Today’s typical college student comes to campus expecting a connected technology experience that seamlessly blends their online and offline worlds. In fact, tech is increasingly becoming an evaluation factor in the college selection process. In just a few short years, smart phone penetration in residence halls has skyrocketed along with the influx of smart TVs, gaming consoles, and wearable devices. Professors are extending their classrooms into digital learning spaces and students who live on campus are relying on their residential network to keep up with their 24/7 lifestyle.
This can be a tall order for higher ed. institutions who are balancing the need to remain competitive with financial pressures, budget cuts, and declining cash reserves. More and more Business Officers, Housing Directors, and CIOs are agreeing that ResNet is not only an IT priority, but a strategic initiative that can have a significant and positive affect on student satisfaction.
ResNet, as we define here, bundles high-performing wired and wireless Internet, cable or IPTV services, and technical support to give students an at-home experience. Colleges can choose to implement through in-house staff, yet those who have chosen to outsource have experienced savings over the lifetime of their contract through a variety of factors such as cost avoidance, budget stability, risk management, and time to deployment.
The Return on Investment for Outsourcing ResNet
The past four years have shown a steady rise in schools addressing the costs of ResNet by outsourcing some or all network services to managed providers. For the CIO, outsourcing ResNet is particularly attractive due to the predictable budgeting models it affords. Large up-front expenditures shift to predictable monthly operating costs that can scale quickly as demands change. Not to mention, accessibility to real-time analytics dashboards can provide data-driven justifications around future technology enhancements.
Central IT teams on campus are typically on the lean side and many supplement their in-house staff with student support. Outsourcing the set-up, help-desk, and round the clock troubleshooting to a trusted partner with the expertise to solve issues quickly and remotely, frees up technical resources to handle more critical campus needs.
74% of business officers say reliable Wi-Fi is essential to driving their institution’s mission. These folks know that increasing enrollment, driving retention, and cultivating a network of passionate alums is essential to long-term financial stability and therefore ResNet is considered an investment in the college’s future. Students who live on campus are generally more engaged and maintain stronger emotional connections to their alma mater long after graduating.
Housing officers place the most value on quality ResNet with 96.1% rating it as “very important." They know first-hand that comprehensive wireless coverage is a must-have in residence halls and key to delivering the best experience possible for today’s tech-savvy students.
There is no question that investing in a robust, reliable, and secure wireless foundation on campus, in the dorms, and throughout common areas is a smart move and one that will undoubtedly position the institution as forward-thinking, student-focused, and future-ready.