Due to the ever-changing technical needs of educational institutions, IT has become a massive part of every educational institution’s infrastructure. With this, technology has evolved within the education sector — allowing providers to truly push the boundaries of what’s possible and innovate for the benefit of their students.
However, there are also a number of challenges that come with this. Due to the increasing technological needs in the educational sector, adjusting to ensure that the right accommodations and preparations are made within your organisation to ensure success is vital.
In this article, we’re going to go over everything that you need to know about the IT challenges that are common to the education sector, and how you can ensure that you’re prepared for them.
Ongoing Skills Shortage
As IT has become a more vital consideration to organisations worldwide, the demand for IT has also rapidly increased. This means that, naturally, there’s a shortage of skilled personnel worldwide.
This is especially true in education — particularly in schools and universities that use a wide integrated system that students can access anywhere, ensuring that your IT team is knowledgeable and accessible — and that your system has been set up by someone who knows how to do so — is important.
Even though this will eventually improve, the rapid onset of new technologies means that there are fewer people trained in the newest IT advancements than in other fields. This is the ongoing skills shortage that companies worldwide are being plagued with.
Naturally, the ongoing skills shortage means that employing people who are skilled in the world of IT is a costly endeavour — finding experts to manage your company’s IT systems and strategy can be an astronomical cost. However, external service providers are a way that you can lower these costs while still having an expert team at your fingertips.
As technology moves forward, so do hardware capabilities and the minimum hardware needed to utilise the latest technologies and innovations in your organisation.
Especially when some of these technologies have become essential, making sure that your hardware is up to date is critical to ensure that everything runs smoothly without causing outages for your students.
However, this too can consume time and resources. Having to evaluate your hardware and ensure that everything is up to date whenever you integrate a new system is costly, and upgrading hardware — or even just scaling up resources — can be a lot of capital expenditure for an educational institution to pay.
This is why more organisations are looking at the cloud as a solution — instead of having to upgrade your systems and infrastructure manually, a cloud provider will instead update their hardware as soon as they can, meaning you’re always up to date.
System integration is the process of bringing together components of a system to integrate into one infrastructure — allowing them to function as one.
For an educational system, this is something that is both necessary and difficult as new technologies are made specifically for educational purposes. System integration means that data is accessible throughout different subsections of your entire system — which is important both for educators and students.
However, having a fully integrated and synchronised system is a process that will forever need maintenance. Due to the many moving parts of an integrated infrastructure, any new systems being integrated will evolve your system. This means you’ll need to dedicate time to integrate and manage the system correctly.
Change is especially important for educational institutions, as change is simply constant within education. Teachers and administrators will constantly be looking for ways to improve their organisation to provide the best education and care for their students — this is known as the cycle of continuous improvement.
However, the amount of change possible in this environment is limited. Due to the sheer amount of workload put onto any given teacher or institution, making changes and ensuring improvement is a trickier endeavour than in most other sectors. This is why every change that’s made has to be well thought out and planned — and why change is heavily challenged for a lot of educational institutions.
Change management is the key— figuring out what needs to change, how to implement it and how to ensure everything is successful. In this process, clear communication and factually based decisions are key — this is why ensuring that a proper plan is in place is essential.
Unlike businesses, the funding for schools is far more limited. This means that a lot of the challenges mentioned above — that can traditionally be solved by allocating funding or resources to the issue — are more difficult to solve in the educational setting.
With this, it’s vital to ensure that costs are being allocated both effectively and efficiently. Making sure that the limited budget that your organisation has is spent effectively is crucial to ensuring success within your organisation, meaning that figuring out more cost-effective solutions that are more suitable for the educational sector is vital. One of the ways to ensure that your organisation is allocating resources to the correct places is by partnering with a service provider.
We’ll be able to help you work out what’s most important for your organisation, and strategise to figure out the best solutions going forward. Plus, a service provider is far more cost-effective than hiring in-house IT experts and specialists.
How We Can Solve These Challenges
Educational institutions have many challenges regarding IT that are unique to their industry and environment. With the unique challenges of being an education provider, there are a number of considerations to make to ensure that your students receive the best education available.
If your organisation is looking to solve these challenges, get in touch with us today. We’ll be able to help you work through the challenges and figure out exactly what the most important steps to take are, all at a cost-effective price. Instead of fighting these challenges alone, we’re here to give you a helping hand.
Reach out to us today and see how we can help!