November 6, 2019 | Data

Which do you need: Management Software or Monitoring Software?

Like salt and pepper, computer lab management and monitoring software are both essential but vastly different.

3 min

Why is computer lab monitoring software essential for higher ed campuses today?

Colleges and universities are facing more pressure than ever before. With tightening budgets, cramped campuses and students’ increasing demand for technology, knowing how hardware and software are being used is essential for current decision-making and future planning. 

Computer lab monitoring software is very different from management software. 

What is computer lab management software?

Computer management software automates tasks and provides remote access to a group of computers. Management software is an essential tool to ensure computers on your university or college campus are running properly.

Use computer lab management software for:

  • Remote control of computers
  • Restrict access to certain users
  • Shut down, restart or log off remotely
  • Update and configure the operating system
  • Execute virus and vulnerability scans
  • Install and manage software applications
  • Remote admin access to a computer
college student in a lecture hall

What is computer lab monitoring software?

Computer monitoring software gathers usage data to help you make informed decisions. Monitor when, where and how long hardware and software are used on campus. 

Use computer lab monitoring software to:

  • Identify empty lab days/times to convert to a classroom
  • See most and least used computers on campus
  • Locations with the most logins
  • Identify unused software applications
  • Days/hours with the highest use of computers
  • Accessibility resources are being used
  • Provide data that proves compliance (ADA, Accessibility, 504, Title IX)
  • Justify budget requests with usage data
  • Identify outdated or vulnerable software that’s bogging down image size
  • Spot check for unauthorized software downloads
  • Target where to deploy software
  • Update refresh schedule to match usage
  • Compare usage of similar software
  • Quickly find current IT inventory
  • Identify computers that are not responding before students/staff
  • Track individual student usage to fulfill lab requirements
  • Verify faculty/staff are using requested resources
  • Track ROI of special funding projects

In broad terms, IT staff are usually the only department that needs access to computer lab management software. However, when it comes to usage data, many more stakeholders on campus can get in on the fun. 

reports on a desk

Who should use computer monitoring software?

  • Leadership / Admins
    • Examine ROI of technology
    • Justify budget decisions with usage data
    • Identify areas of desperate need or overlooked excess
    • Require data to accompany budget requests without depleting staff resources
  • IT Staff
  • Compliance teams
    • Back up budget requests with usage data
    • Provide proof of compliance (ADA, Accessibility, 504, Title IX)
    • Improve chances of grant approval with hard data
  • Faculty / Staff
    • Ensure students are fulfilling lab hour requirements
    • Justify funding requests for specialized technology
    • Schedule classes in dual-purpose rooms without impacting open lab use
    • Understand and set expectations for software use

User permissions ensure that specialized departments and individuals only have access to the information that matters to them. In addition to getting into the software itself, LabStats reports are easy to export and share

Computer lab management and monitoring systems should be used in tandem on college and university campuses. Ensuring the success of students and optimization of tech on campus relies on both the data to inform decisions, and the power to make those decisions come to life.