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Internet Marketing and Web Development in Higher Education and other tidbits…

[Results] The State of Outsourcing in Higher Ed, 2012

13 Apr 2012

written by Kyle James

[Results] The State of Outsourcing in Higher Ed, 2012

Who has been wondering what services and software solutions other schools outsource? The time has come to share those results with you. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a little disappointed with the number of responses. With only 32 completed surveys this is the smallest sample we have collected for any of the number of surveys that we have completed. Maybe I didn’t pick a topic that was interesting to people, the survey was too long or it was confusing. I have no way of knowing unless you tell me so leave a comment and let me know.

I’m not going to attempt to make any assumptions besides simply sharing the data below. The data (minus individual schools which I pulled out) is shared and licensed under Creative Commons and you can download the complete results here. I’ve separated it into a PDF and Excel dump depending on your flavor of viewing/remixing.

Download Results – The State of Outsourcing in Higher Ed, 2012

The Data

On the surface there probably isn’t enough data to make any statistically significant claims.  Even in this small sample we do have a wide range of schools represented.

how large student enrollment [Results] The State of Outsourcing in Higher Ed, 2012

what kind of institution [Results] The State of Outsourcing in Higher Ed, 2012

This being a blog focusing on higher education marketing it isn’t surprising to see the majority of responses are from individuals in marketing/communication.

what department surveyed [Results] The State of Outsourcing in Higher Ed, 2012

Outsourcing Services

For the most part schools outsource about a third of each of these services. That isn’t always the case but most schools aren’t regularly outsourcing everything.

outsource services data 300x181 [Results] The State of Outsourcing in Higher Ed, 2012(Click image to view full size)

 Outsourcing Software/Platforms/Storage

I would especially recommend reading through the section of software that is outsourced. Besides picking a pretty complete list of software solutions that colleges typically outsource, we also left room for individuals to tell us more about this decision and what they are using. Although the data might not be significant the individual responses to different outsourced solutions and homebuilt services is worth its weight in gold in my opinion. It is the first time I’ve seen a wide angle view of how differently so many schools are doing these various things. You can also see how silos and fragmented approaches creep into many of these responses.

outsource software data 300x239 [Results] The State of Outsourcing in Higher Ed, 2012(Click image to view full size)


This data was a big part of my .eduGuru Summit presentation so if you are curious about my thoughts on this then you can check out the slides from the presentation below. Either way I highly recommend downloading the results so that you can read through the details around each outsourced software solution these schools provided. This will hopefully give you some idea as you approach one of these projects yourself.

Download Results – The State of Outsourcing in Higher Ed, 2012

So what other surveys and data would you like to see? It’s about time for the annual Social Media survey this summer, but we want to make sure we are providing data that you want.

Photo Credit: Lego Village People by guin

The content of this post is licensed: The post is released under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license

About the author

Kyle James

Kyle is the CEO & Co-Founder at nuCloud and formerly the webmaster at Wofford College. He also spent almost 4 years at HubSpot doing a range of jobs including inbound marketing consulting, sales, management, and product management.  Kyle is an active contributor in the social media spectrum. Although his background is technical, he claims to know a thing or two about marketing, but mostly that revolves around SEO, analytics, blogging, and social media. He has spoken at multiple national conferences and done countless webinars on topics ranging from e-mail marketing to social media and Web analytics. He's definitely a fairly nice guy.

Ways to Connect with Kyle

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This post was written by - who has written 274 posts on .eduGuru

  • rgibralter

    Thanks for your great work!
    Perhaps the low response rate has to do with traditional polling methods, many of which require some sort of incentive for participation.  The participation wall is related to what a pain it can be to waddle through various question types, wordings, maybe, somewhat, etc.Will you please consider putting an Urtak poll with one of your interesting subjects, like this one again to the same audience, and see for yourself – how sticky, collaborative, and relational polling might be more in line with your participation in social media.

  • Nicole

    The problem I’ve had with the doteduguru surveys that I’ve attempted to fill out is that they don’t fit people who don’t work within the University-level units outlined or in small colleges where units are centralized.  Most large universities, such as the one at which I work, are highly decentralized. There is a university-level IT unit, but there are also IT units within departments and divisions throughout the University.  I find myself looking at the surveys thinking, “Do I select the overall student body size, or the size of our XYZ division student population?” Or, “Do I select that I work in ‘other’ or IT since I don’t work within the main IT unit but rather within an IT unit within a division of the University?”

    I’ve pretty much given up on taking surveys because I don’t know where to classify myself within the slim parameters given, and I’d rather not incorrectly skew data.

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