Headteacher Magazine, guide to services and products for UK Schools
When it comes to education establishments - whether that’s a school, a college or university - just how many of them reviewing their hardware and software on a regular basis? No doubt there’s always an urgent need to quickly fix that printer or a hard drive for the geography department or another. But how often are ICT experts getting a chance to assess their infrastructure and carry out the relevant updates? Are some thinking it’s just easier to chuck out the old kit and replace with something brand new and shiny?
So, how do schools, colleges and universities give their staff and students the fantastic IT experience they demand while keeping within budget? The very first thing they need to do is assess hardware and create an itinerary of what parts need replacing or repairing. There are some cheap and very shiny new desktops and laptops on the market, but education providers need to ask themselves if they will be robust and last the test of time. They should evaluate and compare the new with refurbished machines that can offer more for their budget.
Shiny and new doesn’t mean better quality
With refurbished hardware, education establishments can get exactly the same design, spec and quality for a much cheaper cost. For example, our entry level i5 laptop is £189 compared with Dell’s new price of £450. When buying a refurbished machine, you can generally afford a higher spec on attributes such as memory, screen quality and processor speed. This is because there can be a quick turnover from a brand-new model’s release date to refurbished versions being on the market; sometimes in as little as 3 months. Instantly, businesses and organisations are getting a top machine without the ‘brand new’ price tag.
Repair and maintain
There’s no doubt hardware takes a beating from pupils, and possibly some teachers too. But a little bit of TLC can help make that desktop or laptop go a long way. Reasons can be as small as fixing a piece of hardware, such as the keys or touchpad. Such fixes don’t leave any noticeable marks and make the desktop or laptops appear as good as new, matching their ability to work as good as new too.
Stay up to date with your software
The WannaCry ransomware chaos last year is probably still fresh in many minds yet software updates are still not happening as regularly as they should. While significant operating system updates need to be considered carefully, the need to carry out critical security updates is a must to ensure infrastructure is always running the best levels of protection possible.
Education providers need to look at innovative ways they can stretch budget that bit further. Hardware Associates has introduced an asset management service where organisations can hand over redundant IT equipment and get money back in return. The equipment, once thoroughly checked and tested, creates cash back that can be used to invest in community initiatives or nominated charities.
Most organisations and businesses will undoubtedly have IT systems or equipment that are no longer being used. Hardware Associates can take that these systems off them, thoroughly check them, and provide cash back for the unused equipment. This cash can then be directly given to charitable sources or, for example, grassroots activities businesses might be supporting. Alternatively, it can be used to fund new or updated IT kit.
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