5 Ways to Maximize Your IT Budget for the 2015-2016 School Year
Summer is here, and while many students are enjoying their time away from school, education organizations are already in the process of creating their IT budgets for the next school year. For these education leaders, it seems like there's never enough room in the budget to account for IT hardware, software, or services schools might need. That's why it's important that school systems do everything they can to stretch their IT budgets as far as possible. Let's discuss a few of the steps you can take to make the most of your limited IT budget.
1. Learn to Balance Between Maintenance and Innovation
Many educators assume that keeping older systems running is the most cost-effective option. However, if your schools have been using the same computers since the Reagan administration, it may be time to let those dinosaurs go extinct. You may be spending a fortune on maintenance, when you could invest in newer, more powerful machines for less. Never assume that maintaining your existing systems is the best option until you’ve done the math for yourself.
2. Set Strategic Goals and Spend Accordingly
IT budgeting is like so many other things in life: if you don’t know exactly what you’re after, you probably won’t get it. Where many education administrators get themselves in trouble is by simply making IT budgeting decisions without an underlying plan or strategy. Instead, start with a specific goal in mind, such as replacing outdated desktops with new ones. Once you have that concrete goal in mind, you’ll be able to work toward it.
3. Take Advantage of Buy Back Programs
You may not realize it at first glance, but your old computers most likely still have value, even when you’re ready to get rid of them. Working with an IT vendor that offers a buy back program can be a great way to add some additional funds back into your budget, making it easier for you to make new investments. You never know how much your existing assets might be worth until you ask!
4. Learn the Difference Between Wants and Needs
In a perfect world, you’d be able to buy everything your staff and students could possibly want. Unfortunately, in the world we actually live in, certain IT investments are going to be more important than others. Not realizing this going in is another important mistake that education administrators make when planning an IT budget. Start with the things you need, and then consider the wants only if there’s still room in the budget for them.
5. Consider Refurbished Equipment
While refurbished IT equipment may have something of a negative connotation for some buyers, it's entirely possible to get great refurbished IT equipment that still has years left on its lifespan. The key is making sure that you're buying from a reputable vendor that offers only high-quality refurbished equipment. For instance, Aventis Systems can offer you Dell refurbished desktops and HP refurbished desktops, allowing you to buy high-quality products that fit nicely into your budget.
At Aventis Systems, we offer school systems and other government agencies a wide variety of strategies and solutions to help stretch an IT budget as far as possible. To learn more about what we can do to help you provide for your organization and manage costs, contact us today.