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Branch Office Consolidation for K-12 School Districts: Guide

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Branch Office Consolidation for K-12 School Districts: Strategy Guide
Today, many schools are the IT equivalent of the old one-room schoolhouse. Technologically speaking, they are isolated and left on their own to do what they can with what they have. And what they have is a hodgepodge of outdated, nonstandard PCs, servers and printers, and little—if any—on-site IT support. When each school in the district operates on its own system, communicating and sharing information among schools is difficult at best.

And yet data collection and reporting requirements
of legislation like No Child Left Behind and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) are driving school districts to upgrade and centralize their IT systems. But combining schools and their IT technologies without a plan for adapting their IT infrastructure can be difficult, complicated and expensive, reducing any potential cost savings or increased efficiencies.

When a school’s IT system or local area network is down, faculty, students and staff lose access to their data and applications, effectually stopping the school in its tracks. Teachers are unable to create lesson plans or prepare lectures; students can’t conduct research to complete homework assignments. Elementary school parents may become frustrated that they are unable to e-mail their child’s teacher a question about the next day’s school field trip. Even worse is a security breach: If faculty or student data is lost, the damage to productivity and the school’s reputation can be serious.

Midsize Districts, Big Costs
Midsize school districts face a special challenge when it comes to reducing costs in their local schools. IDC has found that the smaller the firm, the more branches (and branch servers) there are for a given number of employees. That makes management more complicated and difficult for midsize school districts and translates to significantly higher IT costs per user.

Read the full Branch Office Consolidation for K-12 School Districts Strategy Guide.