Cherwell Press Releases

Is BYOD a Higher Education Revolution or a Service Desk Nightmare?

June 6, 2012 - Royal Wootton Bassett, U.K. – In the July 2012 issue of University Business, Cherwell Software describes the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend as a revolution that sits along-side the ever increasing consumerisation of IT. But as universities around the world embrace and support BYOD, Service Desks need to devise and apply clear and cohesive strategies for BYOD implementation and the management of enhanced BYOD services.

The drive for BYOD in the higher education market comes down, of course, to young people and their affinity to an increasing number of smart devices they use as their primary and preferred tool for communicating and consuming information. First it was the permitted use of calculators in the classroom, then came the late 1980s’ rapid adoption of personal computers, but now, with smart devices, students can access course content and the library, email their professor or tutor, participate in online lectures and more.

Within the article, Tony Probert, European Managing Director, Cherwell Software, states ‘BYOD is here to stay’, and therefore, university Service Desks need to plan for it and in doing so, consider and address a range of business issues, including:

  • Policies that align the use of person devices to support and enhance classroom learning
  • Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) along with effective support procedures and expectations
  • Security measures to protect networks and systems from inappropriate access and use

In addition, Probert states, ‘If organisations want to embrace and benefit from BYOD, they need to provide the funding to enable the Service Desk to provide the required services and support.’

So, to answer the question:

  • Yes, BYOD can be a higher education revolution if it enhances a university’s offerings and a student’s experience inside and outside the lecture hall.
  • No, BYOD doesn’t have to be a Service Desk nightmare if, like everything else, it’s planned for and managed accordingly and infrastructure funding is granted.

Lastly, BYOD also affects and benefits a university’s staff – it’s not all just about students. However, according to Probert, it’s important to note that ‘user policies’ and ‘product support’ needs to be modelled and delivered depending on user classification, i.e. student, employee, executive, etc.

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