Technology has brought amazing things to the classroom. Teachers now have virtually unlimited access to instructional materials like articles and videos. Administrators can better keep up with teachers, classes, and students. Students can coordinate on class projects and conduct research at the touch of a button. But all of this convenience brings complexity. How can the IT department use IT asset management to keep track of all those devices and all that software — often spread city- or county-wide?
Here are the special concerns related to IT asset management in school systems and how the right software can address them.
School systems have to start budgeting for upgrades well ahead of time.
Planning for New Assets
One constant in the education system is a tight budget. Few school systems can afford to buy new hardware or software whenever the need arises. Therefore, schools need an asset management system that helps track the lifespan of individual devices and software packages in order to begin budgeting for future needs well ahead of time. The IT asset management software also needs to make it easy to enter new devices and software applications into the tracking system, because the learning environment won’t wait on delays. As federal mandates for testing make it ever harder to meet learning goals, educators can’t afford downtime while old assets are retired and new ones entered into the system.
Tracking Inactive or Non-Functional Assets
How many of the technology tools has the school system invested in that aren’t performing? Have software packages been purchased that aren’t being used by teachers or classes? Are parents taking advantage of online resources like posted homework assignments and grades? Are the teachers entering this information into the system? Perhaps the science department could use the tablets bought for language arts that aren’t being used, or maybe there are better products available for tracking student lunchroom balances. A great asset management system tracks all of these issues so school systems can cut out unnecessary expenses, relocate assets where they’ll be better used, and identify new needs within the system.
Locating Missing Assets
As more technology goes mobile, teachers, students, and administrators can take their tools home. Unfortunately, what goes home does not always come back. A great asset management tracker allows systems to identify when and where an asset went missing. This can quickly account for thousands of dollars worth of lost assets that otherwise would never be recovered.
Dealing With Duplicate Assets
Sometimes, computers on the network are taken off and reinstalled for whatever reason. This shows up as a duplicate asset in the system, which easily throws off asset tracking capabilities. An asset management system that can identify and reconcile duplicate assets helps track disposed devices and keep software licensing up to date.
Managing Licenses and Contracts
Licensing issues are becoming more complex as many school systems acquire new software packages. The system has to keep track of when licenses are up for renewal, as well as any user restrictions on packages. Without the ability to track these issues, school systems could face fines that simply aren’t in the budget to pay.