The 4 biggest IT challenges in education and how to tackle them

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Helping thousands of students and faculty members with their IT requests is no easy feat, especially during those hectic back-to-school periods. Here are a few of the biggest IT challenges in education – and how you can tackle them.

Challenge 1: Onboarding new faculty members

Starting a new job is always stressful. And not only for the new recruit. For IT departments, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get new faculty members up and running. Think of ordering a new laptop and supplies, setting up a workspace, booking classrooms, installing software, providing projector access… the list goes on.

And if the onboarding coincides with back-to-school chaos, this only adds to the pressure.


Sure, every new starter is different. But there are certain tasks and processes the IT department must complete with every onboarding. So, why not standardize them?

Identify and map out all necessary onboarding processes, assign responsibility, and set a timeline. Standardizing processes like this makes for a smoother experience for both staff and faculty and ensures that important to-dos don’t fall between the cracks.

Challenge 2: Ordering new supplies

It’s the start of the school year. For faculty, staff, and students, this means new supplies. And for IT, this means budgeting, ordering, delivering, and tracking – all in a short window of time.


As a quick fix, why not create a tile in your online portal where end-users can request their own supplies? A solution like TOPdesk’s Self-Service Portal (SSP) allows you to create no-code forms as an administrator, so you can create highly configurable forms with minimal effort. This means you can filter requests to be sent to the correct manager for approval and even attach monetary values so they can be tracked in your budgeting system. Simple as that.

Want to take it a step further? Create an even smoother experience for your end-users by setting up a web-shop in your online portal, like this school board in Canada did in TOPdesk.

Challenge 3: Forgotten passwords

It’s a classic. How many hours of work would your IT department save if you never had to manually reset a password again?


The answer to the headache of password resets? Automation. Whether it’s done with a chatbot or via an automated workflow in a self-service portal, automating password resets can decrease service desk calls significantly and reduce end-user down-time – saving you time and money.

Automation also allows IT service desk employees to handle more complex calls and invest in larger improvements, ultimately improving job satisfaction, efficiency, and productivity. This, in turn, leads to happier end-users.

In fact, Forrester research states that employees who work with automation have experienced a 69% improvement in their job satisfaction. And our customer, the District School Board of Niagara, found automation helped them save valuable time and money.

Challenge 4: Low self-service adoption

Your IT department has spent time and effort building a shiny new Self-Service Portal (SSP) so that end-users can easily resolve their own issues.

The only problem? Students, staff, and faculty aren’t actually using it. And instead, they’re walking up to the IT service desk, where you’re already dealing with a million other requests.


Communication is key. How can people advocate for a tool if they don’t know how to use it – or don’t even know it exists? Sending out a single mass email isn’t going to cut it here. You need to demonstrate the goals and the benefits of self-service to your end-users with a thought-out communication plan before, during, and after implementation.

After all, they want to know what’s in it for them. Providing trainings to walk staff, faculty, and students through the portal will also give them the confidence to resolve their own issues, rather than resorting to a walk-up.

Discover TOPdesk for Education

Our solution lets you easily register tickets, share knowledge with other departments, and empower your end-users with 24/7 self-service.