BYOD impacts IT asset management in higher education

Businesses in North America and abroad have aggressively pursued the BYOD trend, launching policies and adjusting IT asset management strategies to allow employees to use their personal smartphones, tablets and portable computers. In the higher education sector, universities and colleges have had to similarly consider IT service delivery changes to enable BYOD participation among students, faculty and administrators.

Julian Koh, writing for InformationWeek, recently explained some of the challenges that come with BYOD, as well as the dangers of avoiding the trend entirely, with a specific focus on organizations in higher education. Studies indicate that BYOD can be a helpful strategy for virtually any business, public sector agency or school, as the modern individual is highly engaged with his or her personal devices.

According to the Koh, who works at Northwestern University, the most complex aspect of BYOD management in schools is the high turnover rate of active devices. Whereas a company will likewise have to keep a handle on a vast diversity of devices, universities experience much larger volumes of entering and exiting BYOD participants, which further complicates management issues.

A strong mobility plan will focus on security, efficiency, productivity and support, providing users with the most seamless and preferable experiences possible through a combination of policies and solutions. Koh explained that his university’s approach to BYOD security was to standardize authentication and encryption on the main wireless network, as well as guest access points.

He noted challenges with certain devices and applications, especially Apple products, that did not work well with large enterprise networking setups that were involved.

However, many universities are benefiting from using IT service automation and delivery from third-party managed service providers. One example is Aptris, which has helped higher education organizations maximize the effectiveness of their help desks through implementation of competitive solutions.