Page 16 - Independent Schools Magazine
Advertorial Feature Independent schools can do things differently and save c£250k on ICT Many independent senior schools are spending between £700k and £1m on ICT every year. In times when fee affordability is pricing-out the professions, that’s an awful lot of money. With additional pension and NI contributions to find, a premium to pay for some subject teachers, building programmes to fund or a deficit to address, most senior schools can think of something more pressing to do with a £250k saving. There are completely understandable reasons for this higher than necessary spend on ICT. It’s hard for independent school Bursars to benchmark what a ‘normal’ level of ICT spend is for a school of their size and type, to achieve a ‘good’ ICT service. Also, unplanned ICT cost-creep tends to happen in response to senior common room complaints over helpdesk response times, or frustrations at not being able to use product x or y that enthusiastic teachers may have discovered. There are many ways to reduce your ICT spend, but here are two that can save you the most: Partial outsourcing Traditional man-for-man outsourcing of your school’s ICT staff doesn’t save you money, or produce a better outcome for students or teaching staff. Instead, an education technology partner offering best-practice outsourcing will now provide a exible blend of your own local ICT support staff, experts on call, specialists who visit as needed and online assistance. That means overnight proactive checks that diagnose and x issues before they arise, experts who can take-over control of teachers’ computers to x issues immediately, an ef cient help desk run for your school, prioritised task-lists for on-site staff for those issues that can’t be remedied remotely, and a wide range of specialists who visit for proactive work and projects as needed. The service as a whole would be overseen by someone who can bridge the divide between technology and curriculum, who keeps your school strategy at heart and who offers valuable, impartial advice. In brass-tacks, senior schools running an ICT support team of seven and spending over £300k fully loaded salary costs can see that reduce to two on-site folk supported by a exible managed service, and make a saving of over £150k each year. Move to the cloud Faster internet connectivity and a long-term approach to winning students’ hearts and minds from Google and Microsoft mean there are now realisable and signi cant cost savings available for independent schools from embracing cloud technologies. Most of the storage you’ll ever need for student work is now available for free, saving you a small fortune in local SANs, support contracts and electricity. Microsoft Of ce 365 and Google docs provide you cloud email, of ce and productivity tools, saving schools money on local licencing and storage but also giving you collaborative tools to help streamline your school admin. Once you’re through the initial transition, moving to the cloud should save you of the order of £100k per year in your ICT costs. 16 ICT Visit www.rm.com/getextra today, call 0808 172 9534 or email email@example.com to explore how RM could help you save money and improve your IT service.