Page 20 - Campus Technology, March/April 2020
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IT Operations
IT support may become one of the few links between your institution and your student body during this crisis.
Support Services Are Key
Lastly, with many institutions going to a 100 percent remote workforce as well as 100 percent online learning virtually overnight, support services will be crucial to organizational success over the coming months. Making sure that communication is done well and often as well as making online training and support resources available to everyone is crucial. For many operations where students were being used for general IT call-in support, it is now all-hands-on- deck for IT professionals in all functional areas. Fast, efficient and effective support services with professionals who have the resources at hand to help faculty, students and administrators will be what makes organizations successful in this “new normal.” For many institutions, student technical support will be of the utmost importance, not only for student success but also for student retention. Remember, IT support may become one of the few links between your institution and your student body during this crisis. It will be important to monitor and quickly assess whether support services can be done with current resources or if outsourcing will be
needed to make sure everyone is quickly given the best technical support.
IT Audits Can Be Helpful
Audit documentation is important but never so important as now. If you have deficiencies in your operational resources, document them and report them in the audit process. Make them known to your colleagues as well as clearly communicating the possible risks to the institution. This is a historic and milestone event in our society that I believe could bring about a paradigm change in the way we do our work. Document the challenges and take copious notes on needs for equipment, software and policies and learn through the change. While this virus will dissipate, the lessons learned may help us all be better prepared to weather the storms in the future.
Keith Fowlkes has been a leader in higher education technology for over 25 years. He is currently vice president for E&I Technology Contracts for E&I Cooperative Services in Jericho, NY, the largest nonprofit buying consortium for higher education in the U.S.
Photo: Billion Photos/Shutterstock

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