Meeting the Challenge of Identity Automation in Schools



The new school year has begun and so have the challenges that come with managing thousands of student accounts. Recently, we saw an article about one school district in Tennessee that experienced the chaos of manual identity management first hand when they attempted to deploy their iPads for Kids Program.

Feeling overwhelmed already? We sat down with Identity Automation’s Timothy Till to discuss the challenges that school districts across the country are facing and how to overcome them:

Q: What does the beginning of the school year look like from the perspective of IT?

A: At the start of school, what we are really thinking about are things like books, pencils, paper — things that kids are going to need to be successful at the beginning of the school year. What we don’t think about is how many applications they’ll be logging into over the school year. Some schools have an upwards of 200 applications that they’ll be logging into. Imagine being a school managing 5,000 students, 1,500 parents and 800 employees. Needless to say, if you want to talk about stress, this is it. IT departments are under immense pressure from the start. 

Q: What other factors make identity management at a school district so difficult?

A: As an IT person at a school district, you are not only managing thousands of accounts, but on top of that, you’ll also need to fix any of the issues that arise with these accounts. There are so many students that walk into the first day of school that have lost the information to set up or login to their accounts. They’re all going to IT, and suddenly the desk is exploding!

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Q: How would you describe the identity management needs of school districts?

A: What schools are asking is how they can they leverage better technology in a simple way without increasing complexity or costs to manage these platforms.

Q: How does RapidIdentity help simplify these processes for students and IT admins?

A: When we work with schools, one of the first things we’re going to look at is how to bring these services down, how can we bulk automate some of these processes for you, and provide you an interface to provide you with self-service and the ability to delegate.

Picture this: It’s test day and Little Johnny has conveniently forgotten his username and password. He tries to login so many times that he locks himself out of the account. Typically, getting Johnny back online could take days after the problem is submitted to IT.

But picture this instead: Johnny forgets his password and through a simple interface, the teacher can change his password for him and unlock the account quickly and easily, allowing him to get his work done. Automating this service will help cut out hundred of calls a day to the help desk.

It’s things like this that leverage better technology in a simple, secure way.

Thanks again for your time and insights, Tim.



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