Digital innovation is driving fundamental changes in the entire educational process, especially as research continues to demonstrate a link between technology, achievement and motivation.
On any given day, students and teachers may be using new technologies in areas such as virtual or augmented reality, digital whiteboards, distance learning, lab research projects, personalized learning and artificial intelligence.
As this trend continues, school districts, colleges and universities are being forced to upgrade their infrastructure to an always-on, flexible and cost-efficient model designed to support a 21st-century learning environment.
As a result, IT teams face tremendous expectations to properly support these new systems and ensure they remain up and running.
For Campus IT, Power Is Knowledge
It’s difficult for IT personnel to be in multiple places at once, but they can deploy technologies that consolidate management duties. This frees up their time to focus on more important matters, such as teacher training and implementing tools to further enhance the learning process.
They can choose solutions that enable them to save money incurred from outages and new equipment deployments and reallocate those funds to other IT vulnerabilities that need attention.
In addition to protecting campus data centers and network infrastructure while maintaining digital learning technologies, uninterruptible power supplies and accompanying software solutions can help administrators remotely monitor and manage their entire networks and support infrastructure. To do so effectively, IT teams must consider how their power management solutions will interact with other software and systems.
Ultimately, with the right systems in place, IT managers can create robust disaster avoidance plans that will help ensure business continuity and uptime for their campuses, students and faculty.
6 Frustrations Higher Education IT Teams Face
If putting out fires and troubleshooting problems did not steal so many hours in a day, IT professionals would focus more time on adopting new technology, improving documentation, facilitating digital learning pathways, creating scalable learner-centric technology architecture, training faculty and automating and bolstering wireless capabilities.
Here are some of the biggest challenges that professionals reported university administrators should be aware of:
- Managing expectations during downtime: When access to technology and data grinds to a halt, so does much of the learning process. During a power outage, IT personnel must drop everything and shift their attention to resolving the problem, executing the orderly shutdown of equipment and reducing data loss.
- Serving multiple end users: It’s not easy answering to many bosses, each of whom has a different set of priorities and expectations. However, that is exactly what most IT professionals are tasked with. Students, faculty, staff and even parents look to them for support, even though IT teams are more than just a help desk.
- Juggling multiple responsibilities: IT personnel must oversee and prioritize a wide variety of day-to-day responsibilities, including the management of hardware, software, security, support and training. Additionally, they are sometimes pulled in to assist with curriculum planning.
- Creating compatible platforms in mixed-use environments: With students, faculty and professors using so many different devices, IT professionals are continually troubleshooting platform cross-compatibility problems.
- Facilitating adoption of new technology: Helping institutional constituents, including IT staff, adapt to constant changes in technology can be a challenge. The pace of technology adoption tends to move slowly at every level of education, which can gridlock IT personnel.
- Navigating budget constraints: Similar to other business sectors, today’s education-based IT administrators are expected to do more with less. Dwindling budgets coupled with growing threats make accomplishing this objective especially tough.
Now more than ever, IT professionals need quality power protection solutions to help manage growing technology demands while avoiding the dangers of downtime. However, in the modern-day digital learning environment, where reliable power has become the cornerstone, it’s important to do more than simply safeguard equipment. Inherent redundancy and easy expansion capabilities are key attributes for these power systems.
To read more about the importance of power in higher education, check out What Causes Power Outages on Higher Education Campuses?