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Education IT remote systems management software

Efficient remote systems management softwareEducation IT professionals are routinely faced with siloed systems and environments that must be managed in isolation using dedicated, often proprietary systems management solutions.  The result is a disconnected proliferation of management tools, interfaces, processes and procedures that make the overall management task complex, cumbersome and time-consuming. Putting all the requisite pieces in place becomes an exercise in juggling multiple, sometimes conflicting priorities.

By implementing a comprehensive and integrated solution with the power, flexibility and scalability to meet the needs of IT professionals today and expand functionality over time, remote systems management software enables a proactive approach to improved operations for educational institutions and increased client (administrators, educators and students) satisfaction.

The purpose of remote systems management software is  to reduce costs and complexity, manage risk and improve service via flexible delivery models. Systems need to be smarter – not just faster or cheaper and optimized for the needs of today’s educational institutions.

Smarter systems are created with streamlined and efficient systems management software that leverages virtualization and automation, enabling education IT professionals to gain greater control of their infrastructures. IT should be thought of in terms of how it can enable the organization to become more agile and competitive, by helping turn information into insight, deliver services better and faster, enable collaboration, drive efficiency and manage risk. By centralizing, streamlining and automating IT management tasks such as configuration and provisioning, remote systems management software can dramatically reduce cost and risk while improving service delivery in a way not possible with conventional approaches. Administrators need not spend days or weeks bringing new resources online; with automated processes and virtualized technology, needs can be met immediately and without disruption.

The core sets of functions performed by remote systems management software should include:

  • Deployment
  • Configuration
  • Execution
  • Updating
  • Logging
  • Reporting
  • Monitoring
  • Remediation

These functions are part of the core tasks an education IT professional performs on a daily basis. Remote systems management automates systems deployment and management processes by mimicking best practices associated with provisioning of services. The key to effective management is the ability to look across platforms and operating systems, without sacrificing the ability to drill down to the individual device level and perform detailed management tasks.

This results in a one touch approach to process systems management. It reduces processing errors, ensures compliance with procedures and increases the flexibility of managing transaction intensive tasks.

Listen to our free webinar, “Managing Remote IT Systems Management from Your Office: 5 Tips for Education IT Directors” now! In this webinar, we discuss the challenges, solutions and results from IT administrators just like you who have automated key IT tasks, developed solid business processes and implemented best practices to help them actually do more, with less, without leaving their desk.

Experiencing Challenges in Systems Management within Your Education IT Department?

systems management automationIT automation, where systems management software helps run the routine, day-to-day tasks of IT maintenance, can help K-12, university and college IT professionals run their entire networks smoothly – from one central location. By automating IT processes, delivering support capabilities remotely and breaking free from the outdated break/fix model, school districts can operate more efficiently, securely and cost effectively. IT automation delivers relief from the administration, monitoring and helpdesk chores that take up so much time and budget.

Education IT Systems Management Challenges:

  • No centralization
  • Point solutions used to coordinate tasks
  • No patch management software
  • Systems management software applications not updated frequently enough
  • Onsite support too time consuming
  • Reactive instead of proactive

So much time is spent putting out fires, there’s no opportunity to get ahead of these issues… to be organized and strategic.

IT Systems Management Automation Solutions to Challenges:

  • Consolidation under one interface
  • Integrated patch management
  • Time savings resulting in cost savings
  • Staying within school district/university/college budget
  • Ability to be an IT Systems Manager

After automation, education IT professionals have the time and bandwidth to make strategic decisions, get organized and move beyond the ‘putting out fires’ environment.

Survey of Systems Management Issues

A recent ZiffDavis survey of IT professionals measured attitudes about IT automation. It also evaluated the savings and return on investment that organizations realize when implementing automation solutions. When asked about their biggest challenge, in terms of systems management, nearly half of survey respondents cited “providing satisfactory service levels to end users.”

It‘s interesting that this seemingly basic expectation – that schools, staff and students should have the tools and resources they need to do their jobs each day – has become a challenge for education IT departments. Obviously, keeping applications and systems up and running isn‘t as simple as it sounds.

