IT Departments are wrapping up their summer projects and whether it’s a basic software upgrade or a more complex hardware installation, these initiatives are the result of months of careful planning.
“There are always going to be different changes,” said Jeffery Cox academic dean at the Computer Systems Institute (CSI), a private college located in Illinois. “You’re doing things like adding RAM and switching out monitors. This is the time of year to do that because when students return you want their experience to be state of the art.”
This is why it is necessary to have a plan. Even the simplest of projects can turn into a disaster if schools and their IT departments have not examined summer initiatives from every angle. For example, CSI is adding more RAM to its computers in preparation for an upgrade to Windows 8, the latest version of the Microsoft operating system. This is a step the IT department may have missed if it hadn’t taken the time to perform a full assessment of the
When you’re doing something like converting to Windows 8, you have to ask yourself ‘What equipment do I have? Do I have the support,” Cox said. By asking these questions, the staff was able to determine more memory would be needed to successfully run an upgraded operating system.
Another thing to consider in your assessment is cost. This step is especially important when applying for a grant. “It’s so important to think of the entire scope of the project,” Cox said. “You need to look at whether you have to upgrade, the cost of training. You need to look at the cost of the entire package.” Often schools consider only the purchase and installation costs, but if the new technology is going to require changes to the school’s existing technological infrastructure then that needs to be taken into account as well.
Once you’ve explored both the needs and the cost of implementing new technology you may want to consider testing out your plan with a mini pilot program. Many schools have summer