Spotlight on Higher Education: 4 Ways to Build a Better Technology Helpdesk

Marie Ruzzo.

Marie Ruzzo

December 02, 2020


The pandemic has made one thing crystal clear: colleges and universities need technology to innovate and thrive. And where there is tech, there is a need for tech support.

To enable distance and hybrid learning models, institutions have accelerated their digital transformation strategies by adopting new technologies and expanding bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. As a result, IT help desks have their hands full supporting an expansive list of device types and software applications.

But technology help desks aren’t always armed with the right tools to assist faculty, staff and students with uninstalling and setting up applications, changing settings and fixing errors.

As colleges and universities settle into the new normal, where campus is as much a concept as it is a physical place, it is time for institutions to reassess their remote support solution. Take a look at the four traits a remote support tool must have in order to meet this moment.

4 traits of effective remote support tools

Information security: Lock out malicious actors

Let’s start with safety first. The ability to access and control a device remotely raises security concerns. Colleges and universities routinely deal with sensitive information and faculty members often have intellectual property to protect.

With more people working, learning and doing business remotely, malicious activity is on the rise. It’s important that your remote support tool is architected to protect data and stop fraudsters and hackers cold.

Look for the following features:

  • Validation measures that ensure your end users can only receive support from your dedicated support team and stop malicious actors in their tracks.
  • Data protection protocols used in the financial industry, like TLS 1.2 transport security and AES-256-bit encryption.

ROI: Look beyond cost

Because the pandemic has put the financial health of most institutions at risk, it’s paramount for tech departments to be budget conscious in their selection of remote support tools. Long-term maintenance and upgrades can easily eat up any up-front savings. But it’s important to look beyond licensing costs and consider other factors that help you achieve a quick and certain return on your investment.

Look for the following features:

  • Cloud architecture that takes costly maintenance and upgrades off the help desk team’s plate
  • Immediate reduction in resolution times with noticeable efficiencies within three months
  • Rich session data that you can use to improve efficiencies within the tech team

Ease of use: Support without friction

Technology help desks are usually made up of student and full-time technicians and need to support end users with a wide range of technical knowledge. So support sessions need to be easy for both sides.

Look for the following features:

  • Fast, frictionless connections to start sessions in seconds
  • Access to system information without remote control for speed of diagnosis
  • Powerful scripting that saves time & automates commonly performed tasks on an end user’s machine

Mobile support: Stay in their back pocket

Students, faculty and staff all rely on mobile devices every day, if not every minute of every day. Be sure to keep them connected with robust remote support capabilities.

Look for the following features:

  • Support for devices running iOS or Android
  • Remote control and view so techs can see and solve issues
  • Ability to push device configurations and pull diagnostic information
  • Mobile chat for clear and consistent communication

The right remote support tool can ultimately determine the depth and breadth of your help desk support capabilities. Will yours be equipped to support your school’s ability to stay resilient and secure? Learn more about the 4 traits of effective remote support tools to help you select the best solution for today’s requirements.

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