As digital initiatives take off in more schools and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund windfall winds down this year, school leaders want to know that they’re getting the highest return on their investments. Technology can help K–12 schools create value and contain costs.
“The key here is value-based budgeting,” says James Watczak, a finance and technology business consultant with CDW. “Transparency involving costs, business impacts and usage is needed so that IT budgets can be allocated to generate the greatest return.”
According to a 2023 report from Snow Software, about a third of IT leaders surveyed stated that reducing IT costs was among their top IT priorities. Further, 26 percent cited delivering digital transformation and adopting new technologies to improve day-to-day operations as priorities.
Automation Improves Agility and Reduces Complexity
Automated solutions offer powerful tools to drive cost optimization efforts. For example, automated tools can enable IT teams to orchestrate workloads across a district’s cloud environment, more efficiently allocating resources. Automating these processes reduces the manual effort involved in provisioning and managing complex cloud and hybrid IT environments.
By approaching their cost optimization initiatives strategically, schools can realize significant benefits, bringing them closer to achieving their short-term and long-term educational goals. The focus should go beyond short-term actions aimed at adapting to current conditions and instead establish continuous efforts to maximize outcomes. It’s important to understand that cost optimization is an ongoing process of evaluation, strategy and improvement.
“Cost optimization is not just a number on a spreadsheet. Rather, it’s a real process to analyze and understand the total cost of operations behind a decision where the benefit is actually realized,” says Neil Graver, executive technology strategist with CDW. “It’s an ongoing process to look at the investments that have been made and calculate the ROI.”