4. Penn State University

Location: Centre County, Pennsylvania


While universities have a narrower constituency than entire cities or states, the technological demands placed on them are similar. They must stay engaged with changing trends, warn their users of the latest online scams and attempt to stay relevant while bobbing along a never-ending river of memes and pet pictures. Penn State’s launch last month of “Penn State Go,” an all-in-one app that lets students access university email, campus maps, grades, class schedules, tuition bills, academic advising and other services through a single sign-on, ought to be the envy of not only other higher education institutions, but state and local governments, too, for realizing a feat of IT consolidation and identity and access management many top government IT officials struggle to achieve. Based on survey data from more than 3,000 students, Penn State’s new app is driven by users from across its more than 20 campuses, and with a student enrollment of nearly 100,000 students, Penn State is large enough to be its own city.


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