Universities were early adopters of wireless, and it was early enough that the mindset was centered around a campus wide coverage model. Universities have many mobile users in students, faculty and staff; they have done most of their connecting finding somewhere on campus with good to great coverage to sit down and begin to access the internet, school data or resources. As time goes on, this technology integrates itself more and more in the Pre K – 12 scene as well, allowing for a unique, efficient and fun way to educate students.
The new chapter of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or Bring Your Own Everything (BYOE) has thrown them into impactful change. In today’s academic environment, information technologists supporting the colleges must do more and deliver more with fewer resources and less funding. With an increasing cost of maintenance, and the shortage of both affordable and experienced technical staff, IT professionals are forced to choose between allocating staff to the deployment of new technology or updating, troubleshooting and maintaining the existing technology. Meanwhile students, even though they may be assigned one user account might have two or more devices such as PC’s, mobile tablets, smartphones, wireless printers and game consoles, just to start the list. They are also digital natives who may have an upper hand when they want bandwidth no matter what the policy and rules state. It would seem that it is mandated and is incumbent on the IT department to ensure high-quality system performance throughout the entire campus enterprise, while working within constrained budgets and a mission to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of IT systems. The current behavior seems to have become more of survivorship versus high quality system performance for the campus. When strategic thinking and planning are limited, spending may not be invested wisely and alignment to the needs and wants of students, faculty and administration may be failing also. Strategic thinking and planning are the keys to future readiness.
Healthcare work in teaching hospitals has led us to additional universities across the US. We are working on projects in California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska, and our own backyard at most of Ohio’s State universities. In nearly all of our University projects, we have new mobile and wireless initiatives underway that are dynamic and change constantly. In this industry, we would best serve your needs with a conversation surrounding your specific pain or opportunity and then point you to resources, references or projects we could quickly provide.