Takeaways from EDUCAUSE 2019: 2020 Top 10 IT Issues

Logicalis made the trip to the Windy City last month to exhibit at EDUCAUSE 19 and it didn’t disappoint. The conference focused on key IT and technology themes trending in higher education including “everything” data, digital transformation, security and privacy and new tools and tactics to support modern pedagogy.

EDUCAUSE also released its 2020 Top 10 IT Issues, an annual list that outlines key IT issues in higher education. This list reveals that teams will continue to align with institutional missions and support student outcomes and student success, in a continuing shift away from technology—a trend that’s reflected across industries overall. As Susan Grajek, Vice President/Communities and Research at EDUCAUSE put it:

“The challenges facing higher education are unprecedented in scope and complexity. We can no longer operate in growth mode. Institutions know they need to innovate to achieve a competitive advantage in today’s complex marketplace, and almost none of today’s innovation can happen without data and technology. The 2020 IT Issues reveal where the integrative CIO must simplify, sustain, and innovate as higher education drives to digital transformation.”

As an IT leader in higher education, how can you meet the changing needs of your institution and add value to its mission, while reducing the IT management burden?

Cloud-like economics with on-premises security and control

What is your cloud strategy? Better yet, what is your strategy to get out of the infrastructure business so you can focus on student success?

In Logicalis’ booth, HPE presented its GreenLake solution which is a consumption-based, “as-a-service” experience that allows you to grow and scale your on-premise cloud and IT infrastructure experience based on need.

Instead of forcing a public cloud strategy or moving critical workloads to a public cloud—which your institution may not be ready for—GreenLake is an approach that provides cloud-like economics with on-premise security and control of your data and apps. You can get applications to market right away—in minutes—without waiting months to expand the IT infrastructure and budget. Consider these use cases:

  • AI and IoT initiatives – These projects are becoming increasingly prevalent on college campuses, but supporting these data-intensive, often short-term projects is challenging. Instead, you can quickly ramp up capacity to meet the short-term demand of AI, IoT and pilot projects and move data as needed—without purchasing new hardware or paying data usage rates.
  • Campus-wide services or applications – Your administration requires a fast rollout of a platform to support a systemwide service or application, such as a student information system or a faculty engagement app. Instead of waiting weeks or months to procure and provision hardware, you can provide capacity in minutes and modify specifications with simple change orders.
  • Cyberattacks and breaches – You can easily reduce risk because the infrastructure stays behind both your firewall and your physical wall. Because utilization risk is shared with HPE, you can free up IT staff for innovation.

AI-driven predictive analytics for reduced IT management complexity

For colleges and universities, application downtime disrupts the learning process, impacts employee workflows and leads to other issues. At the same time, IT teams must focus on delivering a stellar student experience—and not get bogged down by constant infrastructure management.

HPE also presented InfoSight in our booth, which is an intelligent data platform with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) built in. It offers operational intelligence that provides greater IT management efficiency that keeps your focus on creating valuable student experiences.

It essentially uses predictive analytics to predict IT events—based on “learning” from the entire HPE install base—and, instead of reacting to events, IT teams can take proactive steps before events can impact the IT environment. InfoSight has prevented countless issues and saved precious time tracking down problems. Here are some use cases:

  • Bug fixes – An HPE higher education customer discovers a bug and works with the HPE engineering team to find a fix. But instead of waiting for other customers to detect the bug some days, weeks or months later—and then spending valuable time tracing the issue and researching a solution—all susceptible systems are automatically identified and alerts sent with details about the bug. All HPE customers can now proactively take immediate corrective action to avert downtime.
  • Capacity adjustments – InfoSight collects all the details about a customer’s configuration, capacity and consumption and uses predictive analytics to predict when they might be running out of space. When capacity reaches a certain threshold, based on their usage, the customer receives an alert that allows them to proactively take corrective action before failure occurs.

InfoSight is included with most HPE systems today and taking advantage of InfoSight’s predictive analytics is as simple as registering your system.

Logicalis:  Your HPE and higher education partner

A longtime HPE partner and award-winning managed services provider, Logicalis understands education. Our dedicated GovEd practice is staffed by certified professionals who can help you optimize your current infrastructure and reduce your IT management burden, while helping you stay productive and meet your goals for a more student-centered learning environment.

Our consulting services can help with digital transformation roadmaps—including a path to the cloud that scales your institution for short- and long- term IT growth—and align the right technologies with your needs, budgets and timelines.

To learn more about smart campus solutions that give you the flexibility, scalability and agility to support innovation and drive competitive advantage, contact GovEd@us.logicalis.com.

Mike Riley is the Vice President of the Healthcare and GovEd practices at Logicalis US, responsible for helping healthcare, government and educational organizations align their business and technology needs to enhance patient, citizen and student outcomes. Special thanks to Jim Goetz and Mike Egner of HPE for joining us in the Logicalis booth and contributing to this blog post.