When we conducted our first survey around digital priorities in Higher Education in 2018, we learned that higher education institutions had limited budgets to support digital experience initiatives. This year, the same story is true with almost 48% saying budgets are staying the same as last year.
Just because budgets aren't increasing, doesn't mean colleges and universities aren't working hard to create engaging experiences for students, prospective students, and other key audiences.
So, who is driving the digital experience strategy for colleges and universities? According to over 44% of survey respondents in our 2019 Digital Priorities survey, marketing owns the digital experience strategy. It's also interesting to note that for 20% of respondents the IT team owns the digital experience strategy.
When it comes to improving the web experience, there is one improvement that tops the list: personalizing the experience. Unfortunately, many respondents noted that there are many challenges with their current CMS that are causing problems, including poor usability for content managers and a lack of technical resources that help get the CMS working as needed.
A consistent student experience is critical for success across all channels, including website and portal. In our survey, 48% have separate solutions for website and portal, and 20% have separate solutions for website, portal and content services. Only 16% had a single solution that supports all the institution's content needs.
As mentioned, the Student Portal is a top priority with 75% either improving an existing portal or planning a new portal this year. Even if the college is using a separate solution for its student portal, there are still synergies to create across the portal, website, and intranet. The key is to figure out how to reuse content across these different experiences as easily as possible, so you only have to create it once.
You can download your copy of the Digital Priorities Report for Higher Education to find out what else our respondents had to say about digital initiatives - including cloud, student portals, headless CMS and more.