help to create and justify new uses of IT, while
alignment methodologies align IT objectives with organizational goals.
The responsibilities of the IT function have changed over the years due
to technological and conceptual changes that made information technology
more important to organizations. The integration of technology into the
core business of higher education has expanded the role of the person
responsible of IT function in this type of organization. This IT leader
has two distinct roles within two different organizational units, as the
leader of the information systems (IS) function and as a member of the
executive management team.</p>
<p>The challenge is to align organizational plans, investments,
priorities, and actions not only with institutional priorities emanating
from the leadership, but also with relevance to the rapidly shifting
goals of disparate colleges, schools, and departments. For that reason,
institutions of higher education will require well-defined and integrated
CIO positions. </p>
<p>To be a fully functional IT leader or CIO, the individual must be
involved at the strategic planning and decision-making levels of the
organization and must be a transformational leader.</p>         <!--
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