Technological advances have created unsurpassed strains on the networks of higher education institutions, especially research facilities. Universities and colleges need to stay competitive by offering exceptional online services (digital textbooks, online courses, etc.) and providing an “always accessible” experience for students—especially those conducting in-depth research projects. This becomes more challenging in the wake of smartphones, tablets, and laptops that invade institutional networks on a daily basis. Throw in a combination of public and private networks and the situation gets even more complex.
Most organizations have limited budgets and long evaluation processes to upgrade even the smallest piece of equipment. Coupled with the increasing risks associated with storing sensitive data—research, financial, and personal information that is vulnerable to cybersecurity threats—universities are facing a serious crisis of confidence.
Poorly managed services lead to a loss of visibility for the entire infrastructure and can result in blocked communications or unavailable service. In addition, teachers, staff members, and students all demand extreme flexibility. If institutions can’t stay competitive, they lose potential students, endowment dollars or funding, and even their reputations. How can institutions keep their networks available 24/7 and secure enough to keep up with the times?
(Next page: How to keep the network secure)