Safeguarding Investments in K-12 Schools with IT Asset Management
June 08, 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic brought about an unprecedented reliance on technology in K-12 education, with schools distributing Chromebooks and other devices to facilitate remote learning. However, the widespread adoption of these devices has inadvertently revealed a critical oversight: the lack of a robust IT Asset Management (ITAM) system in many K-12 schools. As a result, valuable resources are being lost, leading to significant financial strain on already stretched budgets.
Located north of Minneapolis, the St. Francis Independent School District encompasses more than 700 employees and 4000 students from kindergarten to senior high. Situated away from the city center, the district is spread across eight buildings that unite the surrounding suburban communities and takes pride in being the heart of community life. Its team’s relentless focus is on streamlining operations and leveraging the right technology for an excellent learning experience.
In the past, St. Francis’s IT team relied completely on Excel spreadsheets for IT asset management processes. This manual asset tracking system was creating a lot of holes: things were getting missed, and the data was far from accurate.
If a Chromebook was checked out of the school by a student or teacher, someone from the IT team had to update spreadsheet-based records with the person’s name, their ID number, the device number, and the school location. This was all done manually, and as a result the team couldn’t consistently track the devices they managed.
Many school districts, like St. Francis, have come to realize over the last three years the importance of implementing an effective ITAM system in K-12 schools to mitigate the loss of devices, protect investments, keep track of inventory, and ensure the successful integration of technology in education. So how can schools go about protecting their assets?
Accountability and Cost Control:
Implementing an ITAM software solution allows schools to establish a comprehensive digital inventory of technology assets, tracking their allocation to individual students, teachers, or classrooms. This accountability promotes responsible usage and discourages theft or misuse of devices.
By maintaining an accurate digital record of assets, schools can proactively identify missing or misplaced devices, and reduce the financial burden associated with replacing them. An ITAM system empowers schools to exercise better control over their technology investments, helping allocate resources more effectively and avoid unnecessary expenditures. Using intelligent agents or integrations, an ITAM system can highlight lost or unused systems as well.
Technology in K-12 schools is not only valuable in terms of financial investment but also contains sensitive student data. In a survey carried out by Securly, 44% of respondents noticed that students at least sometimes lose or misplace devices. With an ITAM system in place, schools can ensure custody awareness and reduce overall device losses, as well as gain important data security benefits from integrated mobile device management systems. By helping safeguard student and staff data, an ITAM system enables schools to uphold their commitment to privacy and compliance with data protection regulations.
Maintenance and Support Efficiency:
An ITAM system streamlines device maintenance and support processes, improving overall efficiency and reducing downtime. With a central repository of asset information, schools can proactively schedule maintenance tasks, track software updates, and manage hardware issues promptly.
This proactive approach minimizes disruptions to learning, ensuring that technology remains a reliable and effective tool for education. A robust ITAM system enables schools to optimize their support services, ensuring timely resolution of technical issues and reducing the burden on IT staff.
Planning for Future Technological Needs:
The adoption of technology in K-12 education is an ongoing process, with evolving requirements and advancements. An ITAM system provides valuable insights into asset usage patterns helping schools make informed decisions regarding future technology investments. By analyzing data on device utilization and performance, schools can identify trends, assess the effectiveness of specific tools, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their technological infrastructure. An ITAM system empowers schools to align their technology roadmap with educational goals, ensuring a seamless integration of technology in teaching and learning.
Investment in technology solutions such as ITAM is critical for K-12 schools as they continue to rely on technology to support digital transformation in education, as well as new ways to learn through the use of technology tools.
By effectively managing their technology assets, schools can reduce the risk of loss or theft, optimize their resources, ensure compliance with software licensing agreements, track inventory, and reduce the overall cost of technology ownership. Investing in an ITAM system is a smart decision for any school that wants to ensure the success of their technology initiatives and protect their valuable resources.