5 future-thinking recommendations that will reduce costs at your school

As with any business leader, a key consideration for school Head Teachers and school Business Managers is ensuring that costs are kept under control.

With this in mind we have put together five suggestions for how you can future-proof your investment in technology, minimise the impact on your budgets and ensure that IT within your school is always available for staff and student use.

We hope that you find it useful and spread the message in your school!


1 The Managed ICT Support Model

The Managed IT Support ModelOver the years of providing schools with ICT support across the UK we’ve noticed a reoccurring trend: Once in a while we get a panicked call from a school’s ICT or Business Manager reporting a serious, network-wide problem - The network is down. No one can get online. Help!

 While this can happen at any school for a variety of reasons, in these specific cases, when we delve deeper into the root cause of the problem, we find a common denominator: Over a number of years the school has grown and the network has expanded - but the size of the ICT team has remained the same and they are simply not coping.

 At this point the school can either hire more technicians to help cope with the workload but often it’s more cost-effective to simply ‘top up’ the school’s ICT support with a flexible, managed service and remote support model.

 Under this model, the ‘overflow’ of IT issues can be passed on to an external support provider via email, online or by telephone. This generates a ‘ticket’ on the provider’s side that will continue to be monitored by their senior staff until the issue is resolved. The support contract is often subject to a Service Level Agreement that has resolution times built into it, so the school can be assured that high service levels are maintained.

This model can consist of remote support, regular on-site visits and ‘banked’ emergency visits and can easily be scaled up or down or finely-tuned according the changing needs of the school. 

Promotion: Get a free cost-saving survey for your school CLICK HERE >


2 ICT Procurement and the Total Cost of Ownership

Total Cost of OwnershipWhen it comes to procuring ICT assets in schools sometimes there is the temptation to make a decision based purely on the short-term costs rather than taking an honest look at at the Total Costs of Ownership (TCO) over the medium and long term.

An example of this is a school choosing between buying an interactive projector and an interactive display: Projectors tend to be less expensive at the outset so it may seem like the more attractive option, but a projector will also have bulbs and filters that will need to be maintained and replaced by professionals. On the other hand, a good interactive display screen will often need no maintenance at all in the long term so it may in fact end up being the more cost-effective option.

Another scenario is a school choosing between replacing an old PC with a new machine and upgrading its memory (RAM). It’s significantly cheaper to upgrade the RAM however this may only extend the machine’s useful lifetime by a relatively short time after which it will need to be replaced anyway.

Note:   We are not saying that a school should choose the interactive display and a new PC every time they are faced with those options – there are other factors that can come into play in both those scenarios. The point is: Working out the total cost of ownership before buying an ICT asset will give schools a more accurate reflection of its true cost and will help the school to save money in the long run.

Promotion: Get a free cost-saving survey for your school CLICK HERE >


 3 Server Virtualisation

VirtualisationVirtualisation is the practice of configuring one powerful server in a way that divides its capacity and makes it behave like multiple servers. This increases its efficiency and negates the need for the school to buy additional servers - as was the case in the past.

This has become a very widely-used practice. If your school has an on-site server it’s probably virtualised already – but it’s definitely worth making sure.

As well as the immediate saving of having to purchase and service fewer servers, the energy consumption of a virtualised server is up to 70% less than the traditional setup which translates to lower running costs and better green credentials for the school.

Promotion: Get a free cost-saving survey for your school CLICK HERE >


4 Cloud Adoption

Cloud InfrastructureCost-saving is one of the most compelling reasons for schools to migrate their data and services to the cloud. In the education context, working ‘in the cloud’ really just means that your schools’ files are created, stored or accessed online through a browser or app rather than a local machine or server. The same files can then be accessed by multiple devices from anywhere with an internet connection.

This concept can be applied to a school’s email, administrative systems, data backup, and learning applications. Often schools opt for a ‘hybrid’ cloud environment where some services are cloud-based and others remain on the local network.

Migrating to a cloud infrastructure may seem like a daunting task for a school to undertake but if deployed properly, it can result in your school needing less IT maintenance hours, reduced energy costs and reduced upfront capital costs for equipment and software licenses.

It’s important to note that any cloud migration project at your school should be compliant with the Department for Education’s Cloud Services Data Security guidelines for schools. These guidelines are found here.


5 Managed Printing vs. 'Traditional' Printing in Schools

Managed PrintIn terms of print hardware, Managed Print combines a reduced number of traditional print devices with a number of strategically placed Multifunctional Printers (MFP’s).

These MFP’s, with drum technology, offer a significant lower total cost of ownership than most traditional printers. The reduced fleet size itself offers considerable cost and environmental benefits.

The MFP’s are provided on a fixed cost per page model which includes toner, servicing, fixed Service Level Agreements for hardware/servicing calls and a regular usage audit to ensure devices are deployed in the optimum locations. With the ever increasing use of ICT in schools and availability of the internet, toner usage, and cost, can rocket if not kept in check. With Managed Printing, page costs do not alter with toner coverage which ensures cost are kept to a minimum and accurate budgeting can also be achieved. As the service is included in the cost, valuable time and money will be freed up for the ICT department to concentrate on more pressing matters. 

Promotion: Get a free cost-saving survey for your school CLICK HERE >


Conclusion

These are just a few tips on how your school can leverage the smart use of technology to significantly reduce the running costs of the school - we hope you find them useful. If you would like more detailed information or advice on how to implement any of these ideas in your school, you can contact one of our ICT consultants here.


AUTUMN 2015 PROMOTION:

In the Autumn 2015 term we are making our ICT consultants and technology partners available for a FREE cost-saving survey and assesment of your school.
Through this survey, Joskos will be able to offer you more helpful cost-saving tips and build you a cost-saving technology report  - at no obligation to you!

All you need to do is make an enquiry below before your school's October half-term holiday.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Best regards

The Joskos Solutions Team


Make an obligation-free enquiry below, and get a FREE cost-saving survey and report for your school

Note: The survey may be done on-site or remotely, depending on your prefrence and your school's location. The type of survey will depend on the cost-saving areas that are identified in your school.



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