Page 16 - Independent Schools Magazine
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 IT outsourcing – a growing trend in Independent schools
A large number of Independent schools currently outsource their catering or cleaning services, because these tasks aren’t an integral part of the skillset of the school staff team; they call in specialists to take
away the hassle of these tasks, and let them worry about the processes, laws and risks.
Today, 15% of schools are working with an IT partner for delivery of part (we call this co-sourcing) or all of their IT support (outsourcing). They are enjoying the improved provision, cost savings and teaching and learning benefits that a specialist technology partner can bring.
According to a BESA survey from October 2017, 27% of schools are planning to review their support options this year as they become more forward-thinking. This will enable them to achieve a high level of ICT delivery and support whilst also keeping costs down.
So what are the benefits?
Ensure security is optimised –
Keeping your network, school
data, teachers and learners safe
is a complex and never-ending task, fraught with dangers. A specialist IT partner is ideally placed to keep abreast of the latest security risks, and will ensure that your infrastructure, data security and pupil access to appropriate materials are all kept up to date and as secure as possible.
Reduce staff overheads – The highest spend in most schools is on staff salaries, and when pressures are put on budgets, the thought
of having to make teaching staff redundant to save money is a choice that no school wants to make. If you have a skills gap in your IT team, an IT partner can provide this resource for you much
more efficiently with a blend of on- site and remote support services.
Avoid unnecessary spend – If your IT procurement choices are made on the preferences of your network manager or teachers because it’s ‘what they know about’, rather than a future-proofed and more cost-effective tool that will benefit the school longer term, then how can they be making the best use of your budget?
Increase expertise – A school IT technician or network manager
is a generalist in IT. They need to know a little bit about everything, but chances are they don’t have in-depth expertise in every area.
As a result, IT issues can take a long time to resolve, and often
it’s a symptom that gets fixed, not the root cause. An IT partner can help identify the root cause, so that you are guaranteed the fastest fixes, ensuring your reputation at delivering the best is upheld.
Improve flexibility of service –
An IT partner can provide year- round support services, and has the capacity to easily cover illness or annual leave – a luxury not often enjoyed by schools with small or even single-person IT teams. With RM supporting your network it’s
like having two sets of keys to the car – we both know how it works and either of us can drive – so you have peace of mind knowing that support is always on hand when you need it.
By partnering with an IT support provider your IT costs become predictable, and your technology is cost effective and future-proofed. It also helps stop those expensive IT investment mistakes that must be avoided as we try to cope with ever-increasing budget pressures.
Identify underperformance in IT – Managing an IT team isn’t easy if you don’t fully comprehend
the technologies yourself and this makes it impossible to challenge
IT underperformance, so you may unknowingly end up with less than ideal solutions or service for your teaching staff.
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