Outsourcing IT allows schools to focus on their core responsibilities.
Imagine, for a moment, a typical American school. The first image that comes to mind, most likely, is that of a teacher standing in front of a chalk or whiteboard, as a group of students, seated neatly in rows of desks, gazes toward the front of the classroom. Perhaps there’s something written on the board, such as a math equation, as well as the day’s schedule, and a list of upcoming assignments.
If only it were so simple: school leaders and teachers today must often divert their attention to address dozens of competing priorities that have little to do with teaching and learning. In fact, many school principals spend their entire days seated at their desks, trying in vain to sort through their overcrowded email inboxes, create schedules for upcoming schoolwide events, and figure out how, exactly, they plan to fulfill various state and local compliance requirements.
A school’s information technology (IT) systems can similarly consume hours and hours of a school leader’s time. By outsourcing IT to an external provider, schools can shift their focus back to teaching and learning and, as a result, directly support teachers to drive positive outcomes for their students.
When teachers need assistance, outsourcing IT provides solutions, fast.
Teachers will similarly benefit from a school outsourcing its IT programming. When a student’s Chromebook breaks down, a SMARTboard stops working, or a projector needs a new bulb, an outsourced IT firm has both the technical knowledge and troubleshooting systems in place to ensure tech-related issues are resolved quickly.
By contrast, at a school with an internal IT team or, worse, at a school where a single assistant principal is responsible for all school technology, successful troubleshooting can take hours, or even days, to occur. Oftentimes, particularly with complex technology issues, the school has to call in an outside provider anyway, a process that demands still more time and money from the school.
Just as outsourcing IT can save school leaders significant time and energy, so too can it allow teachers to focus less on discrete technology issues and more on directly supporting their students.
Outsourcing IT can save schools money when they need it most.
Of course, when push comes to shove, the cost is always a factor in any school’s decision-making process. With limited state and local funding available, school leaders constantly engage in trade-offs, putting off some purchases for the following year, for instance, in order to ensure each classroom has an updated library.
Fortunately, outsourcing IT can save schools money while also improving non-instructional outcomes. Rather than paying-out individual employee salaries and benefits, schools can instead pay a single, flat rate for outsourced IT services that stays relatively constant year-over-year. This option can be particularly attractive for new schools, who have plans to expand and want certainty that their technology-related costs won’t skyrocket with each successive grade or classroom they decide to add.
These cost-savings are particularly important now, given COVID-19’s impact on state and local revenue. Rather than being forced to choose between, say, new classroom libraries and updating an old science curriculum, outsourcing IT—in-full or in-part—can free up additional funds for schools with limited financial resources.
Outsourced IT allows schools to stay up-to-date on the latest school IT trends.
In addition to the day-to-day benefits of outsourcing IT, schools can also count on their external provider to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in educational technology. While an assistant principal may be a stellar instructional coach, disciplinarian, or school culture leader, he or she is likely not as well versed in educational technology as someone who’s worked in IT for fifteen years.
When it comes time to purchase new hardware, upgrade existing infrastructure, or introduce new online platforms, an experienced IT provider can advise schools on the best model or platform to purchase, keeping an eye on trends in the sector as a whole. This advice can yield cost savings as well: rather than purchasing a piece of technology likely to become obsolete in the coming years, an experienced IT provider can tell schools to “hold off” for now until a newer, more effective product becomes available.
At CTS, we help our partners realize their unique missions.
We’ve worked with more than 60 schools across the United States to accomplish their unique missions. From day-to-day troubleshooting, summer work plans, and E-rate, to educational data analysis, our team stands ready to support your school in realizing its educational technology goals.
As we prepare to return to in-person instruction across the country, our team has the know-how to help your team navigate the transition back to school. Contact us today to learn more about our managed IT services and how we can help your school achieve its unique mission.