Interactive Report: The State of Higher Ed Strategic IT Planning

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Building the Case for Managed Technology Services

January 13, 2022

By Teresa de Onis

An important outcome of the pandemic is that campus IT leaders now have a seat at the C-level table, having earned it by being indispensable in the delivery of blended learning modalities and enablement of remote and hybrid work. It’s come at a cost. Higher ed IT teams are burned out and the Great Resignation continues to impact already understaffed IT teams as thousands of IT pros leave their jobs. It’s time to stop the burnout and figure out how to unlock the time needed to move faster on innovation projects and your wish list items.

I’d like to invite you to use the technology version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a framework to think about and lead work sessions with your team and colleagues on how to accelerate innovation and get smarter about your IT. We’ve developed a worksheet in an easy-to-use fillable PDF format using the Maslow’s framework applied to IT to help you figure out how to rebalance IT projects and tasks – especially the operationally intensive and time-consuming ones – so you can begin building the case for managed technology services to get some relief.

Maslow's Hierachy of IT

The Maslow’s framework for IT illustrates where different technologies fit in the needs progression of an organization and the steps that lead to innovation and paradigm shifts. Connectivity – Wi-Fi and wired networks – is a baseline technology. For students, faculty, and staff, a school’s wired and wireless network is as important as the air they breathe. This is non-negotiable. The shifts to blended learning and remote work brought this into even sharper focus. You must get connectivity and the next level up the pyramid—stability, security, and information—right. Once those enabling technologies are operational and financially sustainable, you are freed up to devote the resources, time, and imagination needed to differentiate your school and create paradigm shifts that set up a strong and resilient future.

At Apogee, because we deliver on the baseline technology of connectivity, we often engage in these strategic planning conversations with our customers. A modern campus sits on top of and relies on a modern network, so we can help you figure out the network infrastructure needed to differentiate how your physical campus and space can best be utilized, what network is needed for optimized blended learning, what Gen Z wants and expects for their money from the residence hall and Wi-Fi experience, and what role sustainable funding models can play in financial resilience.

The door is open for you to identify the time-and resource-hogging operational projects you can offload to a partner to begin building the case for managed technology services. Download the worksheet today and take a few minutes to fill out it or engage your team members in the activity during your next meeting to gain insight into how they map their projects to the Maslow’s framework. We hope this tool is helpful as you consider moving some IT operations from in-house to a trusted partner.

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