The ROI of IT Systems Management Automation

The benefits of IT systems management automation are clear, but how do they translate to hours and dollars saved? The survey reports that, “Automation technologies can reduce complexity, improve response time and reduce the need for putting out fires.” The study also found that systems management automation reduces the average repair time for system problems by more than 60 percent. The same is true for reductions in tech support visits. Automation also cuts down on travel associated with dispatching technicians to service calls, which conserves resources.

Learn how education IT professionals manage remote systems management from their office and improve levels of service delivery. Listen to our webinar – 5 tips for education IT directors here.

IT Systems Management Efficiency for Educational Institutions

In these uncertain economic times, universities and K-12 school districts are looking to control costs wherever possible. Decision makers are looking at all expenditures to see where to cut costs and install greater IT systems management efficiencies.

In a November 2010 survey conducted by Gartner, the research company predicts that between today and the end of 2015, “50% of higher education CIOs will lose their jobs for failing to balance customer efficiency with organizational efficiency.” What does that mean? It means that the students, teachers and administrators are deploying increasingly sophisticated and ubiquitous technologies – from notebooks to tablets to smart phones and beyond – while those responsible for IT systems management in universities, colleges and K-12 schools try to keep up.

Automation for educational IT departments

Managing Systems Management in the IT Infrastructure

Managing the IT infrastructure for educational institutions can be a thankless job. People just don’t understand the expertise, time and patience required. Systems are often spread over a large geographic area. Users have varying levels of computing needs and experience. IT professionals for educational institutions need to perform a balancing act by providing for the needs of users, managing a complex IT infrastructure and staying within budget.

IT infrastructure is growing increasingly complex as technologies such as virtualization and cloud computing continue to enhance education networks. These systems management solutions can help facilitate greater collaboration and learning, but require more attention from administrators than traditional architecture. Unfortunately, many education IT professionals rely on a ‘siloed’ strategy, deploying multiple point products that manage each network or layer separately.

Managing IT infrastructure doesn’t have to be thankless. Nor does it have to be difficult and overly time consuming. IT systems management automation allows you to manage your assets more efficiently, helping you improve productivity and raise your reputation within your educational environment.

The systems management solutions for these issues are found in strategic investment in technologies that can boost efficiency, save money mid and long term and make IT an integral part of a school district’s or university’s processes and objectives.  By automating key tasks, IT professionals can experience cost reduction, decreased downtime, improved value and the power to strategically align objectives with organizational goals.

IT systems management automation can:

  • Eliminate the daily strain from your IT service delivery
  • Automate your daily IT tasks and manage devices in multiple locations
  • Efficiently manage hundreds of systems through one interface
  • Increase the security of your IT environment
  • Minimize the challenges of maintaining compliance by automating IT tasks

In order to address the goals and needs of administrators, educators, students and school districts, IT professionals must have the most effective solutions in place. Remote IT systems management does seem to be the best approach, but exactly how does it work? We’ll delve deeper into how systems management automation can help IT professionals for educational institutions in subsequent blog posts.

Learn how educational institutions are using Kaseya to deliver safe and efficient IT systems management. View our education case studies here.

Tips for Managing Distributed IT Systems in Schools

Education IT leaders are still talking about the challenges of managing PCs and servers – especially the escalating costs and shrinking service levels – but is there a better way to do it in your school district?  Jump to the head of the class with thisFREE report from Kaseya and learn:

  • How to use remote control techniques to assess/repair IT systems
  • How to manage tickets efficiently and effectively
  • Special tips for managing patches
  • Special tips for end users (to self-manage their PCs)
  • Bonus tips for managing domain configurations

Get your free Education IT report here.

Calling All Education IT Leaders!

If you’re doing IT for K-12 school systems, in the public or private sector, please participate in our Second Annual Automation’s Role in K-12 Schools Survey. We value the insights of IT leaders like you and are always looks for fresh voices.

We recognize that your time is at a premium, but the survey will only take about two minutes to complete and your opinions are very important to us.

When we’re done conducting the survey we will send you the survey results free of charge and in advance of their public release so you can be the first to know what your peers are thinking.

Click here for the survey.

To be included, please complete the survey before Wednesday, March 2.

Thank you for helping us with our research. Your response is important to us.  Please feel free to share this survey link with your education IT colleagues.

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