Higher Education IT Trends and Challenges

As we move towards a "24/7 culture", an increasing number of higher education institutions (universities and colleges) are providing faculty members and students access to a growing volume of online and Web-based content. This includes access to e-learning applications (Moodle, etc), social media sites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, university's internal social media software, alumni networks, etc), faculty members' webmail access (Gmail, OWA, etc), interactive web portals, online exams, and more.

In parallel to the growth in web traffic, there has been a proliferation in the adoption of CRM and ERP applications (Oracle-PeopleSoft, SunGard, etc) within higher education institutions as the main means of managing the student's life cycle in the institution (from enrolment to graduation), managing the institution's funds and finances, relationship management (including reaching out to prospects), and more.

The move towards user registration and billing using web-based ERP applications entails a change in the way higher education institutions are regarded by government and financial organizations, which now require institutions to comply with strict handling standards for credit cards billing and clearing (e.g. PCI).

Designed to help institutions streamline processes, provide more educational content, and cut cost, this growth in online access and Web based content introduces unfamiliar challenges to IT managers. Traditionally, university IT managers had to deal primarily with the institution's LAN, intranet and Internet access. However, now they must address issues such as guaranteeing 24/7 access to revenue generating business critical applications, ensuring end-user QoE (Quality of Experience) , and protecting student records from being stolen by hackers, etc. The emerging trends in the IT education business space of bring with them new business continuity related challenges for IT managers.

These challenges can be broken down into four categories:

Higher Education Solutions

Radware helps educational institutions' IT organizations meet these challenges by making it easier for educational institutions to provide faster, more reliable and safer transactions. By optimizing and securing the performance of IP applications across academic networks, Radware enables online learning while controlling bandwidth usage. The result includes reduced networked application operating and scaling costs.

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