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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stretching Technology Dollars - Being Leaner and More Efficient

I was recently asked about how school districts can stretch tight technology funds - here is my quick 2 cents:

Given that many districts are struggling to retain staff, pay for fuel, deal with increasing student enrollment etc,  many of us are certainly struggling to pay for what we would not consider ambitious projects.  Or said differently, we can all think of more grand plans for times when budgets are not as tight.  That being said, there are a lot of ways to try to stretch funds:
  1. Local desktop virtualization (such as Fiddlehead, nComputing, etc)
  2. Server virtualization
  3. Look at VDI (virtual desktops) and calculate TCO for your organization.  We reused old PC's as endpoints and disaster recovery NOC with underutilized computing power, so VDI did make financial sense for us.  
  4. Leverage eRate discounts for telecommunication costs and for matching funds on network equipment
  5. Start using eForms for faster routing and less paper usage
  6. Leverage power management on your computers - I estimate we saved $120,000 in four years doing this
  7. Try to consolidate servers and the product lines you support (of course BYOD changes this)
  8. Eliminate inffective applications or one that are little used
  9. Leverage BYOD - you may be able to cut some capital expenditures
  10. Renegotiation of contracts
  11. Sign longer contracts for larger discounts with trusted partners
  12. Competitively bid large purchases
  13. Buy used/refurbished equipment
  14. Automate identity management and application user provisioning
  15. Deliver apps via the web and get away from software installs when feasible
  16. Leverage smart fleet management with desktop management products