When Is It Time To Bring In Additional IT Resources?

What Can A Hybrid IT Resource Plan

Do For Your Charter School?

There’s a strong sense of comfort having an IT resource on-site every day. You can just drop by when you have an issue and get it fixed. But there comes a point when you outgrow that approach.

There are three warning signs to look for:

  • You’ll notice it takes longer and longer to get support tickets addressed and the list of issues just keeps growing.
  • You may also see that during the busy times of year – back to school, return from winter break, assessments, etc. – it gets harder and harder for your IT resources to keep up.
  • They don’t have the time or expertise to create a strategic technology plan.

So how do you decide if you need another full-time position on-site or if it would be better to just bring in some outsourced IT help?

We know your time is valuable. We’d love for you to read the whole blog, but if you don’t have time, check out our 30-Second Summary

check out our 30-Second Summary

What Size School Are You Dealing With?

Are you a smaller school or charter school network? If so, you may just need extra help during the busiest times of the year or when you need to create a strategic technology plan.

For larger schools or school networks, you may need to bring in additional IT resources to handle projects or to add specific areas of expertise to your team.

Where Are Your Schools Located?

If you’re working within a small geographic area, it may make sense to add another person to your full-time team. There are multiple schools for them to work at and the travel time is probably pretty short.

But if you’re growing your charter school network into multiple areas that are geographically dispersed, then it may make more sense to bring in outsourced IT resources. They can focus on specific schools or projects. You also have the option to work with different providers for the different areas.

What Type Of Technology Are You Adding?

This boils down to a question of expertise. If you’re a Mac school and you want to add some PCs, then it may make sense to bring in outsourced IT resources that are used to working on PCs.

This also applies to other areas like network management. You may have set your network up several years ago but now find that your school has outgrown it. Bringing in a network specialist can make sure that you’re getting a true expert who can configure a network that will grow with your school.

What Would You Like To Spend?

Adding a full-time position has a serious impact on your budget. When considering how much you’ll spend to add a more senior IT technician, think about what you’ll be getting for that money. Most likely they won’t want to work on the help desk. But do you really have more advanced work for them to stay busy 40 hours a week?

Outsourcing those more advanced positions can actually end up saving you money. You only pay for the time you need and they aren’t working on projects that are below their skill sets.

What Is Your Current Setup Really Costing You?

Finally, ask yourself how much time you spend dealing with IT issues. As an administrator, your time is valuable. Could it be better spent working on some high-level educational goals, financial planning or school growth design?

A good rule of thumb for administrators is if they’re spending more than 5-10% of their day on IT-related tasks, they need to think about adding additional IT resources.

Share Your Experiences:

How have you dealt with this issue at your school? Have you ever used outsourced IT resources? What did you learn from that experience? Do you have any advice you’d share? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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30-Second Summary:

  • When deciding if you need to bring in additional IT resources, there are three warning signs to look for:
    • You’ll notice it takes longer and longer to get support tickets addressed and the list of issues just keeps growing.
    • You may also see that during the busy times of year – back to school, return from winter break, assessments, etc. – it gets harder and harder for your IT resources to keep up.
    • They don’t have the time or expertise to create a strategic technology plan.
  • There are five key questions to ask yourself when deciding if you need to bring on new IT resources:
    • What size school are you dealing with?
    • Where are your schools located?
    • What type of technology are you adding?
    • What would you like to spend?
    • What is your current setup really costing you?
  • By exploring each of these areas, you’ll see if adding another full-time position is the best choice for your school or if you should instead add a part-time outsourced IT resource.
  • Often, this saves money and gives you greater skills to use on projects and specialized areas like network management.

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