2021 brought many challenges to the IT space. Most notably, it was the year of transitioning to hybrid learning as part of the return-to-school strategy for many institutions. Switching to hybrid learning demanded new ways of supporting teacher-student interactions, which meant implementing and running novel IT solutions. Unfortunately, these transformations often introduced unexpected complexities and risks.
Between deploying new IT solutions and mitigating security risks, running a school’s IT systems is a delicate balancing act requiring a high level of diligence. And since IT is an indispensable tool in many learning institutions, you cannot afford to gamble on technical operations. There’s no telling for sure what 2022 has in store technology-wise, so it’s best to prepare for anything.
Take a proactive approach to IT management by partnering with an IT services provider to avoid unpleasant surprises in the coming year. Here are three main reasons why you should do so:
1. Reinforce security
Cybercrime is at an all-time high, and threat actors show no signs of letting up. Although cyber incidents affect all industries, the education sector is becoming a favorite target for cyberattacks. The education and research industry recorded a 75 percent year-on-year increase in cyberattacks in 2021. And according to Microsoft, the education sector holds the record for the highest number of malware attacks encountered.
Even today, threat actors are still hiding under the pandemic’s veil to perpetrate various targeted attacks. Attacks can come in many forms, including ransomware, DDoS attacks, social engineering (phishing, fraud, pretexting, cyberbullying, etc.), cryptojacking, and zero-day exploits.
A managed IT provider can help your institution prepare for these threats by mitigating risks and implementing proactive and responsive cybersecurity measures.
2. Get around the labor shortage
The U.S. is currently going through an acute labor shortage. Figures from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce show over 10 million job positions are waiting to be filled. Skilled talent is becoming increasingly scarce, especially in technical professions. On top of that, retaining good employees is now more challenging than ever before.
The IT department is a labor-intensive area that short-handed can’t run smoothly. A small or under-skilled IT team can quickly get overwhelmed by mounting support tickets, system maintenance duties, and other day-to-day responsibilities.
Luckily, you can rely on managed services to fill any labor or skill gaps in your IT department. And best of all, you get a team of highly skilled and experienced IT experts for a mere fraction of what it costs to hire in-house technicians.
3. Utilize the cloud
Cloud computing is the way to go if you’re looking for robust, cost-efficient computing power to support modern conveniences such as virtual learning, digital signage, advanced data storage, and online presence. More so now with the ongoing chip shortage. Yes, a worldwide semiconductor chip shortage has already caused significant disruptions to electronics manufacturing and supply chains. This rather unusual material shortage is only getting worse, leading to price hikes and hardware unavailability.
Moving all your data and workflows to the cloud means you don’t have to worry about purchasing expensive computers or servers. However, migrating to the cloud is not always easy, especially when switching from a complex on-prem infrastructure. But you don’t have to do it alone; a managed services partner can guide, direct, and oversee the entire transition process, ensuring everything is done correctly, efficiently, and securely.
You can do so much more with a managed IT services provider by your side. Managing IT is more about optimizing IT processes for maximum performance at the lowest cost and risk than simply fixing technical issues. That’s exactly what we do here at TFE. We form strategic IT partnerships with Texan schools and businesses to empower growth through meaningful IT investments. Let’s talk about taking your school to the next digital level.