After Wednesday’s IT cost saving story, of Neville Lovett Community School in Hampshire saving £23,000, it seemed timely to share one more example of education IT savings – from West Hatch High School in Essex.

Alan Richards, the Information Systems Manager at the school, has been at the school for two years, and in that time has been concentrating on improving the reliability and long-term sustainability of IT infrastructure. Like many secondary schools, they had a large network – five IT suites for general use, two for media and music, and three for business – and lots of desktop and portable computers.

Alan also found 24 servers, of varying ages – but the newest were already 2-3 years old. As Alan Richards said:

Some of the other servers should have been consigned to a museum long ago. The server room was a cupboard with no air conditioning. It had fans, and the door was left open, but it got very hot.

Making education IT savings of £36,000

So Alan embarked on virtualisation, turning 24 servers into 9 – reducing space requirements, hardware costs, support costs and energy usage. Careful planning included a one year pilot, but the long-term IT cost savings justify the project. For West Hatch school, they are looking at saving £12,000 a year – or £36,000 over the next three years.

Alan was lucky to get the full support of the school’s leadership team to invest in their IT infrastructure, but projects like this will help to manage the school budget more effectively in the future:

The governors had enough foresight to see that unless you put in the infrastructure, you can’t reap all the benefits of advanced technology.

I’d recommend reading the fully detailed case study on the West Hatch virtualisation project, which describes Alan’s approach, and the school background.

There are more details on the full list of Top Money Saving Tips, which offers advice for schools looking to make education IT savings. A secondary school, following the full series of tips, could save over £300,000 over three years.

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