Apr 25 2018

Problem-Solving Tools Help IT Work Faster and Smarter

As troubleshooting improves, staff can be more proactive and more collaborative.

It might be a stretch — but not by much — to say that every IT initiative stems from a need to solve a problem. 

In higher education IT, our ability to troubleshoot is getting better all the time, in large part thanks to network management and data analytics tools that yield unprecedented insights. 

Better information empowers IT staff with the insights they need to make smarter decisions. But it also means that teams can spend less time looking for problems and more time fixing them. Consider Bowling Green State University, where software-defined networking is giving everyone on the team a comprehensive view of the network. 

That shared perspective not only helps to keep systems humming, it also helps staff collaborate in other ways.

Meanwhile, an analytics solution is increasing the speed and impact of problem-solving at The Ohio State University. With a better understanding of the network, staff can be proactive and more efficient, which also makes it easier to engage in forward-thinking, long-term planning. 

Tech-Enabled Insights Deliver the Intel that IT Leaders Need

Actionable insights are so valuable, in part, because they are hard to come by. Harvard Business Review reported that in one survey, 85 percent of executives said their organizations don’t do well at diagnosing problems — a weakness with clear consequences. If we don’t know a problem exists, we can’t even begin to fix it. 

Sam Yen, the chief design officer at SAP, says that even if organizations are great at solving problems, that doesn’t matter if they aren’t focused on the right problems. That’s another reason technology-driven insights are so critical: Often, they get us out of the trees and into the forest.

On campus, where every user now expects seamless connectivity, there’s even more pressure to find problems before users do. “If we aren’t hearing anything, that means everything is working fine,” says Marist College Vice President and CIO William Thirsk. 

That, of course, is the goal for every institution. Technology solutions are making it easier than ever to achieve it.


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