Smart IT: Strategic Technology Planning & Investment
CoSN’s SmartIT initiative provides strategic IT investment recommendations for the smart CTO. There are several smart ways to address the cost and choices of technology projects and infrastructure. SmartIT addresses these with a strategy of applying interactive tools to tie the district’s technology investments to its strategic goals. Instead of being trapped in the old thinking of approaching educational technology as a cost center, these tools provide a method to quantify and position your IT spending as investments for improving learning in quantifiable terms. Your district can keep its technology programs intact, and position itself to run a smarter, stronger, and more cost‐effective technology—and educational—operation.
CoSN is grateful for the following sponsors for their support of this initiative: BestBuy, ENA, Filewave, Fortinet, JAMF Software, Lenovo, Pearson and Sunesys.
The Two Components of SmartIT
Total Cost of Ownership
Understanding the complete cost of your computing programs is key for the implementation of your strategic plan and evaluation of actions to provide better service for less. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a methodology to measure and understand the costs of acquiring and maintaining networks of computers and obtaining staff and other user-related support. A TCO assessment helps to determine and articulate in quantifiable terms the effects of proposed budget cuts or other changes that could result in deficiencies.
Value of Investment
As technology budgets continue to be scrutinized, it's more important than ever to carefully evaluate the anticipated costs and benefits of proposed projects. CoSN provides a methodology and specific tools to allow K-12 districts to estimate the costs and expected benefits of proposed technology efforts. The Value of Investment (VOI) methodology can help districts evaluate proposed projects, articulate project costs and benefits, sell a project, and sustain a project.
- Getting the Most from IT: Keeping the district's network and applications up and running efficiently is critical to success. by Rich Kaestner (This article originally appeared in the March 2015 School Business Affairs magazine and is reprinted with permission of the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO International). The text herein does not necessarily represent the views or policies of ASBO International, and use of this imprint does not imply any endorsement or recognition by ASBO International and its officers or affiliates.)
- When it Comes to IT Investments, Think Value, Not Return, by Keith Krueger and Rich Kaestner (originally published in EdTech Magazine)
- Spending Money Wisely: Getting the Most from School District Budgets, The District Management Journal