Much of IT technical work to support initiatives for the start of the new academic year is scheduled for the summer holidays. This can mean the start of autumn term is a testing time literally, as new systems come under stress.
Upgrades, new software or new equipment can turbo boost the start to the academic year but things don’t always go smoothly! Vohkus have the resource and expertise to help you iron out any teething problems or deal with any catastrophes. Please call us to discuss any issues you have on 0345 647 3000
We have compiled below an IT checklist which is deliberately non-technical and outcome focused to provide management teams with some key indicators against which to benchmark their school’s IT performance.
If you can answer ‘no’ or ‘don’t know’ to any of the following questions, we can help.
- Total IT expenditure between 2 and 4% of revenue excluding salaries. This is the ‘rule of thumb’ in the independent sector for reasonable investment.
- There is a clear policy for IT equipment procurement and the IT department has a list of preferred suppliers. Suppliers are regularly reviewed to obtain the best value and for competitive service level agreements. They seek to source equipment from large resellers who have negotiated extremely competitive rates with suppliers.
- The devices and software that staff use function properly and are supported effectively by the IT infrastructure. The system provides a multi-vendor environment that supports a variety of state-of-the-art devices and operating systems.
- Log-on times are fast and staff can access the information they need anywhere in school and at home. The way that the infrastructure and network is configured can have a huge bearing on mobility and connectivity. This is particularly important for staff who need to ‘migrate’ between classrooms (rather than moving students).
- Access to the internet is fast and reliable. E.g. can staff easily stream videos from the web? Can you access the web and download permissible information without disruption? We recommend an internet speed of 100Mb on an uncontended leased line.
- There is rarely any downtime – there is 100% availability during the operational hours defined by the school’s management. Approximately 75% of downtime is caused by human error which includes poor training, poor maintenance practices and poor operational governance.
- Outages are rare, and the system can carry out the school’s backup, disaster recovery and business continuity policies. E.g. In the event of a disaster where the main server room is destroyed, how quickly can finance staff access their systems and continue to pay suppliers? Standard business SLAs tend to be 4 hours. Can staff recover the latest version of a file or multiple earlier versions as required? Can they recover email? Effective planning for outages, such as power cuts or hardware failure, can have systems up and running in a very short space of time.
- The IT infrastructure has the potential to support future developments. Planning new buildings? Buying new software or new devices?
- The system provides sufficient data storage capacity for all its users. One of the common problems we find in schools is an inadequate storage capacity for users.
- Wi-Fi is available, secure and reliable in appropriate areas of the school. Can you connect to your Wi-Fi first time, every time and remain connected?
Request your Free IT Review
Creating an outstanding and safe education experience for your pupils and staff, underpinned with the right IT infrastructure and processes, is essential for effective learning. Our free holistic IT audits are benchmarked against both commercial best practice and best practice in Independent Schools.
The review includes a high level technical health check which can encompass: Internet reliability and connectivity, network infrastructure, wireless network, configuration, operating systems, applications, printing, security, backup and disaster recovery.
This, together with discussions with appropriate staff and stakeholders, means that our recommendations are not made in isolation. Our aim is to understand your vision and strategy for IT and also to assess the help desk mechanism for users, review third party support, assess the usage and suitability of administrative and academic software.