4 Benefits of Managed IT for Education

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Mar 16, 2022

With hackers, phishing attacks, dedicated denial of service (DDOS) and other cyber threats on the rise, navigating IT has become a challenging task. To manage your hardware and software, keep pace with an expanding set of teacher and student digital learning tools and handle the latest threats to network security and student privacy, you need to be an expert. Which is where hiring a Managed Service Provider for your school's IT network and infrastructure comes in.  

As with any business, educational institutions need to regularly evaluate their technological needs, including what their options are for technological infrastructure and managed IT services. It doesn’t matter if the school is a K-12 school or an institution of higher education, all levels of instruction are using more technology to teach, manage their classroom activities and complete their administrative duties. In addition to the fact that managed IT can significantly improve the quality of teaching and learning through the use of technology, there are a number of other aspects of managed IT that make it essential in educational settings. Here are 4 reasons why managed IT services are right for your educational needs and a great resource for schools:

1. Security

When it comes to managed IT in schools, one of the biggest things often overlooked is that having technology available in the classroom and throughout any campus opens up many potential security risks. A network with many access points is inevitable when every student and teacher has a laptop or another device. And, since the majority of security breaches happen at the level of individual users, it takes only one mistake from an individual user-- say accidentally clicking on a phishing link, which can instantly download malware that can compromise an entire system.

Student, staff, and administrator personal devices can be infected by viruses that can enter a school's network. This grants cybercriminals access to critical data, including grades and sensitive information for hundreds, if not thousands of students and employees. It is thus imperative that schools make their technological infrastructure as secure as possible.

Managed IT services will ensure that regular audits and vulnerability testing is carried out, as well as keeping your firewalls, anti-virus software, anti-malware, and other cybersecurity technology up to date. It’s important to check that your compliance and security policies are current and valid, so as not to leave your school vulnerable to cyber-attack. Getting added technical support is a positive step towards keeping your data protected and preventing your school’s network from being vulnerable to infiltration and internal and external cyber-attacks due to lack of regular maintenance.

2. Better Time Management

There are only so many hours in the school day and teachers and students are already trying to squeeze in as much learning as possible into every day. Any time a computer isn’t working or there are network issues is time lost to teaching and learning. With a managed IT provider at your service, any forgotten password issue or trouble with a computer that won’t boot up is just a click or call away—even faster than having an on campus IT person respond to service requests. Through centralizing troubleshooting and sending tickets to the right technology personnel, teachers can not only resolve technology issues faster, but they can also use their time as teachers instead of troubleshooting.

In addition to saving school administrators time, troubleshooting by an IT MSP also means teachers and students no longer need to deal with daily technology issues, enabling them to concentrate on more strategic initiatives. The process of technology management does not have to be viewed as an endless series of tasks (e.g., fix a computer, reset a password, order a new projector bulb). Instead, with the help of a managed IT provider, school administrators can take a longer-term strategic approach, deciding, for example, whether to purchase a new online instructional platform for the upcoming semester or whether to update some of the school's hardware. Leaving your IT woes to a managed service professional can, in short, enable teachers and administrators to focus on what they do best, while leaving the technological issues to those with the necessary expertise.

3. Safer School Environment

Safety of students must be a top priority for educational institutions. Although digital technology provides invaluable learning resources, it also exposes students to potential dangers that can be prevented with careful mitigation. While it can be challenging to monitor students' online activity, as they may actively use 3G and 4G networks to avoid detection, Managed IT services will ensure that you are doing everything you can to protect these students. The use of managed IT services can identify and shut down harassment in all digital forms on WiFi networks. Getting the help of an expert to implement policies regarding the use of educational WiFi networks and letting your students know incorrect usage will be reported will help your school become safer. Although schools cannot entirely eliminate the risk that digital technology can present in the classroom, they must do everything they can to keep their students as safe as possible.

4. Update Technology With Ease

Changing classroom technology and the development of remote and hybrid learning situations require your district's IT infrastructure to keep up. A managed service provider for schools will monitor your data center and keep your network running smoothly. But on-premises servers may not be sufficient to meet the needs of the changing digital classroom.

The cost of maintaining onsite IT infrastructure for a school can be considerable, but cloud migration services can help you deliver the applications your students need to learn remotely. An assessment of your current IT environment can help determine if cloud migration makes sense for your school. Using the cloud can reduce costs, allow for quicker introduction of updated applications, and allow you to scale both computing power and storage as enrollment changes. A hybrid infrastructure may be the most suitable solution for your software or current setup. Schools that do not migrate to the cloud in some capacity are at risk of falling behind when it comes to helping students learn digitally.

What Can Milner Managed IT Services Do For My School’s IT?

Milner offers expertise in education technology and IT support for schools of all sizes, and has the industry experience to do it right. We want your educational institution to get the most out of your technology stack and feel empowered to pursue strategic initiatives rather than worry about day-to-day technology management.

A managed IT service by Milner provides schools with general advice, support, and guidance from a single point of contact. Managed services include 24/7 access to our help desk staff, application and network support, IT security and cloud-based backup and recovery, and more. Stop worrying about your IT. Choosing Milner as your managed service provider means you'll always be prepared in case of unexpected downtime. Take control of your school's technological progress with our innovative solutions designed for the office and classroom. Schedule a demo today.

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