IT managers in higher education are facing pressures from all sides; fighting to keep up with an ever-changing technology landscape, whilst managing increasing expectations from students and staff who, with the proliferation of 4K capable personal devices, are accustomed to high-quality interactive and visual experiences being readily available to them.
Staying competitive as an institution
In a recent study of IT managers, 74% of the respondents highlighted that with tuition fees at their highest levels, students are more demanding of the technology provided in higher education. A rich visual experience, minimal downtime caused by interruption from technical glitches and high-definition picture quality all adds to the student learning experience in lecture theatres and seminar rooms.
It was found that 85% of those surveyed, agreed that technology plays a key role in competing against other universities and driving league table ratings.
In order to move with the times and resonate with students who are accustomed to interactive, visual experiences, more and more IT departments are investing in the latest technologies to future-proof their investments and attract the best academics. This supports the 4K debate, pushing IT managers to invest in 4K-ready displays to complement increasing BYOD in classroom and lecture spaces, enabling 4K film footage and photographs from students to be shared and displayed at their native resolution.
As student expectations rise in line with the proliferation of collaborative working, lecture rooms are expected to be equipped with the latest technology that delivers an immersive and interactive learning environment. Half of those surveyed agreed that not investing in tech will result in reduced engagement levels from students; every university professor’s nightmare. Advancements in technology, however, do not always go hand-in-hand with incremental rises in IT budgets, with 59% of IT managers citing that budgets have either stayed the same or have decreased since 2016. IT managers are therefore having to make their budgets stretch further both in capital investment and total cost of ownership, mastering a tricky balance between staying competitive and getting the most for their money. The move towards lamp-free projection allows IT managers to save on consumables, power and maintenance expense at no cost to quality.
Making the most of resources
In the survey, almost half of the respondents said that they consider their IT department to be more stretched than it was two years ago in terms of time and resources. Having to continuously resolve maintenance issues is the last thing that IT teams want to deal with when resources are already stretched, therefore IT teams must make clever technology decisions to avoid this unnecessary stressor. 52% of those surveyed said that they frequently experience issues with technology and that projectors are notorious for breaking down. As the only projector manufacturer to dedicate its entire range to lamp-free technology, Casio is dedicated to providing low-maintenance solutions to education markets, with its budget-friendly projectors offering high picture quality and extensive connectivity options. Of the 100 IT managers surveyed, 93% said that little to no maintenance is a key factor in projector-buying decisions. Casio’s projectors are therefore the ideal fit for those looking for low-maintenance tech that can be easily integrated into their existing network infrastructures.