The Three R’s of Higher Education Connectivity
The bar for maintaining network capacity in higher education institutions is at an all-time high—and that’s not likely to change, considering the rising generation’s appetite for multiple device connectivity. In fact, an EDUCAUSE survey found that 61 percent of students are connecting two or more devices to the network at the same time.
It’s more than sheer number of devices, too. State-of-the-art, multimedia applications, such as virtual cadavers in medical training, live instruction via video, and video on-demand, are fueling the need for high-performing, high-availability systems across campus.
To keep their institutions ahead, IT departments must constantly push the envelope in scaling up network bandwidth and security. We recommend sticking to these three R’s for network capacity.
Relate, Review, Refresh capacity
From updating infrastructure and security to accommodating student mobility, virtual classrooms, and videoconferencing, here is a mantra for higher education systems teams aiming to support multiple mobile device use every day:
1. Relate tasks back to organizational objectives: Every small network element should support a larger institutional goal. To provide students, administrators, and educators alike with the most efficient, reliable access to information possible, IT pros should approach day-to-day nuts and bolts with big picture understanding of how each task—and each access point—relates to educational objectives.
For example, are your wireless networks supporting campus security goals by linking in campus wireless video surveillance cameras and tracking asset movement?
2. Review the latest technology news and trends: Is your department effectively leveraging the most relevant cloud and virtualization technologies? Are distance learning programs supported by the most resilient videoconferencing capabilities? In addition to staying on top of the tech and higher-education trade media, fresh insights and answers often come out of industry webinars and traditional seminars.
3. Refresh strategy often. Is your vision and strategy for an agile network supported by periodic governance meetings? How do other activities like content filtering or event management affect capacity? Regular strategic updates will ensure your game plan is always ahead of the curve. (For tactical items to check off the higher-ed network refresh list, you can read our blog on periodic network check-ups.)
Multiple device use is here to stay. With these three R’s in mind, IT teams at institutions of higher learning can help ensure the students are, too.