Gartner Identifies Top Ten Strategic Technologies Impacting Higher Ed in 2019

Research firm Gartner has recently released their annual report identifying what they claim to be the top 10 strategic technologies impacting higher education in 2019. Ranging from IT intensive technologies such as security to student enhancement tools including nudge tech, these top 10 should all be on the radar of   institutions eager to maintain a competitive edge and to sustain their ability to support emerging business models.

Next-Generation Security and Risk Management

The need for compliance, our growing dependence on IoT (Internet of Things) and software as a service (SaaS) are all changing the landscape of security and risk management.

“Next-generation security must offer new approaches that support digital business and the institutions’ academic, research and business objectives,” said Glenda Morgan, Senior Research Director at Garner. “The average modern-day student expects seamless personalized experiences, so the typical security objectives of confidentiality, integrity and availability must expand to include privacy, safety and reliability as institutions become more digital.”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Conversational Interface

According to Gartner, AI conversational interfaces are a subset of conversational user interfaces (CUIs), in which user and machine interactions occur in the user’s spoken or written natural language. CUIs alter the interaction between user and machine to require the machine to adapt to the user rather than the typical other way around. This saves time and increases student satisfaction.

Smart Campus

This up and comer has not quite taken off yet, but campuses are investigating how to use IoT to increase efficiency and the accessibility of education through a more immersive interaction with technology.

“The smart campus will drive growth in markets like robotic process automation (RPA) solutions and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) in the higher education space. Campus efficiency will be enhanced and student learning will be enriched with the new capabilities they bring. It’s a win all-around, except for the data security implications that come with most technology initiatives today,” said Ms. Morgan. 

Predictive Analytics

Utilizing historical data to determine certain outcomes such as demand for a course or whether a student is in danger of failing is an emerging trend. “Predictive analytics can be a particularly powerful tool for CIOs in higher education,” said Ms. Morgan. “Skeptics might claim the outcomes of predictive analytics — such as identifying a potential student drop out — could have been otherwise determined, but their real power comes from the way these analytics systems socialize the prediction at hand among a range of stakeholders to remedy the issue at hand.” 

Nudge Tech
According to Gartner, Nudge Tech is a collection of technologies — cloud, mobile, social and data — that work together to achieve timely personalized interaction with students, staff and faculty, such as a just-in-time text (SMS) reminder for class.

“The idea behind ‘nudging’ is for institutions to use data to impact behavior, like establishing good studying habits or making time for fitness in between classes,” said Ms. Morgan. “Above all, nudge tech is a concrete example of how to achieve personalization at scale, which is becoming a key competitive advantage in an increasingly global and digital education ecosystem.”

Digital Credentialing Technologies

A method of providing proof of skills and education digitally to deter fraud, digital credentialing has become more popular as the use of career networking sites such as Linked In continue to accelerate. Technologies such as block chain and data encryption have paved the way for its development.  

Hybrid Integration Platforms

With the increase of cloud-based business applications, Customer Relationship Managers (CRM) and Learning Management Systems (LMS) used in higher ed, HIP (Hybrid Integration Platforms) integrates cloud-based and on-premise systems to enhance efficiency and lower risk.

Career Software

Gartner points out that higher ed institutions are become increasingly accountable for their students’ outcomes in their chosen careers after graduation. “Historically, career software was found in the career offices in professional schools, such as business or engineering, but we are seeing institutions explore the option of deploying a single enterprise level career-focused tool,” said Ms. Morgan. “The market for career software is large and diversified, so universities must take the time to invest in the tools that fit its needs and specific ecosystem.”

Student Cross-Life Cycle CRM

According to Gartner, these technologies create a campus-wide, 360-degree view of a student across his or her major educational phases, beginning with precollege and moving through prospect, applicant, enrolled, graduated and alumni statuses.

Wireless Presentation Technologies

Driven by the BYOD (bring your own device) environment that is becoming more common among university campuses, wireless presentation technologies will become more and more of a demand. Key to collaboration, it provides students with a simpler way to engage and share content in a classroom setting.