Benefits of BYOD in schools can’t be achieved without updated print estates, warns Annodata

Research indicates a rising BYOD trend in schools with a growing number adopting this initiativ

The recent news that bring your own device (BYOD) schemes for pupils are gaining ground in schools has been welcomed by Annodata, who says that such schemes open up new opportunities for increased productivity and enhanced learning. However, the Managed Service Provider (MSP) has warned that BYOD initiatives need to be matched with appropriate document management and print estates if the benefits are to be fully realised.

A RM Education survey highlights the growing BYOD trend in schools as 29 per cent of UK secondary schools have actually opted for some form of BYOD, and the number considering adopting this policy rose from 22 per cent in 2014 to 26 per cent this year.

Responding to the research, Joe Doyle, Marketing Director of Annodata, welcomed the news. However, to benefit from any productivity gains print estates need brought up to date, given the central role the printed page maintains in today’s education sector.

Doyle said: “BYOD and mobile devices have the potential to significantly increase engagement and make it easier for students to transfer work, collaborate and, ultimately learn. But in our experience many of these mobility drives are being hamstrung by a lack of mobile printing. It’s all very well equipping students and staff with new devices, but unless documents can be accessed efficiently, when and where they need them, any productivity gains to be had from mobility and BYOD schemes will be lessened. Print is still an essential part of the IT estate so it’s important that it keeps pace with the growing transformation that’s taking place in schools, like the trend towards BYOD.

“Students want to print from their tablets or mobile phones onto university or college printers/MFDs, but there’s been reluctance from IT directors to want to allow those devices on their network. An increased number of personal devices can result in security and data protection risks as they can cause increased complexity when it comes to determining which devices are accessing which systems and data. However, that’s where a number of clever software solutions come in, allowing staff and students to print easily and securely from their mobile devices.

“A number of schools are at the start of their digital journey and the potential for the education sector to adopt new digital processes and technology is clearly there. But, as many of these institutions don’t have large IT teams, they need the help of suppliers for the appropriate guidance. Ensure a provider is chosen that has invested in their processes, infrastructure and support network. By working with the correct cloud print provider, a simple yet essential process can be migrated to a future proof and scalable platform and provided back to the client as a true managed services from start to finish. Furthermore, the right provider can offer the ability to build sophisticated student billing infrastructures so that costs relating to mobile printing by students can be re charged to the student (if appropriate) to prevent spiralling costs,” concludes Doyle.

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