The right service desk solution is worth the search

Doron Youngerwood, director of marketing at SysAid, explains why dealing with IT issues in education can be a gargantuan task

Managing a school’s IT ecosystem isn’t easy. Educational institutions of all types face budget, data and security challenges as they manage the growing demand for information and communication technology assets.

But IT departments can provide faster and better support by leveraging a service desk solution that incorporates robust service orchestration capabilities, for example automating tasks like onboarding students at the beginning of the year and provisioning virtual machines.

Improving service and support

School IT departments typically have to deal with two groups of customers: staff and students. Budget constraints require greater efficiency and result in constant cost reduction initiatives, all while the IT team struggles with a high user to IT support staff ratio.

The right service desk can automate responses to routine user requests for help, information, service and change requests — not just in IT, but across departments and teams within the institution. With self-service functions, students and staff can access help 24/7 via any device to submit incidents and requests, access FAQs, view and monitor tickets, update settings and reset passwords.

A tool that provides a self-service portal as part of the service agreement can handle much more than routine IT incidents and requests. For example, the portal can make it easy to book classrooms and student equipment, replacing manual forms submission processes, with built-in approval workflows, if required. This can significantly speed up the process of reserving rooms and equipment.

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Managing assets more effectively

Managing IT and non-IT assets can be difficult for schools, especially large institutions with multiple locations. A service desk can simplify asset management with a solution that allows users to view, secure and manage assets from the service desk. This approach also drives faster ticket resolution by embedding asset data within each ticket, automatically recording details of all activities, monitoring events and recording changes to hardware and software to identify the root cause of an issue.

Digital transformation

Businesses worldwide are pursuing digital transformation and performance improvement initiatives because it makes operations more efficient, enables continuous improvement and fosters innovation. Educational institutions can also benefit from digital transformation, not only in IT but also in HR, facilities management and administration.

A service desk that delivers reporting and analytics can provide valuable performance insights to drive continuous improvement. Analytics can also shed light on ways to make the most of limited resources, ensuring that educational IT departments serve staff and students efficiently by comparing key performance indicators to the results achieved in prior years, or by comparing performance at one school with metrics posted by similar institutions as a benchmark.

Analytics can also help educational institutions that use technology assets like Blackboard, Google Classroom, etc., to anticipate demand spikes and manage a predictable influx of incidents or requests related to the use of these tools. With benchmarking capabilities, educational institutions can gain a big picture view and identify where there’s room for improvement.

A service desk solution with service orchestration can automate processes and improve service delivery in educational institutions of any size. Schools experience the same pain points as other organisations, plus challenges that are unique to the education arena. With the right service desk solution, school IT departments can overcome those challenges, providing better, faster and more affordable service and augmenting IT resources to tackle the school’s unique challenges more effectively.