While nobody can know for sure how an industry will operate in the years to come, Susan Grajek has a few predictions about the future of information technology. She guesses that any changes will involve the “alignment, planning, management, and operation” of IT. Staying optimistic, she hopes that IT researchers will develop an effective system of metrics and benchmarking, collect the data needed for metrics and benchmarking, use data for kaizen/“continuous-improvement activities”, apply the data to real-life situations, contribute to databases, and participate in surveys. Grajek predicts that current government interest in higher education information technology will lead to increased regulation. Seeing how well it has worked with other universities, she suggests that more institutions might combine their institutional research and information technology departments. If IT’s system of analytics improves, Grajek believes that the industry will stay afloat, citing her company, EDUCAUSE, as one that will help create the proper conditions. She urges IT leaders to become knowledgeable about the value of what they do, and she suggests that, in time, higher education IT will become increasingly professionalized. Finally, Grajek predicts that IT within higher education will be most successful if they are run by the educational institutions themselves. All in all, if in the future, IT has the proper funding and a staff full of well-educated professionals, one can expect the educational system to make far more decisions based on useful, well-supported research.
“Research and Data Services for Higher Education Information Technology: Future”