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Why ITSM in education is a gamechanger

Service management software for the education sector by C2 ITSM illustrated by a teacher with kids and processes mapping

IT Service Management (ITSM) is a methodology that originated in enterprise business. It structures information technology into services that the service provider delivers to customers.

That might not sound like it would apply to educational institutions, but how ITSM frames the customer/provider relationship and pushes the organization to be more service-oriented aligns quite well with how those institutions want to operate.

Many different groups of users exist at higher education institutes. Students, faculty, administrators, contractors, guests and visitors need IT services from your department. ITSM in education can help you get those users the services they need more efficiently. It can even foster a culture of innovation that will set you apart from your peer institutions.

Educational institutions face IT challenges on many fronts

Tightening budgets

Today’s stretched IT budgets aren’t likely to get any larger in the years ahead. Public funding cuts in general have severely disrupted the resources many institutions thought they would have access to as they moved into the middle of this decade. A report last year from McKinsey & Co. found that more than half of all higher education institutions could suffer budgetary shortfalls of at least 5%.

Lack of centralization

This problem is particularly acute at larger, older institutions. Older educational institutions have accumulated complex administrative structures where many departments historically were in charge of their own IT needs. As a result, data is often siloed and stored in many small data centers or even individual labs.

This decentralization can make service and project requests unnecessarily difficult to manage. Teams from different units with different processes need to work together. As a result, requests may get dealt with inefficiently.

Constant security risks

Attackers have long targeted educational institutions. They know overtaxed IT departments managing those large, decentralized user bases can leave servers and other resources vulnerable. They’re also valuable targets since institutions maintain so much personally identifiable student data.

Managing large, complex user bases

Meeting the needs of all the different types of users on an educational campus can be quite challenging. Students, faculty, staff, and other groups all need different resources from IT.

Operations also vary wildly across campus. For example, classrooms need one kind of technology, dining halls another, athletics a third, and when your campus hosts conferences or symposiums, you need to turn into a completely different kind of events IT department.

Managing large, complex inventories

Each user base and venue needs its own equally large and complex technology inventory. For example, a typical educational campus will have wired and wireless networks everywhere, digital signage, A/V equipment in classrooms and conference centers, and laptops and mobile devices everywhere.

Budgets often don’t allow all of this equipment to be kept current. Sometimes lifecycles need to be stretched, or creative solutions need to be found to get through the semester.

ITSM in education gives you the tools to improve your students’ experience

As we can see, the challenges educational institutions face are many and varied. There’s an obvious need to find the best methods for effectively delivering IT services to these communities.

The good news is that IT service management practices can help solve these challenges. And it’s easier to get started with cloud-based ITSM tools than you might think. Here are just a few of the ways ITSM technology can help.

Easy access to services

It’s right in the name: ITSM is about service. Modern, cloud-based ITSM tools are designed to be easy for all of your institution’s users to access. They create a one-stop-shop for students, faculty and other staff to request whatever they need from IT: a new laptop, troubleshooting for an e-learning app or a new projector for a classroom are a few examples. You can even generate self-service portals for your users to get standardized requests addressed as quickly and easily as possible.

Efficient, centralized services

ITSM technology helps you rein in disorganized, decentralized operating models. Even if your underlying teams stay decentralized, an ITSM management platform can act as a unifying organizational tool.

You’ll be able to create clearly defined services and processes that every customer and service team will use. You’ll also be able to keep track of projects that span multiple service teams.

Better insight into your operations

When you bring all of your IT services under the umbrella of an ITSM management tool, you also can gather data about every process that the tool manages in real time. As a result, it can generate new, valuable insights into your institution that you might never have had before.

For example, you might identify a problem that trends across all incoming student classes. Maybe there’s a common account registration issue you hadn’t received feedback about otherwise. Seeing that in service request data, in real-time, will allow you to react and get students registered and settled in even faster.

Better customer service

ITSM processes and technology provide a better experience for both users and IT professionals. Standardizing services and the request process leaves less room for confusion and uncertainty. Users will always know what options are available. And for workers, managing requests will be less stressful when they can work in standardized processes.

Provides a platform for future growth and change

Once your institution has adapted to ITSM processes, you’ll be well-positioned to take on transformative projects more effectively. You’ll have meaningful data coming in and a structured set of technologies, operating procedures, and a unified workforce to leverage. As a result, you’ll be able to better support major strategic initiatives, like a digital transformation of your entire educational institution.

Opportunities to expand beyond IT service

You can apply the principles of IT service management to departments outside of IT as well. If a business or educational process can be standardized and packaged into a service, service management principles apply. Applying those principles outside of IT is called enterprise service management (ESM).

Change the game with C2 ITSM

ITSM in education is a game-changer. If you’re planning to change or update your institution’s IT processes, you will need a reliable ITSM platform to build from. Look for an ITSM management tool that can meet the needs of your institution’s most important users.

C2 is an all-in-one IT service management platform that helps your IT teams collaborate and deliver better service. It’s also a codeless, cloud-native solution, so it’s easy for educational institutions of all sizes to get up and running fast.