As your school budget tightens further year on year, it can be difficult to plan and manage all of your necessary IT expenditure. The most detailed budgets can be formulated and subsequently thrown off when unplanned spend arises. Here are a few useful tips and tricks to ultimately get the most out of your IT budget through more predictable spend.
- Ensure a rolling replacement programme for outdated equipment
There are many reasons why ageing kit may ultimately affect your school finances, including:
- Time and cost spent on hardware repairs
- Loss of productivity due to slow down
- Vulnerability to attacks if software is also outdated
- Less energy efficient
A rolling replacement programme that categorises required replacements based on age & use of your machines will ensure you are aware of what kit refreshes are due and when, so that you can plan expenditure accordingly to avoid spending peaks.
- Product Investment: Thinking Long-term & Spreading Your Costs
When investing in new IT equipment, be sure to consider your long term necessities. More often than not, a little extra expenditure on future proof and durable equipment will save you money in the long run, and ensure better productivity from the enhanced machine performance in the immediate.
Low end specifications may seem the most cost efficient decision initially but may well prove a false economy when considering the shorter life span. Your i3 laptop’s predicted life span is notably shorted than that of an i5, for example. Combine this with the increased productivity achieved from a better performing, faster machine and often you have an economic case for a little extra spend from the offset.
- Implement a Strong, Resilient Infrastructure
A strong infrastructure and network is the backbone to a school running smoothly and efficiently. The following are the key areas of your network & systems that we would recommend ensuring you focus on:
- Servers –
Your server is the hub of your network. A server will store critical data and formulate rules and access rights. A reliable server that is fit for purpose and future proofed should be of upmost priority.
- Back Up & Recovery –
What would happen if your school lost all its data? Optimal backup and recovery systems are so important for ensuring school continuity and avoiding unpredicted spend through data loss and system downtime. Find out more on this here: Back Up & Recovery
- Firewall & Security
Network protection is critical. A firewall allows for unwanted threats entering and leaving your network causing devastating effects. With a robust firewall you can also implement content filtering and bandwidth priority which gives you responsibility for allowing what people can access on your network. This is especially important to make sure that students are not accessing websites they shouldn’t.
The risks associated with weak infrastructure can lead to unforeseen issues that, in turn, create financial and time consuming implications. For further reading around school ICT infrastructure, have a read through our online guide: School Infrastructure
- Outsourcing ICT Services
Outsourcing your ICT Services is a proven way of getting the most out of your budget. A Managed Service Provider (MSP) can cut your costs and improve your time efficiency and effectiveness by simultaneously handling your day to day ICT concerns and continually assessing your network to help pinpoint your priorities for your IT spend. Working in partnership with your MSP when forming your budgets can therefore help to ensure you are maximising impact of your IT spend and mitigating against any unforeseen network issues that could arise.
With 40 years of pan-industry experience, the Sweethaven Education team are renowned within the education sector for providing high-level flexible and tailored ICT support that enables your school to drive forward enhanced pupil learning via an optimised support structure and the latest innovation in technology.
Our friendly team of experts will work closely with you to understand your specific requirements to then build and deliver a tailored solution within your existing infrastructure and planned budget.