12.14.2023

Day 6: MCNC Listening Tour captures technology pulse in higher education

Day 6 12 Days of Broadband
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MCNC recently embarked on a listening journey with high education institutions in North Carolina to gain insights into their current challenges, aspirations and technological priorities. This journey went beyond just meetings; it continues to be a strategic endeavor aimed to better understand our clients’ environments so we can continue to provide solutions that align with their goals and challenges. 

Below we unpack some key client insights captured from these conversations and explore the important role technology plays in shaping a complete higher education experience in North Carolina.

The Cybersecurity Priority

Higher education institutions face a unique set of cybersecurity challenges due to their vast and complex IT environments, the sensitive data they store, and their reliance on technology. Cybercriminals and bad actors know this and are increasingly targeting universities and colleges, motivated by the potential for financial gain and the disruption of critical operations.

During our listening journey many expressed great interest in strengthening their overall security posture. One idea that surfaced was utilizing a Security Operations Center as a Service, or SOCaaS, which provides organizations with the benefits of having a fully-fledged Security Operations Center without the need to build and maintain their own infrastructure or hiring highly-skilled security personnel. As a trusted partner, MCNC Vital Cyber continues to explore innovations like this in order to take proactive steps on improving cybersecurity for higher education institutions. More to come as we continue to listen and share information and resources with our clients in this area.

Smart Bandwidth for Today's Digital Campus

North Carolina has a strong network of higher education institutions, with more than 50 colleges and universities offering diverse academic programs. MCNC offers internet connections for higher education ranging from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps, including all 17 campuses of the University of North Carolina System, which enrolls more than 230,000 students from the mountains to the coast.

Reliable and robust bandwidth is essential for these educational pillars in our communities to function efficiently and provide a top-class learning experience for all students. It plays a crucial role in academic success, communication, social interaction, and even entertainment. As a result, reliable high-speed internet access is a critical component of having a modern campus.

The biggest challenges discussed were slow load times, buffering or dropped connections, and limited access and resources. With the growing reliance on online learning platforms, research data and collaborative tools, bandwidth demands in higher education continues to rise. And that demand for bandwidth is expected to continue increasing due to the growing adoption of new technologies like virtual and/or augmented reality, cloud-based services, and the rise of smart campuses.

As educational institutions continue to adapt to modern technologies, MCNC is actively exploring solutions to address those challenges and ensure the highest levels of connectivity available.

Investing in the Amazing

Universities that prioritize investing in their network infrastructure, promoting digital literacy, and bridging the digital divide will be better positioned to provide a positive and successful learning environment for students in the digital age. During our recent conversations clients shared their thoughts on emerging technologies like AI and quantum computing, recognizing the potential of these technologies. Higher education institutions can play a crucial role in driving the advancement of these transformative technologies and preparing students for the future workforce. MCNC will continue to support these advancements and provides the essential bandwidth and network connections required to give great minds the ability to keep doing amazing things.

Dedication to Excellence Starts with You

Our listening tour with our higher education community is part of our ongoing commitment to client-oriented innovation for all of our stakeholders. The insights we continue to gather from you directly influence our current and future initiatives, product development, and support services. 

As a trusted technology partner, we are driven by feedback and feedforward from those we serve. Actively listening to understand our clients and their environments helps meet them where they are so we can help close any identified gaps together. By participating in these dialogues, we are shaping the future of networking technology in higher education — one step and one conversation at a time.

Return to the 13th annual 12 Days of Broadband >>>

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3021 East Cornwallis Road
RTP, NC 27709-2889
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