IT infrastructure is not new to schools. While a decade ago it may not have been that commonplace to use computers as teaching tools, today that’s not the case. Schools have an enormously wide range of different technology to help optimise learning these days, from innovative software through to smart phones and tablets, as well as interactive flat panel displays and the PC. It can feel like a vast sea of tech to navigate – so how do you refine your school’s IT infrastructure to make it purely fit for purpose?
Identify the key changes necessary
If your IT infrastructure has developed without much planning then you may find that you have a wealth of disorganised tech purchased without strategic purpose. Or your systems may be out of date and hardware almost unusable. Start out by identifying the changes that need to be made to IT infrastructure and the objectives you’re hoping to achieve with those changes. It may be that you need to refurbish your existing technology, upgrade the system or reevaluate some investments.
Future proof your investment
Most schools simply don’t have vast budgets to upgrade and renew IT infrastructure every couple of years. So, decisions made now need to have long lasting impact. The technology you choose today must evolve with the needs of the school and the students. Bear in mind that it should be flexible enough to remain compatible as student devices change and systems and software moves on.
Key infrastructure components
Every school will be different but there are three key infrastructure components that every organisation will need to consider during the process of refining the IT that is in place.
Software access and delivery. Today, cloud-based software offers one of the best options to schools looking to refine and streamline IT infrastructure. There are many cost benefits to using software in this way and it’s much easier to make it available to a wider pool of people, particularly when they are off site. Cloud access can help to improve security and gives students and teachers access to the information they need from wherever they are with a simple login, even outside school hours. It also removes the need to store and use software in physical form, such as on CDs.
Compatible hardware. Take advice on the most compatible options when it comes to hardware choices – you’re looking to invest in hardware that is compatible with the best educational tech out there and which is likely to remain relevant. The role of hardware is always to support teaching staff and enable better delivery of lessons and learning outcomes, as opposed to replacing the human factor.
Security is a necessity. New requirements for data protection, and an increase in the number of threats that could affect a school IT infrastructure, mean that security must be a consideration when you’re assessing the tech that you use. There are many different factors to consider here, from the fact that students are using their own devices to access your network, to the need to protect the data you’re storing.
A Suna we offer complete network and communication solutions for any organisation – contact us for help refining your IT infrastructure for the years to come.