Building Bridges Washington Conference: Doing More with Less in IT


Last week our team attended the first “Building Bridges” Washington State Higher Education Technology Conference. The event brought together a diverse group of post-secondary education professionals focused on how technology can be used to maximize student success on campus and as they go into the workforce. Education IT staff, eLearning staff, library staff, institutional research staff, and campus faculty leadership were all in attendance. This broad representation of disciplines was fitting since the conference’s theme was “Building an environment of collaboration across boundaries”.

The Identity Automation team found ourselves discussing ‘doing more with less in IT’ in most of the conversations we had at the conference. Post-secondary schools are constantly facing technology demands, with available resources rarely increasing at the same pace as those demands.

Think about this example - you’re on the IT staff at a post-secondary school. You face several ongoing challenges that are only growing in severity:

  • Increased demand for resources - schools choose to use Google apps and other cloud-based sharing services, faculty want more online learning programs, your district is transitioning to Office365, and the state has new reporting mandates and portals you need to implement

  • Increased user population - you need to set up unique accounts for all students, faculty and sometimes even parents, while, in some cases, allowing local and state access for oversight

  • Increased service levels - heightened demands for better transparency and ease of access, in addition to consistent help desk burdens, like “I forgot my password”

On top of those ongoing challenges, traditional IT processes can become very tedious and cumbersome. For example, most of your users probably need access to multiple systems. How many different passwords are they using on those? Each of those passwords is something else you have to administer and they have to manage (and remember).

Together, these challenges, which are only a few of the many that you face as an IT professional, can make your job very difficult and your days very long.

But imagine a system that simplified many of those headaches. A way to truly do more (more resources, more users, better service) with less (less time, less resources, less money).

That’s exactly what we do, and we have the relevant experience in higher-ed inclusive of single sign on, cloud and device proliferation, authentication, instant identity updating, managing permissions across groups and roles, and support for audit and certification protocols. We allow education IT staffs to handle all of those things easily and efficiently.

The Building Bridges attendees were very interested in conversations similar to the example I gave. If you’re experiencing these same challenges, weren’t able to attend Building, but would like to learn more about doing more with less in IT, start with reading this. RapidIdentity Higher Education Edition is one technology that makes doing more with less truly possible.


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