The impact of specialist knowledge leaving the HE sector

Posted by Tribal Group

The Higher Education sector relies heavily on the expertise of IT personnel to manage the day-to-day operations of their student information systems. However, the specialised knowledge crucial in handling on-premises implementation of these systems is quickly being lost as experienced IT personnel retire or seek employment elsewhere. This presents a major challenge, as new recruits to IT departments are not interested in learning the skills necessary to manage on-premises systems.

The lack of interest among new recruits is due to the perception that there is no value in developing skills around managing on-premises systems, especially when compared to other areas in the tech industry. This is especially problematic in institutions with limited bandwidth and expertise in this area, as evidenced by the slow process of updating systems to the latest release. The longer it takes to update systems, the more significant the impact on interfaces with other systems requires more resources and extended testing periods.

The impact of specialist knowledge leaving the sector is not limited to managing student information systems. Losing expertise can result in various other challenges, such as the maintenance of ageing IT infrastructure and systems. Maintaining these systems can be a thankless task for highly skilled IT personnel - 'keeping the lights on' does not provide much opportunity for growth or development.

In today's 'Great Resignation' age, there is an expectation that salaries for skilled IT personnel will need to increase, especially in the HE sector. The sector must recognise the importance of retaining and attracting skilled IT personnel and ensure they are fairly compensated for their work. Without a significant salary increase, the HE sector will likely continue to struggle to retain and attract the level of specialised knowledge it needs to maintain its IT systems and infrastructure.


What about SITS?

SITS skills are unique, scarce, and, quite frankly - expensive. Where does this leave you when your in-house experts leave the business for one of the reasons mentioned above? Well, for a growing number of institutions, the answer lies in the cloud.

Moving towards a cloud-based student information system is now at the top of the to-do list for the modern CIO. With Tribal's SITS Cloud, the 'system' is managed and maintained by us, eliminating the need for in-house expertise and resources. This can free up IT personnel to focus on other critical areas, such as data management and innovation, to drive competitive advantage. It also reduces the usual stress of keeping on top of the endless updates and maintenance and provides a far more resilient system capable of scaling to meet your needs.


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