One of the biggest challenges many universities and other higher education institutions face today is a lack of qualified IT staff members and a shortage of highly skilled support staff. Add to that the high volume of students and teachers that need quick answers and/or resolutions, as well as the fact that just about every student and faculty member has either their own laptop (BYOD) and also uses campus computers makes it very complex to manage a successful and efficient IT operation. The solution may be easier than you think: IT automation. Let’s take a look.
Automation can address these and other common challenges that many higher education institutions are facing. Here are 5 specific pain points that ITPA can address, providing quick resolution and a reduction in human error and manual labor.
Password Resets / Unlock Accounts – With thousands of students and hundreds of faculty members, IT personnel for any given university will inevitably find themselves wasting precious time on routine tasks, one of the biggest of which is password resets. With IT automation, the end user is empowered to handle many of his or her own needs, such as resetting their own passwords and unlocking their accounts through the use of self-service portals. This provides a faster turnaround and therefore a better user experience, while simultaneously freeing up IT staff to focus on more important tasks.
Reboot Computers – Many updates and maintenance activities require a reboot of the system in order for the changes to take effect. Instead of relying on the end user to handle this task, potentially delaying and causing further problems system-wide, reboots can be automated. This saves time and improves both efficiency and usability of the entire infrastructure.
Reset or Restart Services – One of the biggest time wasters for IT professionals is the need to monitor and address system shut-downs. With the right IT automation software product, system restarts can be handled remotely via email or text message. The software monitors the systems constantly and identifies the need for a restart the very moment it occurs. What’s more, these workflows can be fully customized to include as many or as few triggers and steps as desired.
Monitoring Alert Notifications – Keeping track of incoming alerts is incredibly time consuming. It also leaves a lot of room for human error. Just one alert falling through the cracks could spell disaster for your entire IT operation. One of the biggest benefits of leveraging IT automation software is the fact that the program itself can take the reins on monitoring and managing incoming alerts. These means a much smaller margin for error and a more organized plan of action to ensure that alerts are addressed in a timely, efficient and effective manner.
User and Machine Provisioning – The right IT automation product can provide the ability to instantly and seamlessly create new Active Directory users as well as provision new Virtual Machines as needed. Customized controls can be set to authenticate and authorize any new AD user accounts and VMs can be integrated right into the recovery process. All of these configurations can be predefined and customized to meet the exact needs of the particular university.
Of course, these are just a few of the many benefits that IT automation can have for the higher education industry. If you are currently involved with IT operations for a university or other educational facility, ask yourself one question: what could your team do with more time and fewer manual tasks? The potential is virtually limitless!