On the surface, frameworks may seem restrictive and bureaucratic, which accounts for the past reluctance by many in higher education to adopt them.
However, at their best, frameworks can provide stability in times of change by creating replicable and scalable environments that can adapt gracefully to new and changing circumstances.
There is reason to believe that higher education information technology has reached an inflection point—the point at which the trends that have dominated thought leadership and have motivated early adopters are now cascading into the mainstream.
This inflection point is the biggest of three themes of change characterizing the 2015 EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT Issues (see Figure 1).
Those changes are transforming both IT infrastructure, which is generally transparent to end users, and IT services and solutions, which are very much on the minds of end users and in the strategies of higher education leaders.
IT organizations are struggling to manage both the pace and the volume of change on all levels.
A second dimension of change is the shifting focus of IT leaders and professionals from technical problems to business problems, along with the ensuing interdependence between the IT organization and business units.
Underlying all this strategic change, the day-to-day work of the IT organization goes on. It's a song that's been playing everywhere the last several years.
When the emperor asked the creator of chess to name his reward for having invented the game, the inventor requested that for the first square of the board, he would receive one grain of wheat, two for the second square, four for the third square, and so forth, doubling the amount for each square.
Individuals and institutions adopt technology at different rates: a few are on the bleeding edge, a few are the last to change, and most fall somewhere in the comfortable middle of the bell curve of adoption.