Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you receive unexpected technology items, with the expectation that they will be seamlessly integrated into your network? As a technology leader, this is a common challenge when funds come from unrestricted entities like parent organizations or Donors Choose. However, by developing a technology acquisition process, you can ensure a sustainable and efficient approach to managing these acquisitions.

The Importance of a Technology Acquisition Process

A well-defined technology acquisition process is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it provides clarity and guidelines for all stakeholders involved in the acquisition process. This ensures that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities, reducing confusion and potential conflicts. Secondly, it helps in budget planning and tracking, as it outlines the costs associated with the acquisition, including initial hardware, training, accessories, ongoing costs, and responsibility for replacement costs. Lastly, a well-designed process allows for proper record-keeping, inventory management, and asset tracking, making it easier to maintain and replace technology items when needed.

Key Components of a Technology Acquisition Process

To establish an effective technology acquisition process, there are several key components that need to be considered: 42

Informational Considerations

  • Clearly define the proposed purchase; Example iPads for art classes
  • Identify the project facilitator and requestor
  • Note the application date, budget year, and funding source for proper tracking
  • Establish the curricular connection and/or justification for the request, aligning it with educational goals
  • Define a plan for the replacement and/or repair of the requested technology items

Details of the Proposed Purchase

  • Clearly define the purchase request, including the specific hardware, software, or equipment needed
  • Identify the costs associated with the initial purchase, including hardware, training, accessories, etc.
  • Consider ongoing costs associated with the request, such as maintenance, consumables, or software subscriptions
  • Define the account code to be used for proper budget allocation and tracking
  • Ensure a quote is provided for accurate cost estimation
  • Consider utilizing standard purchase lists to streamline the process

Facilities Considerations

  • Determine if any additional facilities requirements are needed, such as power outlets or network ports
  • Define the costs associated with these requests, including installation or infrastructure upgrades

Assembly/Installation Considerations

  • Clearly define delivery instructions noting where items will be delivered and who will ensure items are property tagged for inventory and delivery to the end user
  • Provide installation instructions, specifying any specific requirements or configurations
  • Map out the location of installation, considering factors such as accessibility and connectivity
  • Define initial and ongoing training expectations for staff members who will be using the technology
  • Define storage expectations, ensuring that proper storage and security measures are in place
  • Clearly define the responsibilities of different staff members involved in the process and provide notification to them


  • Identify the key stakeholders who need to provide authorization for the acquisition process, such as project facilitators, department representatives, technicians, programmers, installers, department leads, technology department, curriculum and instruction department, and budget owners
  • Ensure that the authorization process goes through team reviews to ensure accountability and alignment with organizational goals

Considerations for a Successful Technology Acquisition Process

In addition to the key components mentioned above, there are a few other considerations that can contribute to the success of a technology acquisition process:

  • Establish a robust record-keeping system to track all acquisitions, including purchase orders, invoices, warranties, and maintenance records
  • Implement consistent naming conventions for technology assets to ensure easy identification and tracking
  • Label and inventory all technology assets to maintain an accurate inventory and prevent loss or theft
  • Develop a similar process for adding software to newly acquired technology items, ensuring that all necessary licenses and installations are properly manage
  • Consider use of the CoSN K-12CVAT to conduct a risk assessment of tools/resources
Example Technology Acquisition Process
Example provided by the Green Bay Area Public School District, WI
(Downloadable Images)

Looking Ahead: Future Needs and Trends

While it’s important to design a technology acquisition process that meets the current needs of your district, it’s equally important to consider future needs and trends. Technology is constantly evolving, and it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve. In five years, the district may require different types of technology, such as virtual reality tools, artificial intelligence applications, or advanced robotics. By staying informed about emerging technologies and regularly reviewing and updating the technology acquisition process, you can ensure that your district is prepared for the future.

In conclusion, designing a technology acquisition process is crucial for technology leaders to effectively manage and integrate new technology items into their networks. By following the key components outlined in this blog post and considering future needs and trends, you can establish a sustainable and efficient process that aligns with your district’s goals and objectives.

Additional Resource: Designing an Acquisition Process for your District Recording (Free Member Webinar Recording)


Amy Jaeckel, CETL, Executive Director of Technology and Information, Green Bay Area Public School District (WI)

Published on: March 13, 2024

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