Higher ed: The best way to admin a rotating staff of student IT techs

Laurie Asmus.

Laurie Asmus

March 14, 2023

Higher education IT support teams face the same war-for-talent challenges that other industries face regarding onboarding, managing, and retaining qualified IT technicians, but they have an additional challenge: a rotating door of student technicians.

This unique mix of student and senior-level techs could be a big headache for admins to manage. The various levels of technicians need different permissions and oversight. Meanwhile, different departments need to meet different compliance requirements, making admins controls imperative for security reasons.

Additionally, if support tools aren’t easy for all techs to use regardless of their expertise, enough bad agent experiences could send good techs to the door. You want to be sure your techs have access to the tools they need to get the job done, and nothing more to open up compliance issues or overtax your staff.

How, then, does higher ed manage this ever-changing dynamic? It takes the right support tool. In fact, a flexible, responsive, and secure remote support solution can make getting and providing support easy while staying compliant with any regulations you need to uphold.

The big picture on your IT operations

Control is key when working with rotating staff. Admins need to keep a finger on the pulse of their IT operations, including tech activity and performance. Managers need to be able to see real-time technician productivity data and current live session status. The more performance data you can generate, the better you will be able to determine usage patterns, optimize resource allocation, and identify problem areas in their organization.

Settings and permissions—control at a higher level

Admins need to be able to enable settings suitable for student technicians and seasoned experts, ensuring everyone has the level of access they need, and nothing they don’t.

What does that look like? It starts with creating and assigning administrators and technicians to specific groups and then setting up permissions for each group or even each individual at a granular level. This way, each department across the university can have their own instance of the remote support solution install that operates independently from other departments.

Case in point: some departments, such as those in the healthcare space, need to meet strict Personal Identifiable Information (PII) or data security regulations, like staying compliant with the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA). They need to be able to set up groups that operate independently—so an admin or tech in one department can’t affect the settings in another department. Each department should be able to select the settings and permissions they need for their techs, and sub-divide their tech permissions by student and full-time technicians who need different permissions. As a result, techs gain access only to the controls they need to service their end users successfully.

Enterprise-wide and/or department-level account settings should also be controlled to ensure security and consistency. Password policies, how technicians log in, and single sign-on (SSO) are a few settings that should be available.

Even with all that control, don’t sacrifice simplicity

When you’re dealing with a rotating staff, quick onboarding and ease of use are essential. So although there should be granular controls behind the scenes that admins can toggle on and off, you want to be sure that the agent experience is simple and seamless. Technicians should be able to connect to a support session in seconds, regardless of the end user’s technical acumen, and have everything they need to solve issues at their fingertips.

Getting high scores from universities

Rescue built by GoTo provides secure and simple IT remote support that meets needs across the higher education enterprise. It has everything you need to deliver fast, frictionless support to all the devices and equipment your faculty, staff and students rely on—in addition to bulletproof security measures that are HIPAA compliant and government approved.

How is Rescue performing in universities? As one university technician put it, “Using Rescue to support the various university departments allows technicians to easily remote-in and assist any user who is having issues. The biggest advantage...we can remote to a client who is off campus. For example, recruiters for the university often went without support beforehand. Now they are given full support.

Another technician couldn’t agree more: “Rescue is the perfect tool for remote connection to being able to see exactly what the end-user is seeing on their machine. The ability to invite other technicians is also a very thoughtful feature that allows multiple people to work on the same issue on one computer.

Discover Rescue for Higher Ed.

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