Opinion: Improving Network Capability in Schools
Is improved networking capability part of your IT strategy? We caught up with Network Engineer Chris Blackall to get his insight on the number one thing schools should focus on to improve their networking capability.
His takeaway? Education environments must consolidate and automate their network management and configuration with software-defined networking.
“The efficiency gained when you can push an update out across all switches, routers, and access points with one button can’t be understated,” Chris explained.
A typical message from our education clients is that they don’t have a team big enough to manage their network effectively. They’re relying on a small number of people to service a help desk, manage the network, support the LMS, implement updates, troubleshoot issues, and so much more.
Rolling out and maintaining a network that seamlessly supports learning requires specialist expertise that they don’t have. And who has time to focus on professional development and strengthening the team’s capabilities when they’re busy putting out fires?
The only solution to achieve your networking goals is a focus on consolidation and streamlining.
You need a network environment in place that supports high-quality education.
This brings us back to software-defined networks. Managing all the hardware and tracking issues from a single dashboard enables you to see the big picture. You can zoom in and out from granular to big picture and get the precise data needed to resolve issues quickly.
A software-defined network has the bonus of reducing errors. Working on one node won’t create flow-on problems for another; changes are made automatically on every node in the network that requires it. You’ll have confidence that nothing was missed.
When NAPLAN rolls around, and you’ve got 200+ students in a room relying on the network, do you have time to trawl through the entire network looking for the problem?
“By bringing things back to a central point of management, you reduce time configuring and managing the network,” Chris points out. “That gives your team the time to take on training to strengthen your team’s expertise”.
So, if the goal of your IT strategy is to improve networking capability (or you don’t have time for strategy because you’re managing an antiquated network), give us a call to discuss solutions that will let you look to the future.