How to create a sustainable and cost effective 2022 school IT strategy

Is IT going to play a central part in your 2022 school growth strategy?

2021 had been a particularly stressful and uncertain year for schools. With a hybrid mix of working from home and in-person teaching, IT has been essential for schools around the country to keep educational organisations running efficiently.

For schools in the UK, 2022 will be a defining year, where goals and visions will either blossom into long term impactful changes or crumble into frustrating false starts. With budget requirements and sustainability goals to achieve in the upcoming year, choosing an eco-friendly, but also cost-effective IT solution is a must.

There are many ways to act upon these goals, including extending the lifespan of your technology, analysing the efficiency of your server estate, and choosing a responsible method of disposal for used tech. This article explains different ways to make the most out of your IT equipment and budget, as well as how this can be achieved sustainably.

Sustainable and Secure IT Disposal

Is an IT refresh on the cards for your organisation in 2022? Have you thought about how you will responsible dispose of your used hardware?

The risk of a data breach is high in the educational sector and a wide range of data is held including student and staff records, staff and supplier bank account details, and other personally identifiable information. Schools must be vigilant in protecting against data breaches. Avoid simply putting old IT equipment in storage as it poses a significant data breach risk. Many schools and universities require a solution to dispose of old computers. For this reason, it’s important to have a plan for end-of-life IT equipment.

IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) services can make IT disposal a hassle free, secure, cost-effective and sustainable process. Your school processes huge amounts of confidential pupil and staff data which is stored on your IT devices. When you dispose of these devices you are legally obligated to erase this data in order to remain compliant with data protection regulations.

ITAD companies will collect your used or excess IT hardware and securely process and data sanitise the equipment to remove any information from data bearing devices. They will then look to ethically dispose or refurbish your equipment to ensure that your technology is dealt with in a sustainable manner. This means that your used IT hardware does not contribute to the rising tide of e-waste we are experiencing around the world and that you are also fully compliant with data protection legislation.

Technical experts will work with you to create a bespoke ITAD solution tailored to the unique requirements of your organisation. The whole ITAD process is done with maximum efficiency and minimal waste, to save you time and money. Whether you are a small standalone school, a large learning centre or a multi-academy trust, a good ITAD service will adapt to meet your exact requirements.

A core focus of an ITAD service is to prevent quality IT equipment ending up in landfill, resulting in devastating effects for our environment. Many refurbishment specialists offer ITAD services to put used and refurbished, data-wiped IT devices into the hands of secondary users and keep IT devices in use for longer.

The Cost-Effective Solution to Purchasing IT

Looking for a solution for your school’s server estate that maximises your IT budget?

Whether you are replacing your current IT equipment or expanding your technology systems it is worth considering refurbished devices for the economical and sustainable benefits.

Refurbished IT is second hand equipment that has been data sanitised, extensively tested and updated where necessary. Because of the processes this equipment has to go through, refurbished technology represents a high-quality and cost-effective alternative to buying new.

Following a two-year research paper, undertaken by Techbuyer and the University of East London, we were able to prove that refurbished servers performed as well as new and were often capable of outperforming new equipment with the right configuration! With this in mind, refurbished technology does not mean a compromise in performance, and could result in a massive saving for your organisation.

Because refurbished technology is generally cheaper, yet uncompromising in performance, it is essential to consider for your technology purchase. Most reputable refurbished IT specialists also offer a warranty to protect your equipment and offer peace of mind. Because of the cheaper price, refurbished technology also allows an organisation to purchase more, or higher quality equipment than they could potentially afford if choosing new, maximising IT budgets to the fullest.

Boosting the Performance of your Technology

A great way to make the most of your IT budget, extend the lifespan of your devices and decrease the environmental impact of your technology is to consider component level upgrades for your systems.

Component upgrades are used to boost the performance of technology, resulting in a faster and more efficient device, as well as a better user experience. Most computers, laptops and servers are disposed of only halfway through their potential lifespan due to a slowdown in performance and capabilities. However, with component upgrades you could double the lifespan of your devices, saving money and preventing valuable technology from ending up in landfill before its time.

By upgrading components, such as RAM, CPU, and storage (SSD or HDD), you can achieve a better user experience of your technology and speed up ageing devices.  This means that your technology can stay with you for longer whilst retaining the performance we expect, resulting in massive savings, as well as preventing valuable technology from ending up in landfill before its time.

Component upgrades don’t have to be complicated! Many companies offer upgrade services to enhance the performance of your technology. Many refurbishment specialists offer a component level upgrade service; they will work with you to design the perfect upgrade for your IT system and ensure that your technology will work for you well into the future.

Improve the efficiency of your data centre

Reducing the carbon footprint and energy consumption of your organisation is a fantastic step towards improving the sustainability of your facilities, as well as working towards a more eco-friendly environment.

However, when it comes to technology it is difficult to know where exactly we can improve. Despite the fact that technology is one of the largest threats to the process of creating a more eco-friendly society, we often receive little guidance on how we can be more sustainable with technology. Data centre analysis software is available to test and report on the efficiency of your technology, to help identify where you can be more sustainable and cost-effective with your servers. One such tool is the machine-learning, software known as Interact.

The Interact tool is a non-intrusive, SaaS tool that analyses the efficiency of your server estate in terms of energy wastage, carbon production, and money spent. Using the reports generated, Interact recommends vendor-neutral hardware upgrades to reduce running costs, as well as the carbon footprint and energy usage from your data centre.

Overall, this tool will save you money, carbon, and energy, improving your overall budget, as well as your environmental impact.

Interact accepts demos to highlight the cost and environmental savings this tool can make for your business . Find out more about Interact and book a demo for your school here.

A complete IT solution for your organisation

Wouldn’t it be great if you could guarantee that you are only buying exactly what you need?

It can be difficult to plan and know what you need. It is very easy to overestimate or underestimate where your organisation is in terms of technology, as well as where it could be in the future. Getting this wrong can be particularly detrimental to schools due to growing budgetary pressures and the responsibility to provide students with quality digital learning resources.

You can receive a custom built, IT system, designed with your organisation at its core, through Techbuyer Enterprise Solutions (TES). Taking the guesswork and the stress out of the process of installing, designing and maintaining your IT system by leveraging 16 years of operation experience and industry knowledge. Their experts work with you to assess the unique requirements of your organisation and identify the optimal IT solutions. This eliminates the chance of waste and unnecessary spending which helps to ensure that your 2022 IT strategy can effectively contribute to the realisation of your 2022 organisational goals.

TES supplies a huge range of IT products from industry-leading brands, such as HPE and Dell, to design bespoke IT solutions with your organisation at the centre. They will work with you to ensure that your solution is designed around your institute’s needs and is installed and maintained professionally for complete support from start to finish.

Conclusion

Being more sustainable with your IT equipment is a great step towards becoming a more eco-friendly organisation. E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream on the planet and 70% of all toxic waste comes from this source, making technology a threat to our environment if not purchased and disposed of correctly. However, there are many things you can do to be greener with your tech!

Being more sustainable with technology also doesn’t have to break the bank! As we have discussed, sustainable IT solutions are often the more economically beneficial for your organisation and often result in huge savings across the board.

Head to Techbuyer’s website to find out how they can help you become more sustainable with IT and align your technology with your 2022 budgetary goals.

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