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All colleges and universities are now very dependent on their IT systems – which means they are also highly dependent on their Service Desk. However, support can be resource- and cost-intensive. Contracting the Service Desk out to an expert provider is worth serious consideration

All public sector organisations are under budgetary constraints. Yet they are also expected to deliver higher standards of service. Balancing these two opposing forces is an especially difficult challenge in education, where there is constant public scrutiny of performance.

IT is often seen as the solution to both issues. It can be used to improve learning experiences in the classroom, and to deliver back-room efficiencies and cost reduction. But while there may be a handful of exceptions (lesson planning and scheduling for example), these two areas of activity are completely separated within education establishments and need completely different IT solutions.

Quick wins

Teaching is clearly a very specialist subject – and that’s where the focus of educational institutions should be. Indeed, as part of its most recent EdTech Strategy announcement, the government stipulated that it wants technology to be used to cut teacher workload, support professional development and improve student outcomes.

The efficient running of IT systems can be applied to any industry or sector. It is here that the quick wins can be made in terms of driving efficiency and reducing cost for colleges and universities.

One area that can be targeted easily is service and support. The core business of education is teaching, and this is where most of the resources and expertise within the sector are – and should be – focused. But technology has now become an essential element, not only to teaching but also to the efficient running of a school. And when things go wrong or a user needs help, it’s vital that the response is quick and effective.

Being able to get good technical support is therefore critical. But it can be resource-intensive and the cost of running support services tends to creep upward year after year. Technical staff are not cheap, and it’s a challenge for them to keep up with the constant updates and changes in technology, whilst also managing the IT network, software licenses and other resources.

Where educational institutions find themselves in this situation, contracting out most or all support is a viable and cost-effective alternative.

A high quality Service Desk offering from a trusted third party will meet all your requirements and provide both added flexibility and consistency, with access to experienced and skilled expertise, and one number to call when help is needed.

SCC’s next-generation service desk provides just such a service. It is structured to ensure customers always talk to the same team and ITIL processes and ISO 20000 accreditation provide an assurance of quality. A further layer of support is available, round-the-clock, from our International Service Centres. With this combination, we can provide the right blend of cover to both meet the needs of education sector customers and deliver significant cost savings.