Between the months of November 2017 and February 2018, we surveyed hundreds of organizations to see what their top digital priorities were for the year ahead. We conducted two surveys, one for Higher Education and another for other types of organizations and enterprise businesses.
When we kicked off the 2018 Digital Priorities Survey for Higher Education, we weren't completely sure what kind of results we'd see. I think we did understand that many higher education institutions were facing several challenges designing and delivering great digital experiences, but the results of the survey showed us just how complex these challenges (and opportunities) really are.
In the past, you could rely on spending the bulk of your time working on one or two things each year that would improve your student experience, but that's no longer the case today. Instead, institutions are facing the need to improve or implement on many different digital tactics to improve experiences. To make matters harder, it's not just the public website they are dealing with; it's also internal digital experiences like the student portal.
According to the survey, there is no one digital tactic institutions are implementing in 2018. Instead, they are managing a number of tactics from web governance, to mobile experiences, portals, search, structured content, analytics, and others. What they understand is that there is no killer app. In its place, there is what we often refer to as "all-of-the-above" digital content experience – website, search, portal, mobile.
What are education institutions working on in 2018?
Projects focused on rebuilding the website or implementing a new Web CMS, improving analytics, creating better mobile experiences, implementing search, and web governance are all at the top of the list. Not one of these digital priorities has a simple solution and some, like analytics, are often as difficult to get a handle on leveraging as they are to implement.
To make things even more challenging, many institutions are doing most of the work in-house. However, limited budgets applied across many projects are spreading resources thin. In some cases, external resources are being brought in to help; there's still the question of ensuring internal resources are properly trained to support and enhance solutions once they are implemented.
There are a lot of good insights in this report. In the report, take a high-level view of priorities and experience and then dive into the plans and challenges for individual digital tactics.
Download and read the entire 2018 Digital Priorities Report for Higher Education and let us know what you think. If you have any questions, give us a shout. We'd love to start a conversation.
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