Know your own IT story from the start Most existing schools have a mixture of ICT provisions that, over the years, has organically grown in response to a succession of short or medium-term needs. New software and hardware added. New curriculum areas, departments, technologies, even whole new buildings appear. After a few years, what does the school’s IT landscape look like? What does your IT look like? Is it well integrated, transparent, and as future-proof as anything can be? Or is it, like so many, a rambling collection of assets that need continuous attention to keep going?
Where that’s the case, it makes sense to start the cost saving journey by making sure that you know not only what hardware and software you have, but how it’s funded, and what it’s actually doing for the school.
That way you can see exactly where you are, and have a baseline against which to measure future progress. It’s a case of being able to answer questions like this, and these are only a sample.
‘Exactly what software licences and licensing structures do we have? How and when are we paying? Will any licences run out? If so when, and what’s the follow up plan?’
‘What about those sixteen computers in the old library? Are they earning their living?’
‘Is the network infrastructure proof against all the new demands we might make?’ ‘What will need replacing/updating this year, next year, in three years time?’ ‘What’s the most heavily used hardware/software, and what is hardly ever deployed? Do we have figures on that?’ We could go on like this, but you get the picture. Look at your ICT through an outsider’s eyes. The aim is to be capable of answering any questions about it. If the information is not in the network manager’s head, then it should be easily accessible.
Our mission here is to help you make those good decisions, and reap benefits from the extensive efforts being made by Microsoft® to provide products for education which are both affordable in themselves, and also capable of contributing to across-the board spending.
To assist with this, and as part of our on-going series of eBooks, we have partnered with the Guardian to make our new 'Cost Saving in Education' eBook exclusively available within their Teacher Network until the end of September 2012. The eBook can be viewed/downloaded directly via the Guardian's Teacher Network download centre.