September 29, 2021

Article
7 min

Managed IT Support for Schools

Managed IT services and support for schools takes managing and securing your network off your IT team’s to-do list, so they can tackle projects that make the greatest impact for your students.

School IT teams have their hands full, and sometimes a “team” could just be one individual working in the IT department on a tight budget. It’s hard to make the most out of your education technology investment and focus on innovation when your staff is busy maintaining the status quo.

Plus, with the sudden onset of remote and hybrid learning, school IT teams now need to operate above and beyond their old day-to-day routines. They need to be more flexible than ever in facilitating e-learning experiences while still accommodating the needs of students in the classroom. This is a huge burden for many schools to take on, especially smaller schools with leaner IT staff.  Managed IT services and support for schools takes managing and securing your network off your IT team’s to-do list, so they can tackle projects that make the greatest impact for your students.

What are Managed Services for Schools?

Managed services for schools cover a wide range of areas, including network support and monitoring, IT security and cloud-based data backup and recovery. Whether you choose services that cover all areas of IT or a la carte, schools that take advantage of managed IT services bolster their IT staff and can fill in any gaps in their skill sets. Network downtime isn’t an option for effective teaching and collaboration, and managed IT services for schools can help you keep the lights on during the school day.

An IT service provider can also help you plan for the future. Whether you want to identify gaps in your current infrastructure or security posture or upgrade your educational devices, the following support services can help your district get ahead for the next school year:

  • Assessments. Taking stock of your IT environment and devices helps you understand what you need to grow and deliver the best education experience possible for your students. Assessment services cover a wide range of areas, whether that’s getting a read on your network health, making sure all your education applications are secure, or assessing your on-prem classroom applications to determine your readiness for a cloud migration that removes the hassle of infrastructure management. Whatever your goals, CDW offers a variety of assessments to get a pulse on what matters most to your district or school.
  • IT Planning Services. Executing on IT initiatives takes painstaking planning and expertise, plus an understanding what the current technology environment of your school looks like. Managed IT planning services ensure your team not only has the technology but the knowledge on how everything integrates within a modern learning environment.
  • Configuration and Device Provisioning Services. Purchasing the laptops and tablets for the classroom is one thing, but every school has unique needs and standards for setting up new IT equipment. Configuring devices of every operating system so they’re ready to use out of the box alleviates the strain on IT teams and allows them to get to more mission-critical tasks. Students can access the school network at home for remote e-learning and have all the necessary apps installed without your IT team having to break a sweat. Then comes the challenge of making sure all your tech is accounted for -- IT asset tagging makes sure you have an online inventory of your devices, with an associated maintenance history and label.

Managed Security Services for Schools

Keeping personal and financial data secure isn’t always top-of-mind for school IT until a cyberattack occurs. Managed cybersecurity services help schools identify gaps in security infrastructure, maintain compliance and provide a level of cybersecurity expertise only a managed provider with many clients and knowledge of modern cyberattacks can possess. This saves you both the expense and difficulty of staffing an internal cybersecurity specialist.

CDW managed security services, in particular, can help you fortify your defenses, which is especially important when your end users are mostly minors using your devices to browse the internet. We can help you with:

  • Data Loss Prevention
  • Preventing the oversharing of sensitive faculty, staff or student data through monitoring, and mitigating when an overshare occurs.
  • Delegating Admin rights by making sure your faculty only have access to the data they need to perform their jobs.
  • Setting up advanced email security measures, especially in Google Workspace for Education domains
  • Giving you a deeper understanding of reporting on security issues, and telling a story around the data that is surfaced.

Cybersecurity isn’t the only way to keep your school safe. Some managed IT service providers delivery physical IT security services as well. Keeping students and staff safe from internal and external threats is top-of-mind for all school administrators. Video surveillance cameras, IP cameras and video analytics can better ensure safety and manage risk on campus. The technology exists today to integrate intercoms, door access controls, card readers and cameras to all work in tandem for faster and more effective responses to threatening situations. Setting up these systems has increasingly come under the purview of IT teams and managed services help both with the assessment, installment and management of physical security systems.

Managed IT Infrastructure Services for Schools

With classroom technology rapidly changing, and remote and hybrid learning situations ever evolving, it’s important that your district’s IT infrastructure can keep up. Most managed service providers for school can help you monitor your data center and keep your network running. But on-premises servers may no longer be enough to keep up with the changing digital classroom.

Maintaining onsite IT infrastructure can be a real drain on your school’s resources, but cloud migration services may be a solution to help you deliver the applications your students need to learn remotely, at cost. An assessment your current IT environment can help determine if a cloud migration is right for your school. Migrating to the cloud provides cost savings, the ability to introduce new applications much more quickly, and increased ability to scale both computing power and storage as your student enrollment changes. Depending on your software or current setup, a hybrid infrastructure solution may be best. But schools that don’t migrate to cloud in some capacity risk falling behind in their ability to help students learn digitally.

What Can CDW Managed Services do for my School IT Team?

For schools big and small, CDW offers expert IT support services and learning technology. Our goal is to enable and empower your school to get the most out of your tech stack and feel empowered to pursue strategic initiatives rather than worrying about day-to-day technology management.

CDW offers managed services for schools, serving as one point of contact to offer general IT support, advice and guidance. Managed services include access to our help desk staff 24/7, application and network support, IT security and cloud-based data backup and recovery, and more. IT issues don’t have to keep you up at night any more. Having CDW as your managed service provider means you’ll always be prepared for unexpected downtime. We provide both remote and on-site IT support to keep your systems and software running at full steam.

And if your infrastructure is in the cloud, there’s no need to pick just one – our multicloud experts work with AWS (Educate, AppStream 2.0, WorkSpaces) Google Workspace for Education (Standard, Teaching and Learning), Microsoft 365 (for students and teachers) and can provide expert support for technologies from any cloud service provider.

What Happens When I File an IT Support Ticket with CDW?

When you file a support ticket, we aim to respond within 24 hours of submission. By granting us reseller access, we can perform specific actions on your behalf, including (but not limited to) allocating licenses for products and escalating cases to your cloud provider and their technical service representatives. From there, we can track your support tickets and keep you updated and escalate them if need be. If your support hours are nearing expiration or you’re over 80% usage, we’ll alert you as well.

Rather than having to make and track your tickets and support hours yourself, we give you the freedom to focus on what really matters: creating technology to support positive learning outcomes and enabling success for teachers and students alike.

CDW Gets Helping Students Achieve More

We understand that schools need more IT support than ever in today’s hybrid learning and blended learning environments. We want to provide an optimal learning experience no matter where your students are located and enable students to become fluent in digital technologies. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your school’s mission through our managed services.