Today, current college students take at least one online class and almost half (48 percent) never enter the physical classroom, making it imperative for universities to incorporate and implement technology that brings students and teachers together, streamlines submission processes, and encourages a problem-solving mindset in all. Without this technology, universities will undoubtedly begin to fall behind both now and in the future.

However, advancing technology isn’t limited to the classroom – it has become a part of almost every facet of university life. This includes ID cards, meal point systems, class enrollment, sport event admissions, technology support, and the like. All of these new use cases require efficient, and oftentimes automated, IT service management.

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In order to fulfill the needs that evolving technologies bring, higher-ed IT teams must expand their existing purview to successfully support students, teachers, and staff. This means understanding that most students will be able to solve their own problems via self-service tools, but for larger, more complex problems, will need easy access to specialized support.

Improving IT service management for students and faculty lies greatly in understanding the need to deliver better digital support experiences around two key areas:

1. Always-on support channels are required to support online education. Student bodies are more international, diverse and distributed than ever before and being able to provide anytime access to support is vital. As service management progresses, it is essential that one-click support is available from any device in any form that can guide students and faculty to the answers they need to take or administer an online class. In addition, service management systems can power automation for walk-up support areas so students can get their computing issues resolved at convenient locations around campus.

2. Universities can’t afford to have specialized help desks as they streamline to be more efficient. The same IT agent that solves the Internet issue should be able to ensure a student’s parking issue is addressed, help them add meal points or alert them to a financial aid issue. This requires not only great apps and strong CRM tools, but also helpful knowledge systems to accelerate onboarding of part-time student help desk techs.

The changes that higher-ed IT teams have already started to make are substantial. This includes the integration of knowledge workflows, which allows for expedited standard processes (like onboarding), and knowledge management; the latter of which is crucial to teaching how new tools should be utilized and maintained.

However, while managing implementations and integrations of new systems to enhance student success is a large portion of the job, it is imperative that higher-ed IT teams continue to advance technology’s role in the day-to-day between staff, teachers and students alike – it will be a large factor in the appeal and success of universities moving forward.

About the Author:

John Prestridge is SVP of North America and CMO of EasyVista.


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