3 Ways to Tell If Your Campus Is in Need of an IT Reboot

3 Ways to Tell If Your Campus Is in Need of an IT Reboot

By Bob Zwarycz on Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The right technology can empower your college in many ways: Administrators use data systems and enterprise tools to provide a clearer picture of academic success; teachers tap the latest educational resources to engage learners; and students — well, they practically live on the stuff.

But, like the milk in your refrigerator, even the best hardware has an expiration date. Eventually, those once shiny computers and handhelds will cause more problems than they solve. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead.

So how can you tell when your technology is at the end of its lifecycle? Here are three indicators that a comprehensive IT upgrade is in order:

Windows XP Is Still Hanging Around

Take an inventory of your campus machines. How many are still running Windows XP? If the answer is several, you are in need of an IT refresh. Microsoft’s once popular operating system is no longer actively supported, leaving every PC still running XP vulnerable to new security threats. XP isn’t the only Microsoft product on the verge of extinction. Internet Explorer 8 is no longer supported, and mainstream support for Windows 7 ends Jan. 13, 2015. Planning to switch to Windows 8 or another operating system? Now’s the time to set the right plan in place.

Mobile Is Everywhere — Are You Ready?

With so many students and faculty bringing their own mobile devices to campus, it’s no wonder that IT administrators are working overtime to squeeze more power and functionality out of existing wireless networks.

But getting the most from Wi-Fi is tough to do, especially when your stable of routers and access points is past its prime. The best lifecycle plans account for not only current wireless usage and bandwidth but also future increases and challenges.

If your infrastructure wasn’t created with mobile as a top priority, it’s time for a refresh.

Not Taking Advantage of Cloud Services

There’s no way around it: An IT refresh is expensive and time-consuming. But a good plan that includes the introduction of cloud-based services can make that process easier.

Cloud-based services work by allowing colleges to shift applications outside the campus network. The technology essentially does two things: (1) It enables administrators to reduce server, storage, power and infrastructure on campus, and (2) It reduces the amount of time and resources spent checking and upgrading software and services. The service provider can perform the majority of that work as part of a cloud-based service.

Want to learn more about how the cloud could help your next IT refresh cycle? Read The Cloud: A Smart Move for Higher Education

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