If you’re a regular blog reader, you’ll know that I’ve got a bee in my bonnet about cost saving – and the ways that your ICT could contribute to saving your school money. With the pressure on school budgets, and the big investment made in ICT over the last decade, then I think it’s a good time to use ICT to help manage costs.
At the moment, my “Top ICT Cost Saving Ideas” page has a running total of savings of over £350,000 for a secondary school over the next three years, and I am always on the look out for further savings.
And, of course, some of that is about managing the cost of ICT itself.
It's always rewarding when case studies from the UK get published to a worldwide audience on the www.microsoft.com/casestudies website, because it means that their story of sucess is being held up for the world to learn from. We’ve just published the story of West Hatch High School in Essex, where Alan Richards, the Information Systems Manager, has been concentrating on improving the reliability, long-term sustainability and cost of their ICT infrastructure. Like many secondary schools, they have a large network – five IT suites for general use, two for media and music, and three for business – and lots of desktop and portable computers.
When Alan arrived at West Hatch he also found 24 servers, of varying ages, which he’s been able to reduce to just nine through virtualisation. This has helped the school save a lot of money - £36,000 over the next three years, and even more importantly, it’s contributed to an improvement in the reliability of the school’s network.
Alan’s saved his school £7,000 a year on hardware costs, and a further £5,000 on electricity and maintenance – which has also contributed to reducing the school’s carbon footprint.
And not only does it give staff a more reliable IT system for teaching and learning, Alan says the saving “amounts to half the salary of a newly qualified teacher”.
I’d recommend reading the fully detailed case study on the West Hatch virtualisation project, which describes Alan’s approach, and the school background.