While ICT budgets for the Manukau Institute of Technology remain stable, strategic distribution of funds has led to an increase of projects over 2012 by five to 10 per cent. The polytechnic will be expanding IT staff numbers, as well, by up to five per cent over the coming year. Wireless continues to be a major area of investment for the education provider, which completed the rollout of wireless capability across the majority of the campus in 2011. Full wireless connectivity will be completed by August, which will enable increased use of mobile technologies and drive a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) strategy for all students.
“BYOD will introduce significant challenges as we redesign our software application suite to include mobile OS,” says Simon Gillson, IT director. “IT staff and educators will need to increase capabilities considerably as we release our control of the desktop and encourage tablet computing, which will enhance the learning environment. Continually we will explore public and private cloud based solutions for best fit to meet our needs.”
In terms of dedicated budget and complexity, key projects for 2012 will include the aforementioned wireless push, upgrades to Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint and deployment of Tribal EBS4, a comprehensive, flexible and fully-integrated student-information management solution that records and manages information throughout the academic life of a student and enables curriculum planning, delivery and the reporting of data and information.
Additionally, mobility, business continuity/disaster recovery, virtualisation, social media, and cloud computing initiatives are slated for 2012.