There is no denying it; higher education is changing. Students are bringing their own devices, campus security personnel are wearing body cameras and professors are collaborating on research with colleagues overseas.
Today’s campus barely resembles the learning environment where we sat with notepads and pens twenty years ago; it has been transformed by technology. While tech advances are pivotal to how students are learning and to how universities and colleges operate on a day-to-day basis, these changes raise some important and complex questions. One that is top of mind for most IT teams is how can they securely store and manage data while still making it accessible for everything from student retention and recruitment to research and grant applications.
In a recent eCampus article, Bob Burwell- CTO, State, Local Government & Education for NetApp explored these questions in the context of the “growing debate focused on the role of advanced education and its value to our nation’s workforce, colleges and universities…[and how] to show their significance and return on investment to today’s college students.”
To help college administrators and campus IT professors address these and other questions, Burwell, identified four top trends that educational institutions need to keep front of mind as they plan their IT investments this year.
• Big Data changes everything by creating the opportunity to measure student success and use the analytics in retention and recruitment.
• Partnerships between the Public Sector and Education can give a boost to research and development while also improving local governance.
• Campus Safety procedures are changing to include the use of video cameras and body cameras to make colleges and universities safer for students.
• Bring-Your-Own-Device initiatives are growing, presenting possible privacy and security issues.
In another recent article, Bob’s colleague, Matt Lawson, Principal Architect for State, Local Government & Education at NetApp, tackled the specific question of leveraging data analytics for the business-side of running a university – from student recruitment and faculty retention to finance and budgeting.
Lawson, elaborated that ultimately, to gain full advantage of the technologies available to schools for managing and storing data, they need to “know the data.”
To know the data means that IT teams understand both how frequently the data will be accessed and also the sensitivity of the data. In understanding these two important factors IT leaders can determine what kinds of storage – flash, disk, or cloud, will best meet requirements. In doing so, IT teams have the opportunity to not only help campus administrators leverage and apply data to enhance the college experience, but also assist in containing IT costs.