Companies that offer mission-driven IT services are best equipped to reduce the administrative burden that technology management places on the shoulders of school leaders.
Today’s school leader has a never-ending list of responsibilities. They hold the instructional vision for their school — ensuring that students have qualified teachers to teach them and that teachers have a high-quality curriculum to teach with. School leaders are responsible for building the culture of their school – creating an atmosphere of belonging for students, staff, and families. The operational success of their school is also under their purview. This includes ensuring that the facilities are safe and maintained, that access control systems are installed and that the school is in compliance with local and federal laws. Financial management, human resources, community relations… the list of responsibilities goes on and on and on. The good news is that school leaders can delegate and outsource aspects of this work. Finding a provider of mission-driven IT services, instead of a standard IT firm, is one act of delegation that can make a big difference.
Hiring a managed IT service provider is an impact multiplier for school leaders. Their valuable time gets maximized when there is someone else on-hand to troubleshoot classroom technology, support with decisions on allocating E-rate funds or help with understanding and then integrating emerging technology into the classroom.
However, all managed IT service providers are not created equal.
When it comes time to select that technology partner, schools derive greater value when they work with a partner who understands the education context, a mission-driven IT services provider.
Traditional IT services firms support clients across a variety of industries. This makes sense as a business strategy because the IT needs of a marketing firm aren’t that different from the needs of an insurance agency or an accounting business. The need for servers and switches and printers and wifi remains the same. Of course, schools need these services as well, but the school context comes with way more specificity and much more nuance. A differentiated approach is required.
For example, sourcing and procuring a 3D printer can seem like a simple task for an IT services firm to accomplish. They just need to source the most reliable and cost-effective solution. However, there are additional criteria for selecting this device that a firm with a deep context of the education space would have in mind. A mission-minded firm would know to source a 3D printer that comes with a curriculum, interactive exercises, and lesson plans. They would consider the age group of the students – high school students would need a printer with more features and sophistication while elementary aged-students would need something simpler and more user-friendly – when determining which device to procure.
A managed IT services provider who understands the rhythm of school life can meaningfully participate in a school’s planning process.
The school day – with recess, gym, bathroom duties, lunch duties, arrival, and dismissal – has its own unique pace and rhythm. The same is true of the school year. The end of the school year, even with the flurry of activities like prom, testing, graduation, and field trips, is a time when school leaders begin preparing for the year to come. The summer period, which to others may seem like a lull or a time of quiet in the life of a school, is bustling with the energy of capital and IT projects. A partner and provider who understand the ebbs and flow of these periods can support schools with the timing of their purchases and the sequencing of their installations and updates. In other words, they can do more than just execute tasks; they can be a strategic thought partner.
At CTS, we provide mission-driven IT services to more than 60 schools across the country.
We are a technology company and an education partner. As an education partner, with deep technology expertise, we work closely with our clients to understand their unique missions and their existing technology resources. From there, we develop a plan to make the most use of your current resources and to fill in the gaps.
When selecting an IT services provider, school leaders may simply look for a team with the technical know-how. They may be searching for a company that can just keep the trains running, service Chromebooks, repair classroom projectors, and grant teachers access to devices.
It’s our belief that school leaders can and should be demanding much more. Schools need a partner who can manage the basics and beyond – a partner who can also engage in strategic conversations. Schools need partners who can move beyond just fixing the Chromebooks. They need partners who can participate in decision-making processes like implementing Google Workspace for Education, they need a partner who can provide user training that is tailored specifically to teachers, and they need a partner who deeply understands the E-rate program and process. This is where CTS shines and we are happy to help.
Contact us today to learn more about our managed IT services, and how we can help your school achieve its unique mission.