A single school administrator can’t single-handedly manage school IT, at least not effectively.
All too often, a single school administrator gets saddled with managing the school’s IT programming while also overseeing dozens of other competing priorities. One assistant principal may be responsible for the school’s technology while simultaneously serving as the building’s emergency response coordinator, parent liaison, lead disciplinarian, and instructional coach. With so many important domains under their care, it’s no wonder that administrators who find themselves in similar situations often feel overwhelmed, unable to devote much time and attention to any single priority. Effective IT management takes time, attention, and lots of forward planning. From daily troubleshooting to infrastructure management, E-rate bids, end-of-year close-out, and beginning-of-year launch, managing a school’s IT program is a full-time job.
For all of these reasons, schools often find it useful to outsource all or part of their IT management to an external provider, one with the capacity and technical know-how to effectively manage the school’s IT programming from top to bottom. Outsourcing IT can save schools money, time and also allow them to focus on their core responsibilities. Administrators who don’t have to worry about their school’s IT are able to spend more time in the classroom observing instruction.
Outsourcing school IT saves schools money.
Time and money are two of the most precious resources at any school. Money, in particular, can cause tremendous headaches for administrators forced to stretch each of their per-pupil dollars further and further each year. Fortunately, outsourcing the school’s IT services can go at least part of the way to lowering a school’s total expenses.
First, hiring a single IT team member can often cost more each year than hiring a managed IT provider. Rather than searching for a single “unicorn” team member willing to oversee daily troubleshooting, long-term strategic planning, and procurement, the school can hire an entire team to perform these tasks, often at a lower price and with a service agreement that clearly defines the provider’s responsibilities.
Outsourced IT providers can also typically source educational hardware at a far lower price than a school could get on its own. With their in-depth knowledge of the IT sector, outsourced IT companies are often more aware of the suppliers with the best prices, most reliable shipping, and diverse inventories, and can therefore assist the school when it decides it needs to procure new hardware or software.
Outsourcing school IT saves schools time.
Second, hiring an outsourced IT team can save school leaders a tremendous amount of time each year. Imagine that a school administrator spends fifteen minutes each day troubleshooting individual tech. issues. Assuming there are 180 days in a school calendar year, that’s at least 45 hours of time the administrator can save by hiring an external provider. Of course, fifteen minutes of daily time devoted to IT isn’t particularly realistic. A single issue can often consume an hour or more of an administrator’s time, so in reality, the benefits of an external provider can potentially exceed 45 hours by orders of magnitude.
In addition to daily troubleshooting, the school will no longer have to spend as much time managing the procurement process, conducting inventory checks, or negotiating with the school’s internet service provider, all of which can drain valuable time from instructional management and other non-instructional tasks. With an outsourced IT provider, a school administrator can rest easy knowing these and other tech-related priorities are taken care of, only engaging on those matters that require specific guidance.
Outsourcing school IT allows schools to focus on their instructional responsibilities and core non-instructional duties.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, outsourcing IT allows schools to focus on their core instructional and non-instructional responsibilities. As important as technology is—and as closely related as it may be with teaching and learning—it’s not as critical as providing real-time feedback on teacher performance, meeting with individual families, or on the non-instructional side, making sure students are safe in the school building. By outsourcing their IT management to an external provider, schools can give these and other strategic priorities the attention they deserve.
At CTS, we take care of the technology so that schools can focus on their unique missions.
Our team is deeply invested in the work of our partner schools. We spend a tremendous amount of time with each client working to understand their unique instructional mission and how technology fits into their daily programming. Our hope is that by taking care of all things tech-related at your school, we’ll give you the time and resources necessary to improve student achievement and support teachers. Contact us today to learn more about our managed IT services and how we can help your school accomplish its unique mission.