According to Further Education News, 64% of schools are now embedding technology in everyday teaching and learning practices. In such a technology-driven landscape, schools rely heavily on IT services to provide an enriching learning environment that meets the needs of both staff and students.
If you are part of your school’s management team and you are seeking new IT providers to assist with the efficient management of your technology needs and IT infrastructure, you may find the following considerations useful.
Seek IT providers with experience in auditing education environments
A key step to optimising your use of technology is to thoroughly audit it. This includes your current infrastructure, devices, peripherals, and software. Consider areas that require improvement, such as network security, data storage, cloud services, and tech support for teachers and students. IT service providers with experience working in schools will be able to identify weaknesses in your existing set-up and make recommendations that will better meet the needs of staff and students.
Prioritise experience in the education sector
An IT service provider with experience in the education sector brings valuable insights into the unique challenges and requirements schools face. Look for providers who have worked with educational institutions like yours. Their familiarity with the industry will enable them to offer tailored solutions that align with your school’s goals and values.
Check for a proven track record and references
Research the reputation of potential IT service providers by reading testimonials and case studies from other schools they have worked with. Reach out to those institutions for feedback on their experiences. A reliable IT provider will have a strong track record of successful implementations and positive client relationships.
Evaluate cybersecurity measures
Security is a top concern in any educational setting, given the sensitive data relating to students and their families. In 2022, 14 schools in the UK were hacked and confidential data was leaked online. You will want to be confident that your IT service provider is doing everything they possibly can to avoid attacks like this. Ask them about their cybersecurity protocols, data encryption, and compliance with industry standards. A strong cybersecurity framework will protect your school’s digital assets and safeguard student privacy.
Consider support and responsiveness
Timely technical support is crucial for the uninterrupted functioning of a school. Ensure the IT service provider offers quick response times and a helpdesk that is available during school hours. Efficient support will enable teachers and staff to address tech-related issues promptly, fostering a productive learning environment.
Be prepared for the future demands of your school
As your school expands and integrates new technologies, it’s essential to choose an IT service provider that can scale their services accordingly. A flexible and forward-thinking provider will help your school accommodate future growth and technological advancements.
Review cost and budget compatibility
While budget is a significant consideration, focus on finding an IT service provider that offers the best value for your school’s needs. Evaluate the cost of services relative to the quality and range of offerings. Some providers may offer educational discounts or customisable packages to suit your budget constraints.
Align with your school’s educational vision
Choose an IT service provider that aligns with your school’s educational vision and goals. A partner who shares your commitment to enhancing the learning experience and supporting the academic community will be better equipped to serve your school’s unique requirements.
Find out how help4IT can assist your school
Selecting the right IT service provider is a pivotal decision for schools seeking to optimise their technological capabilities and enrich the learning experience. At help4IT, we have a strong track record in helping schools and colleges implement and maintain IT environments including new technologies, hardware, and software. Visit our IT support for schools page or contact us today for further information.