The days of IT operating purely in the background until a storm, a printer stops working, or someone forgot the WiFi password are over. More than ever, schools are relying on their IT departments to ensure critical daily operations are running smoothly and securely.
In some cases, a single and even small network malfunction can bring everything to a grinding halt. With so much at stake, do you know what keeps your IT Director up at night?
Security and Privacy
With each new data breach or well-publicized hack, the risk to vulnerable IT systems grows. Hackers are constantly refining their techniques while growing bolder with their methods and more creative in their targets. And schools, it turns out, are a popular target. According to one Business Insider article, 544 schools and universities had already experienced a data breach as of April 1st, with one public school system facing an unbelievable $40 million ransom demand! Because many hacking groups operate in Eastern Europe and other areas where government leniency or preoccupation with other matters provide a cover for their illicit activities, they can be nearly impossible to track down. Once the security breach happens, it’s often too late to do anything about it.
Alignment of IT and School Goals
While your IT department is working hard to maximize efficiency and security, the demands educators and administrators face are constantly evolving. Aligning the needs and goals of the school with the priorities of the IT department is a balance not easily achieved. When important decisions are being made, make sure to seek input from your IT Director to fully understand the impact of decisions on their department.
Rapidly Advancing Technology & Skills
The adage that “good help is hard to find” is truer than ever in the technology sector. While traditional colleges and universities as well as modern “bootcamps” are turning out more graduates than ever, industry demands are evolving so rapidly that new technologies often become obsolete in just a few years. This means even experienced professionals can find themselves woefully out of step with the current market if they are not regularly learning new skills and studying industry trends.
Speed of Industry Changes
Along with creating a marketplace talent shortage, the constantly evolving nature of the technology sector leaves your IT Director with a tremendous number of decisions to make, all of which have a significant impact on your school’s budget. Which new technology is worth investing in and what will be obsolete in just a few year’s time? With the constant pressure to adapt and improve, IT professionals have found themselves in the position of making decisions that will have a major impact on both long-term finances and strategy.
Over Reliance on External Vendors
To help relieve some of the strain on IT departments, many schools have turned to external vendors to provide a variety of services. While this can be a helpful solution, an overreliance on proprietary software makes it difficult to adjust to rapidly changing demands, particularly in the educational sector. Committing to a vendor is a long-term decision. If the needs of your school or district shift significantly and the current vendor can no longer provide the level or type of support required, it can be an expensive undertaking to change vendors or bring operations in house.
Your IT department could be under incredible strain from these and other concerns. ANC Group can help. We specialize in supporting educational institutions and understand the struggle your team is facing. We partner with you to understand your unique needs, and tailor custom solutions designed for you. No matter what you need to accomplish, our team has the experience, tools, and expertise to help keep you moving forward.