3 Ways the Service Desk can Help Higher Education

While it might not be the most obvious analogy to draw, advanced service desk solutions for academia are a lot like summer vacation.

Don't believe us? Well, we can't really blame you. You're right to be skeptical. We all hold our precious summertimes in high regard. How dare we make such a bold claim, right?

Thing is, we stand by it, and here's why - using an oft-repeated rhyme appropriated and popularized by rock legend Alice Cooper:

1. No More Pencils
A sharpened No. 2 pencil used to be the gold standard for getting work done. Those days are long gone.

In a modern higher education environment, colleges and universities rely on an interoperable, expanding network of hardware and software devoted to freely allowing students and faculty to learn and collaborate.

Pencils may seem a little archaic in the face of so much progress, but they do possess one unappreciated value. You could always tell which students worked the hardest based on how quickly their pencils shrank. After all, the more work you do, the duller your tip gets, which leads to more sharpening and less pencil wood.

Service desk solutions cannot take that awareness of accomplished work for granted. IT professionals behind the scenes need complete transparency into change and release management during every stage of the process, otherwise they could accidentally create more work for themselves, harm their configurations or ignore the day's most pressing tickets. Advanced ITSM suites like ChangeGear keep everyone in the loop and provides visibility into every service request, as well as documentation of past changes.

2. No More Books
Librarians of the world, be not afraid - even in an age of the internet and social media, campuses are still ebullient with book lovers.

That said, when things go wrong with a school's student-facing IT resources, nobody flocks to the library to pick up how-to guides about how to solve the problems themselves. Instead, like InformationWeek pointed out, they take to Twitter, hashtagging away until someone takes corrective action. This not only hurts the reputation of the university in the eyes of social media users - read: pretty much everyone - but it's also not an effective channel for actually fixing the problem at hand.

When institutions integrate consolidated service management platforms into their legacy IT infrastructure, they can prevent this cyberbullying from ever happening by first establishing a single point of contact for students, faculty, administrators and IT professionals, then utilizing intuitive knowledge base and self-service resources.

Sure, it's not a technical manual pulled from the stacks, but it's arguably worlds better and much more effective. Intelligent service desk offerings transform past resolved incidents to recommended resources for future users in need, a literal manifestation of the phrase "learning from your mistakes." Moreover, university IT technicians will appreciate how self-service knowledge base articles minimize labor costs by reducing time spent addressing low-tier incidents.

3. No More Teachers' Dirty Looks
Way back when, the only thing professors had to worry about was getting hungover college kids to participate in a discussion of the material. These days, it's keeping up with their students' expectations for digital engagement.

So, when online community portals aren't functioning properly or multimedia resources can't be accessed week after week, it's enough to make even the most seasoned educator curse his tenure. A more agile ITSM framework supported by the latest service desk features ensures nobody's modern curricula gets compromised. Tools like dependency mapping via a CMDB and automated regression testing guarantee configuration patches correct glitches without opening up a whole mess of problems elsewhere.

Academia: Don't get your tweed jackets in a bunch. Let service desk solutions like ChangeGear be your teaching assistant next semester and beyond.

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