K-12 Education, Security

Why K-12 School Districts Need Managed Services

Chaz Hager August 06 2021

Many of today’s K-12 classrooms are home to digital solutions that were previously only seen in institutions of higher education. The digital age has swept through many levels of education, bringing massive changes for K-12 school districts, educators, and students alike.

In order to adapt to an ever-evolving technical landscape, school administrators must be prepared to invest in innovation and outsource certain tasks or services as needed. The safety, security, and stability of modern learning depends on the ability to steward these resources well.

Managed services for education paves a path for improved technological experiences at both the district and school level.

What are Managed Services?

“Managed services” describes the process of outsourcing business-critical tasks that are related to network infrastructure, security, and communication. A managed services provider is one that facilitates these services to other organizations, businesses, and industries.

Managed services can include a variety of technical tasks, but it most often involves:

  • Collaborative communication services
  • Network management
  • Connectivity and infrastructure
  • Cloud-based computing
  • Cybersecurity and data privacy
  • Compliance and regulatory oversight

What is School Network Management Software?

In the realm of education, school network management software is any program that provides the network manager with access to install or configure new programming as part of the overarching system. 

School network management software is also useful for managing the local area network (LAN) at a school location. Typically, the LAN connects multiple electronic devices, servers, and sign-ons, which is very common in a school environment.

Education and Cloud Computing

Cloud computing offers the ability to access information, systems, and servers from any location. In the realm of education, this provides expanded opportunities for educators to use devices like laptops, mobile smartphones, and tablets to deliver instruction. 

Cloud computing is not only changing the way that students learn, but it also alters how school personnel interacts and manage daily responsibilities. This new approach to education has the ability to alter everything from assignment submissions to resource access, to confidential student files.

As a result of its importance, the cloud computing industry in education is projected to be worth over $25 billion in the next several years.

Impact on K-12 School Districts

K-12 school districts must now confront problems that were once found only in colleges and universities. Students now have access to technological resources at younger ages, which means tech solutions must be appropriate for the age, stage, and educational needs of each learner.

Parents and families also have higher expectations when it comes to communicating with school personnel in digital formats. This creates further pressure on school systems to offer advanced, secure, and well-managed options for digital communication. 

Managed services can provide relief to K-12 school districts that need to troubleshoot current issues or come up to speed with modern standards. With the rise in virtual learning, K-12 districts can greatly benefit from school IT support services.



Benefits of School IT Support Services

Although many businesses and industries can take advantage of a secure and trusted IT service provider, school systems are in a unique situation. School districts often have varying levels of funding, unique student populations, and various skills represented by staff members. 

Regardless of these differences, all K-12 school districts can benefit from managed services for the following reasons.

  • Improve network security for all parties – Teachers, students, parents, and staff often use open networks to share sensitive or private information. School systems have a responsibility to manage these networks in a secure manner.

  • Manage student and faculty privacy – Similarly, protecting student and faculty privacy on the internet is crucial. Managed services can assist in creating top-level security standards, whether students are on campus or at home.

  • Create a predictable process for maintenance – Some level of network downtime is expected regardless of the industry, but student learning depends on access to important materials. Managed services help school districts maintain networks, servers, and vital software.

  • Reduce operational and technical costs – A remote managed services provider can save school districts money by operating off-site. With a comprehensive provider, there is no need to hire internal staff or maintain physical resources.

  • Limit student access to specific materials – In the internet age, distractions are rampant. By boosting network security and creating a plan for access, schools can protect students from harmful or distracting materials.

  • Focus on educational priorities – Very few educators are also experts in information technology. By using a managed services provider, schools can focus on what truly matters to the educational community.

Key Takeaways

Modern education is highly flexible and adaptive. As such, IT services and technological solutions must rise to the occasion. Managed services offer a path to delivering an exceptional educational experience without compromising on innovation and security.

Learn how Northriver IT can help you prepare your school district for today’s needs and assist you in becoming better prepared to handle tomorrow’s challenges. Don’t miss the Education Industry Spotlight, or contact our team directly to start addressing your IT needs.


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