Higher education CIOs embrace Mobile Computing

June 11, 2018
Patricia Kutza

Ownership has its privileges … but the new normal of Mobile Computing in higher education is challenging this long-held assumption for IT leaders. Rapidly changing technologies and the “Bring Your Own Device” era puts considerable pressure on these IT leaders, who are primarily focused on digital solutions that improve educational outcomes.

Consequently, CIOs in higher education are increasingly transitioning their network operations to the cloud and working with IT partners like CBTS for monitoring and management. This allows CIOs to leverage an OpEx model that delivers predictable monthly costs, and the peace of mind that comes with putting their operations in the hands of experts at IT partners like CBTS.

Brent Flaugher, account manager with CBTS, recently shared insights from his conversations with CIOs in higher education who are embracing this move toward the cloud.

How do you recommend CIOs in this space think about ROI as they analyze cloud-based solutions?

They can start by considering economies of scale. Picture a school system with satellite campuses. With the traditional ownership model, each campus’ IT department maintains servers and storage to service its campus, along with IT staffers to support its operations.

Multiply that configuration by any number of campus locations, and you are looking at rapidly increasing costs brought on by the escalating need for more storage space to satisfy data-hungry initiatives. That’s just one example.

Migrating all of their IT operations to the cloud means, among other considerations, that CIOs no longer have to plan for obsolescence. They don’t have to think about the continual training of their IT staffs, and the expensive equipment upgrades that are part and parcel of the ever-changing technology landscape.

How do the challenges of BYOD Mobile Computing factor into calculating ROI for transitioning to cloud-based services?

Mobile Computing offers the promise of compelling multimedia-based educational content that enriches the educational experience. But it also represents a monumental challenge to existing IT departments because of the increasing bandwidth demands that require better network optimization. As the number of these devices expands, so does the pressure on the capacity of existing networks. This often means IT leaders must invest in upgraded equipment and ongoing training for their IT staff.

BYOD also introduces another level of security challenges that increasingly require highly specialized IT staffers who can keep pace with security threats and all the other considerations that come with keeping track of a myriad of mobile devices.

Migrating to cloud services that offer 24x7x365 maintenance delivered by experts, and optimized networks, will help schools grow at the pace needed to stay relevant in the highly competitive education sector.

What is a simple way to picture the cloud service-pricing model?

A good, relatable example is thinking about how you pay for utilities like gas and electricity. You pay a monthly charge that is based on the amount of gas or electricity that you use. CBTS offers a number of cloud-based solutions that offer the same model. For example, consider the cost of storing data in the cloud. Our clients pay a fee based on the amount of space they are using in the cloud to store data.

How do CBTS products and solutions meet Mobile Computing demands for CIOs in higher education?

Voice, storage, and security are the cornerstones of their demands. Education CIOs need products and services that can boost their bandwidth and offer them a more robust and dependable wireless technology. Additionally, CIOs are faced with the prospect of providing vast amounts of storage to handle their data needs, and they need IT experts who can keep their operations secure.

CBTS offers shared cloud-based offerings that optimize storage, backup, voice, and security requirements. Our services support the CIO’s bottom line by eliminating the need for large capital expenditures, and the need to recruit, retain, and continually retrain large IT staffs that can handle the critical demands of their connected educational organization.

For more information on how CBTS is helping higher education clients, read this Q&A with Paul Czarapata, VP and CIO of the multi-campus Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS).

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