IT Trends in Education
Back Published 2011-03-28Blue Bell, Pa. — March 28
A recent study provides findings on the top needs of IT leaders in the education industry, a sector that has historically lagged in enforcing mobile management and security controls.
Fiberlink, a company dealing with mobile device management and creator of cloud-based Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) solutions, announced the availability of the study, “Building an Effective Mobile Device Management Strategy for Education.”
Leveraging its Forrsights Security Survey and a commissioned survey on behalf of Fiberlink, Forrester Consulting found that the number of smart phones, tablets and other new devices has already eclipsed traditional PC devices at educational institutions. Personally owned devices have become commonplace on campuses.
In the February 2011 study Forrester Consulting stated, “IT managers no longer have the authority to veto the use of mobile devices or limit use to a specific brand or operating system. As a result, Forrester recently found that more than 80 percent of IT decision-makers within the education industry have already implemented or are planning on implementing mobile device management solutions that can scale across all devices, regardless of who actually owns the hardware.”
The commissioned technology adoption profile found that an increasing number of schools are phasing out printed textbooks altogether and providing access to school-owned tablets and notebooks. And with sensitive student, medical and financial information on these mobile devices, educational institutions are at risk of costly data security breaches. To address this issue, the study reported that “95 percent of security decision makers in education reported data security as a top priority in the next 12 months.”
Despite the fact that higher education institutions are required to comply with certain security standards for electronic payments, the industry is well behind others in enforcement of mobile devices. Forrester added, “On top of these challenges, three out of every four IT decision-makers reported that they have to invest 20 or more hours every week on supporting mobile devices.” Such tasks can be more efficiently accomplished with a mobile device management platform.
The study concludes, “As a result, schools are increasingly turning to cloud-hosted mobility-as-a-service solutions that are quicker to deploy and that deliver on key functionality, including strong password policies, full disk encryption, remote lock/wipe, asset and activity visibility and management, and application control, across all types of mobile devices, including laptops, smart phones, netbooks, and slates and tablets.”