The Answer to Higher Ed IT Challenges – Automation


Higher Education IT pros face myriad IT challenges ─ unstable budgets, constant end user churn, a never ending battle to attract students, and tough competition which requires innovation just to keep pace.

The answer to these challenges sounds simple, but it will deliver seriously great results. You must automate your IT operations and maximize efficiency so you can focus on your school’s strategic needs.

First we’ll tackle the benefit of automation. Then we’ll show what areas of innovation you can focus on once your IT shop is operating at peak efficiency.

The Power of Automation

With IT automation, staff is more productive, can repair problems in a fraction of the time it took before, and perform most time-consuming maintenance tasks automatically.

IT automation is as it sounds. Tasks formerly done manually are sped up and performed automatically through software, such as remote monitoring and management (RMM), also known as end point management. This frees up IT staff to either spend more time on mission-critical projects, or investigate and implement new technologies that benefit the school.

RMM can automate repetitious tasks such as patching and updating machines. It also automatically detects problems and lets IT easily solve them remotely. That means problems are fixed quickly, which can be tracked by looking at what happens to your average Mean Time to Recovery (MTTR). A good many of these problems can be fixed automatically – further increasing efficiency.

By applying IT automation to core IT functions you can save a significant amount of money. Did you know that 40% of the time spent fixing a problem is analyzing and isolating the root? At the same time, 75% of most IT budgets simply go towards maintaining the status quo and keeping existing systems running.

Problem Prevention

A properly set up and operated RMM doesn’t just fix problems. It can prevent them.  A good solution will automatically discover your entire campus-wide network, and identify and create a profile of all the machines (and their operating details). And with so many staff, and so many students (depending on what role IT plays in interacting student computers such as to fix e-mail), this can be a godsend.

The RMM also lets IT constantly fine tune the network based on what the RMM teaches. Some tasks may be done more frequently, while other tasks that were never done before are now fully in play. This approach results in a faster, more secure and resilient network with less chance of failure.

Even better, the RMM allows most of these time-intensive tasks to be done automatically and on schedule – based on the particular policies and timeframes that best suits each organization.

Security is a top consideration for complex and changing environments such as those found in Higher Education. Your RMM should include strong antivirus/anti-malware, spot intrusions quickly, and apply patches and updates soon after they are available.

Your RMM should also protect your campus network by:

  • Fixing problems quickly and performing root cause analysis
  • Telling you when user actions conflict with policies
  • Finding systems that are out of compliance and correcting them automatically
  • Discovering machines that are running out of disk space, need to upgraded or replaced

2016 Higher Ed Tech Challenges

The first challenge for Higher Ed IT is keeping things running. The second challenge is to keep the systems running while embracing, installing and managing new technologies.

Mobile and BYOD are two areas that are on the rise and putting a lot of stress on Higher Ed IT to manage.

Other areas include:

  • Social media and collaboration which are increasingly incorporated into the course itself
  • Big data and big data analytics
  • And the continuation of online learning.

All of these initiatives add complexity and stress to the network – taxing an already over-taxed IT staff. At the same time, this kind of innovation is the secret to your organization’s success.

The Kaseya Answer

The challenges for Higher Ed IT are many, but so many can be solved through IT automation.

Meanwhile, Kaseya solutions can specifically help by drastically reducing the time and effort it takes to

  • Update devices
  • Install patches
  • Inventory and audit networks and devices
  • Remotely fix PC, server and network problems
  • Manage the growing number of mobile devices
  • Remotely monitor and manage the network and devices
  • Build and run a service desk
  • Handle backup and recovery
  • Produce reports and support analytics

To learn more about the benefits of IT Automation, download our eBook Automate Everything – the Time-Strapped IT Pros Guide to Getting More Done.

Take a Higher Ed Deep Dive

If you want to learn more about Higher Ed and IT automation, check out our new eBook Crash Course: The IT Automation Revolution to Radically Simplify Higher Ed IT Ops.


Posted by Doug Barney
Doug Barney was the founding editor of Redmond Magazine, Redmond Channel Partner, Redmond Developer News and Virtualization Review. Doug also served as Executive Editor of Network World, Editor in Chief of AmigaWorld, and Editor in Chief of Network Computing.
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