Are campuses really mobile ready? And what does that mean?

New national survey reports on IT trends for campuses in 2014

campuses-mobile-resnet It’s not news to say that the IT demands placed on campuses across the country are skyrocketing, thanks to student, and administrator, need for mobile devices and communications access. But with the economy still in recovery, and technology use increasing at a beyond-rapid rate, are campuses really IT-ready? And how do you gauge readiness?

In a new report, “2014 ACUTA/NACUBO/ACUHO-I State of ResNet Report: ResNet Trends & Practices Across Higher Education,” more than 400 higher education institutions were surveyed to help admins and chief business officers address issues as the unprecedented growth in bandwidth and connectivity demands, budget restrictions, planning, policy considerations, staffing, and support.

The report is the third installment of a five year tracking study, and this year includes a wider scope, representing nearly twice as many stakeholders, with over three times the number of chief business officers responding compared to last year.

According to the report, the explosion of wireless connected devices and surging demands for “anytime, anywhere” connectivity, campuses nationwide are exploring  ways to cope—all while trying to resolve conflicting priorities. The need for more planning, better communication and tighter security are being offset by processes and resources that have not kept pace.

“Schools are making strides in providing better coverage and bandwidth, but are grappling with a laundry list of needs—holistic planning, better communication between departments, tighter security—while processes like resource allocation and diagnostics haven’t kept pace,” said Dee Childs, chair of the ACUTA Environmental Scanning Committee and CIO at the University of Alabama.

“Administrators are trying to build better and bigger networks with yesterday’s tools.  It’s our hope this study will provide a knowledgebase of practices and priorities to help administrators anticipate, plan ahead, and address the challenges as they scale infrastructure to meet demand.”

(Next page: Key findings of the report)

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