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The Eight Biggest Mistakes IT Practitioners Make and How to Overcome Them

Using data to take meaningful action
University Business, December 2018
From left to right: Ashok Sankar, Director of Solutions Strategy, Splunk; Kara Gillis, Director of Product Marketing, Splunk.
From left to right: Ashok Sankar, Director of Solutions Strategy, Splunk; Kara Gillis, Director of Product Marketing, Splunk.

Higher education institutions are challenged with managing their IT systems as they digitally transform their environments. With new technology trends bucking traditional approaches, research shows a general lack of confidence among IT staff and decision-makers. As budgets tighten and IT is increasingly called upon to modernize institutions, IT practitioners need to look at data-driven decision-making strategies.

In this web seminar, presenters discussed how to use data to take meaningful action, encourage collaboration between different stakeholders, cut across departmental silos, and get ahead of issues before they plague the organization.

Speakers

Ashok Sankar
Director of Solutions Strategy
Splunk

Kara Gillis
Director of Product Marketing
Splunk

Ashok Sankar: When we think of higher ed, we think of student outcomes, graduation rates, tuition costs and student experience. And part of the focus is delivering a successful student experience across an environment that is conducive to learning. You hear about Student 360, which optimizes the student experience across the campus and beyond, and about Campus 360, a holistic approach to ensuring a secure and connected campus to meet student demands. So there is a drive to monitor and optimize every student touchpoint—not just in classrooms, but anywhere students are.

However, higher ed institutions are more than academics and student experiences. They are about driving institutional excellence. You need to manage an institution like any other enterprise. It’s a business. You need to optimize services to your constituents. Ensure service effectiveness and take advantage of technology benefits, while curbing waste, fraud and abuse. Risk mitigation is also critical. No organization faces a more acute dichotomy than a higher ed institution—you need to keep networks open and allow unfettered access to the internet, while ensuring cybersecurity.

A higher ed institution is like a small city. Delivery of services, campus safety, and the need to ensure that public safety and law enforcement units have the information they need to prevent untoward events and can respond decisively and quickly if the need arises—these are all critical. And underlying this is an ever-increasing, complex IT infrastructure. IT professionals have the daunting task, which no one envies, of ensuring that the infrastructure supporting all of these initiatives is high-performing and available.

Managing an IT environment is complex, and it is further nuanced in a college or university setting. As pressures increase to prove their value, forward-thinking institutions are looking for ways to overcome a myriad of these challenges and are thinking beyond traditional methods.

Kara Gillis: Every day, IT practitioners are asked to build it quicker, deliver it faster, make it higher quality and to make it more efficient across the entire infrastructure environment, so all of your end users are able to have better performance and reliability, and better availability of the applications that you’re managing. And IT has to do all of this with fewer resources.

It has gotten increasingly difficult to truly deliver without changing your approach from a traditional IT operating model to a new IT operating model. Clearly, higher education institutions are in need of a better monitoring solution to manage their IT processes and infrastructure.

In our research, we found eight mistakes that our key practitioners make:

1. having too many tools

2. having friction between IT and the mission of the organization

3. lacking insight into the root cause of a loss or service, and not spending enough time making sure the problem doesn’t happen again

4. having the wrong skills to manage applications

5. lacking migration visibility, and being unable to monitor and troubleshoot applications

6. being overwhelmed by data silos

7. lacking a plan for system failure

8. relying on manual processes that may or may not be collaborative

IT wants to make sure their infrastructure applications don’t go down, that their end users and students can transact or access applications and websites. And IT wants to adapt to the ever-changing needs of higher education institutions. IT wants them to become more proactive. Ultimately, IT wants to transform to new IT operating models that enable higher ed institutions to meet these challenges.

Splunk has developed solutions for IT teams to help combat these challenges. Our customers say that after they use Splunk, they have a much shorter time of detection, investigation and service restoration, and of getting to the root cause.

To watch this web seminar in its entirety, please visit universitybusiness.com/ws101718

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