Technology is changing faster than ever. Reliable IT support is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.
This is especially true for charter schools, who grapple with insufficient resources to establish a comprehensive in-house IT department.
Luckily, leveraging Managed IT Services can help charter schools have more resources and expertise (without a massive cost).
In the following sections, we’ll get into the details of managed IT services and how they can help charter schools. The goal is to give you and your school the information you need to make an informed decision. Let’s dive in:
What are Managed IT Services?
Managed IT Services represent the practice of outsourcing the support and management of your school’s various IT needs. This can include things like network maintenance, account creation, password resets, hardware repairs, peripheral device support, etc. The idea is to keep your operations teams focused on what they do best, running your schools’ operations, not troubleshooting computers.
Entities providing these services are commonly referred to as Managed Services Providers (MSPs). Each MSP varies in the scope of support they offer. Some only do remote support, some fix anything that plugs into an outlet. It’s important to understand what each group offers.
These organizations have specialists who have the technical expertise to handle a wide variety of IT tasks.
It’s important to recognize that a benefit of using Managed IT Services is the proactive orientation these groups should bring your school.
Instead of adopting a reactive stance, awaiting the occurrence of technical malfunctions, MSPs proactively facilitate the seamless functioning of IT operations.
This proactive approach involves the provision of continuous support and the implementation of forward-looking solutions.
Why Should Your Charter School Consider Using Managed IT Services?
Charter schools have unique technology needs.
These include safeguarding student data confidentiality, managing a diverse array of hardware and software components, and fortifying network security.
Additionally, charter schools typically operate within stringent budget constraints, which complicates the task of recruiting and sustaining an in-house IT team.
Managed IT Services present a cost-effective resolution to this problem. An MSP can furnish schools with access to a team of IT professionals who remain up to date on the latest technology trends and updates.
This ensures the clear functionality of IT operations, affording school personnel the luxury of dedicating more of their time and effort to educational pursuits and less to technical difficulties.
5 Benefits of Using Managed IT Services for Charter Schools
Leveraging managed IT services in a charter school environment has many benefits.
- Cost Efficiency: When compared to building an in-house IT team or hiring one-person, managed IT services offer a more cost-effective option because you’re only paying for what you need.
The pricing structure typically adheres to a fixed fee model, thereby generating predictability in monthly expenditures.
- Access to a Team Of Experts: MSPs assemble a team of IT professionals renowned for their proficiency in tackling a wide gamut of IT tasks. This ensures that your school always has access to expert counsel and support.
- Round-the-Clock Assistance: MSPs extend round-the-clock support 24/7, ensuring the prompt resolution of any IT issues and minimizing operational downtime.
- Augmented Security: MSPs are well-versed in the latest and most robust security protocols, thereby strengthening the protection of your school’s sensitive data against cyber threats.
- Distribution of Knowledge: Instead of one person having all the keys and knowledge, MSPs document and distribute required information to ensure your school is never left high and dry.
Proactive Approach Managed IT Service Providers Take:
When partnering with an MSP, here’s some of the services you can expect to receive:
Remote Monitoring and Administration: MSPs diligently monitor your IT infrastructure, promptly identifying and rectifying potential issues before they escalate into major problems.
Data Archiving and Recovery: MSPs supply comprehensive data backup solutions and stand ready to assist in the event of data loss, facilitating data retrieval.
Network Safeguarding: MSPs institute robust security measures to shield your school’s network from the deadly risk of cyber threats.
Software Support: MSPs assume the responsibility of making sure all of your software programs are up to date and resolving any potential problems with the software.
Hardware Maintenance: MSPs undertake the upkeep of your hardware inventory, assuring its continued operational viability.
What to Look for When Assessing Prospective Managed IT Service Providers:
If you’re considering using an MSP at your charter school, here are some things to consider:
Expertise in the Educational Sector: Look for MSPs with a track record of partnering with charter schools or possessing extensive experience within the education sector.
Service Repertoire: Confirm that the MSP you select offers a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the specific requirements of your school.
Accessibility: It is imperative that your MSP provides 24/7 support to swiftly address any emergent IT exigencies.
Reputation: A prudent assessment of the MSP’s reputation is indispensable. This entails perusing customer reviews and soliciting references from prior clients.
What Does a Transition to Managed IT Services Look Like?
The transition to Managed IT Services can seem like a lot, but it’s not so bad. Here’s what it usually looks like:
Initial Appraisal: The MSP conducts an initial assessment of your IT infrastructure to gain an in-depth understanding of your schools’ current environment and unique needs.
Proposal Submission: The MSP submits a comprehensive proposal drafting the suite of services to be delivered, associated costs, and the terms governing the contractual arrangement.
Onboarding: Subsequent to the formalization of the contract, the MSP embarks on the onboarding process. This entails configuring their services, acquainting themselves with your IT environment, and harmonizing their systems with yours.
Sustained Assistance: Upon the conclusion of the setup phase, the MSP will proceed to provide continuous monitoring and support, diligently adhering to the stipulated contractual terms.
The Financial Implications of Managed IT Services
The cost of Managed IT Services can change a lot depending on what you need and what group you’re working with.
Some MSPs charge on a per device or user basis, some charge hourly depending on how often they go on-site, some charge a flat monthly fee that includes what’s stated in the contract. It’s important to understand how this works up front.
Additional expenses may include projects, hardware setup, and any additional services beyond the scope of the agreement.
Charter schools are going to continue to rely on reliable IT support.
Managed IT Services offer a comprehensive and cost-efficient recourse, giving schools access to IT expertise, unwavering round-the-clock support, and an array of services specifically tailored to their unique needs.