With a range of deployment methods possible for digital tools, it can be challenging to find the right balance, especially when considering the diverse needs of different user groups, and whilst wanting to keep an eye on cost effectiveness.
Methods of deployment range from direct installation on an unmanaged device, to installation via mobile device management (MDM) solutions such as Microsoft Intune or Jamf, to web-based applications, Single Sign-On (SSO) passthrough, virtualisation, and running applications on a dedicated virtual machine. Each of these deployment methods has its advantages and disadvantages, and finding the right balance between them is crucial.
The goal is to find a balance that works for each user group and digital asset. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, as the choice of deployment method will depend on factors such as ease of use, associated costs, and the licence model.
The Academic Software platform can help institutions achieve this balance. Academic Software provides advice on the deployment methods that work best for each digital asset based on factors such as the number and type of users (staff, students, researchers), licence model, direct and indirect costs, and software requirements. To meet a balance of needs, there may be more than one deployment method recommended for any particular software title.
For example, when deploying a tool like SPSS, Academic Software may recommend deploying it via managed devices using Intune or Jamf with integrated management for staff and researchers who require the software frequently. On the other hand, for unmanaged devices where users make use of the software each week, a native installation via the platform with key distribution may be needed. For facultative use (say a maximum of eight hours per semester), Academic Software may suggest deployment via virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) using the Academic Software Cloudplayer; while for heavy workloads (such as research), deployment on a scalable virtual machine may be the best option.
Whatever combination of deployment methods are used, the Academic Software platform ensures that the end-user experience remains straightforward and simple, because the end user always starts at the platform to deploy any digital tool they need. This reduces the complexity of the deployment process and ensures that all users have access to the tools they need to achieve their academic goals.