Last week I was out at dinner with a good friend who also runs a technology consultancy. As we caught up over Italian food we got on to the subject of why so many organisations struggle to see any impact from technology. My friend works in the commercial sector, and as he shared the struggles he is seeing with his own clients, I was surprised by just how similar they are to the schools I work with. As conversation flowed we developed a new insight. Few people actually know what technology transformation actually means because no-one has defined it. This is true in both business and education, so to advance the conversation today I want to give you a real life working example that will save your school £20,000 per year. This is how you achieve it:
Move your school to a cloud platform (such as Google Suite for Education) and retire your server.
Servers are little more than money pits in schools today. It costs you in a number of ways
You’re paying an IT technician or support company to keep it up and running.
You’re paying for the electricity to keep it on.
If you were to move to Google Suite for Education, a free cloud-based education platform you would save at least £20,000 per year. This isn’t a ‘guess-timation’. I worked with Invicta Primary School in mid 2016. They are now in the process of cancelling their current IT support contract in the next months. This will save them around £27,000 per year. Google Suite for Education requires 90% less labour support than an onsite server, and Invicta will be working with a freelance IT consultant for their ongoing support needs at a cost of a few thousand pound per year. They estimate they’ll have an additional £23,000 per year to spend on classroom resources as a result.
Servers are also costing you in educational terms too:
- You’re paying in teaching impact due to unplanned or unscheduled down time that disrupts teachers and lessons
- You’re paying in the physical space it occupies, which could be used in other ways
- You’re paying by not being able to fully realise the potential of tablets and Chromebooks as these devices are designed to work in the cloud and not servers
- You’re paying in the ability for staff to collaborate and communicate which must be done in person when you’re in a server-based environment
In a school, a server costs a lot more than just the financial upkeep, so it leads us to the key question. Why are schools so loathe to move away from their servers? There are 3 reasons:
- Being unaware - most school leaders I meet are unaware of technology such as Google Suite and the fact that they could actually get rid of their server all together.
Being told not to - moving to Google Suite for Education means that you won’t need as much IT support. The people providing that support don’t want that to happen because it reduces what goes into their pocket
Lacking the capacity to change - undertaking the change management required to move away from a server and adopt something like Google Suite for Education requires a specific skill set, and this is something that requires external support more often than not.
However, now that you have read this blog you’re no longer in the dark about the benefits of ditching the server. You’re also not so beholden to your IT support supplier, who often have far too much say in the development of your school. That just leaves the capacity to change. This is something we can help with at LearnMaker as we offer school development programmes that do just that. If you’d like to explore that in more detail, book a complimentary Discovery Session by clicking here
Cloud-based technologies, like Google Suite for Education, offer huge potential in education and at the moment it is going untapped by most schools. The key is to always ensure you use simple and effective technology to accelerate your school’s improvement.