By Paul Mew, Technical Director at leading IT solutions consultancy ramsac
Private and public education is facing tough challenges as a recovering economy means that budgets need to be stretched ever tighter. Whilst reduced government spending puts extra pressure on state-run schools, the economic slowdown means private education is facing falling admissions and must find ways to attract new pupils and retain current ones. Education as a whole is being forced to do more with less and schools, colleges and universities need to make the right decisions regarding where to allocate budget and where to reduce spending.
Clearly, the first priority is to identify those areas where reduced expenditure will not impact on the standard of teaching. In recent years education as a whole has seen huge investment in IT and the benefits, both educational and operational has been significant. However, many establishments can realise savings whilst actually improving what they have by taking a step back and asking: What do we have? What do we need and when? And, how can we do it in the most cost effective way?
To answer these questions the first step is to conduct, or commission an ‘IT-health check’. Once you have completed such an audit it provides a solid foundation upon which to fully assess the status of the IT infrastructure, how it meets the requirements of today and tomorrow, the return on investment and overall value for money of your chosen technologies. However, there are several aspects of the IT infrastructure that almost every establishment could improve and reduce costs.