The imperative for hybrid learning requires educational institutions to take a new approach to managing IT support. Advanced remote access technology is the key to keeping IT support staff efficient and stress-free in this new environment.
Incorporating technology into teaching practices has brought significant changes to the education industry. Especially in recent years, technology has played an increasingly important role in the level of offering and service that educational institutions can provide.
With HyFlex as the new imperative, students, faculty, and staff expect technology to accommodate their needs for flexibility and performance. However, with the rise in digital transformation, educational institutions face numerous challenges in implementing and maintaining technology that meets these demands.
IT teams have the daunting task of enabling a functional hybrid learning culture, providing the best user experience for students, and ensuring security and compliance. These tasks are becoming more difficult to manage as people with expert IT skills become harder to find, and IT workforce retention becomes more challenging.
Keeping IT Staff Stress-Free as the Workload Grows
In recent years, the demand for skilled IT professionals has increased exponentially, making it difficult for educational institutions to attract and retain top talent. As IT workloads grow, universities and colleges need to find ways to maintain IT staff efficiencies and promote a stress-free work environment with tools that streamline workflows and can be easily deployed across platforms.
Research conducted by Splashtop revealed that 65 percent of IT help desk teams have experienced unsustainable levels of stress and burnout, and 87 percent require new tools and processes to support a wide range of device types, operating systems, and networks.Footnote1
With the exponential increase in BYOD, the sheer number of devices and systems that need to be supported—not to mention endpoint management, software installation, and troubleshooting for those devices—has required IT teams to take a new approach to managing and delivering IT services.
Remote IT support has become essential to higher education as universities and colleges increasingly rely on technology to deliver instruction, conduct research, and provide administrative services. According to an EDUCAUSE QuickPoll, more than 60 percent of students experienced at least one tangible impact on their coursework due to technical issues.Footnote2 On the same topic, the latest Splashtop Student Survey found that higher education students use an average of two devices for learning purposes, and nearly 91 percent of students expect to receive on-demand support across all of their devices.Footnote3
Enabling Flexibility without Compromising Security
The increasing demand for ad-hoc support, however, is not the biggest challenge for IT teams today. Over the last few years, ransomware attacks have become increasingly common in education, making it the number one target for cybercriminals.Footnote4 As institutions hold very sensitive data, such as addresses, birthdays, Social Security numbers, loan applications, and tuition-related banking information, data security has become one of the biggest and most urgent issues for edtech leaders.
If managing data is as indispensable as technology for operating a college or university, data presents a powerful risk to institutions and individuals. Students and staff leveraging BYOD, as well as a variety of edtech vendors whose cybersecurity practices are often not robust enough, can easily expose educational institutions to cyberattacks with significant consequences.
Higher education organizations reported an average remediation cost of $1.42 million per ransomware attack and the slowest recovery time across all sectors.Footnote5 IT leaders have the compelling task of implementing robust cybersecurity policies and procedures to prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents.
Nowadays, it's clear that providing effective IT management and support presents challenges that need to be addressed to ensure equal, continuous, and secure access to education. Consolidating the right tools is an important step in the digital transformation process. By reducing the number of software and platforms in use, IT teams can effectively help their institutions increase efficiencies, manage costs, and reduce security risks.
Consolidating IT Support Solutions for Better Efficiencies
High-performing remote support should be a consolidated tool in higher education, as it allows for a more flexible and accessible learning and working environment for students and staff, regardless of their location, schedule, or device.
By leveraging remote access and support capabilities, IT professionals can deliver an effective and equitable experience for end users while increasing security, functionality, integration, and cost-efficiency.
Advanced remote access technology delivers a functional and user-friendly experience that supports multiple aspects of teaching and learning. Serving thousands of educational institutions worldwide, including Harvard and Stanford, Splashtop has developed an intuitive interface that enables users to access resources and run CPU-intensive software effectively from any device and operating system, with no training required.
When it comes to providing on-demand support, secure and reliable remote technology helps IT professionals streamline their workflows and reduce device downtime, even when dealing with a high volume of support requests and BYOD.
Splashtop allows help desk professionals to leverage one platform to support multiple operating systems like Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, as well as PC, mobile, and IoT.
Splashtop: A Modern Remote Support Solution for the Education Help Desk
With Splashtop's solutions for the education help desk, IT support can count on fast and easy remote connections via multiple methods (invitation link, website, or six-digit session code) and leverage seamless integrations with existing professional services automation (PSA) and ticketing systems. Features allowing technician management and collaboration further boost efficiency and enable IT teams of any size to reduce time-to-fix, delivering much better service to end users. With Splashtop, institutions like Virginia Tech are able to remotely support over 2,200 devices across 140 sites with a team of seven help desk staff members.
Managing software configurations and network and computer system updates are also challenging and time-consuming tasks for IT departments, especially within complex infrastructures. IT teams need reliable technology to ensure continuous productivity and efficient cost and resource management. Splashtop's all-in-one IT help desk solution for education enables technicians to leverage unattended access, monitoring, and management features to automate IT tasks such as software updates, system monitoring and maintenance, and more.
Finally, when it comes to protecting sensitive data from unauthorized access and securing multiple devices with access to campus resources, IT teams need solutions that comply with the highest security standards. Splashtop's centralized admin console integrates with SSO, helping institutions ensure that security policies are enforced across all devices. In addition, it provides best-in-class security features, including industry standard TLS1.2 and AES 26-bit encryption, SOC 2 compliance, and PCI, HIPAA, GDPR, and FERPA compliance support.
Secure remote access technology can help solve many of the challenges brought to IT professionals by digital transformation. Splashtop's solutions for education are designed to help IT teams streamline remote support, minimize technology disruptions, and deliver the HyFlex experience students and teachers need.
- Mark Bowker, The 2022 State of Remote Support Market Trends, research report, (Newton, MA: Enterprise Strategy Group, May 2022). Jump back to footnote 1 in the text.
- Jenay Robert, "EDUCAUSE QuickPoll Results: Flexibility and Equity for Student Success," EDUCAUSE Review, November 5, 2021. Jump back to footnote 2 in the text.
- "New Research Finds Hybrid Approach to Learning Empowers University Students," Remote Learning & Education (blog), Splashtop, May 4, 2023. Jump back to footnote 3 in the text.
- "Microsoft Security Intelligence," Microsoft (website), accessed May 24, 2023. Jump back to footnote 4 in the text.
- The State of Ransomware in Education 2022, research report (Abingdon, UK: Sophos, July 2022). Jump back to footnote 5 in the text.
Nityasha Wadalkar is Director of Product & Product Marketing at Splashtop.
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