Jul 11 2023

Five Tips for Proactive Asset Management for Evolving K–12 IT Teams

An effective asset management strategy can help schools preserve a healthy fleet of devices while saving time and money in the long run. 

School districts without effective asset management systems in place tend to overlook the fact that technology does not age like fine wine. Modern technology enters a district, decreases in value over years of use and is discarded for the next evolution in software or hardware.

During that time, IT teams navigate challenges ranging from an increased risk of cyberattacks to the sunk cost of maintaining technology that is far past its prime, limiting flexibility within a team’s budget.

Here are some proactive asset management practices to consider.

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1. Is Scaling Down Inventory Better for K–12 Asset Management?

With evolving IT responsibilities, leaders must minimize strain on their respective teams by reducing inventory with incoming technology investments. A new interactive whiteboard and laptop with screen sharing may allow for the removal of an antiquated display, projector, wall-mounted speakers and desktop PC. Scaling down maximizes inventory, affords team members more time to learn and support technology, and allows for future purchases without continuously expanding the inventory footprint.

2. Is an Integrated Inventory and Help Desk Solution Necessary?

One-to-one device programs have created an expectation that all students will have access to a device throughout the school day. This may include a loaner device when one is forgotten or damaged. There also will be lost or stolen devices, and other issues which require time to investigate and resolve. An integrated solution connects individuals to device histories and offers staff members visibility to return found devices to staff and students without tying up IT resources.

DISCOVER: How to overcome common one-to-one hurdles.

3. Are Extended Warranties Worth it for One-to-One Device Programs?

Newark Central School District’s three-year accidental damage warranty costs approximately $90 per device, but the investment was a critical part of our asset management system. It added stability for our one-to-one device program and maximized staff availability across the department. Adopting a “no tinkering” approach whenever possible has allowed us to invest more time and resources on IT infrastructure and data interoperability initiatives.

4. Can Disconnected Inventory Increase a District’s Cyber Risks?

Absolutely! Districts with modern, mobile device management programs have no choice but to account for device loss, breakage, system updates and minimum device requirements to run software applications. However, IT teams must be most concerned about inventory that sits on the edge of their purview. The lone desktop at the bus garage running Windows XP and connected via Ethernet is a major security risk that could go unnoticed for years.

RELATED: Learn how one district’s lifecycle management plan supports digital equity.

5. What Should the District’s K-12 Tech Replacement Plan Prioritize?

When planning for technology replacement, the district’s educational community and IT teams will naturally gravitate toward hardware such as desktops, laptops, Chromebooks or tablets. However, devices become expensive bricks when not connected to a robust network infrastructure. Instead, prioritize network infrastructure replacement; the equipment is expensive, and unplanned network downtime can stop a district in its tracks.

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