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Spread the Cost of Tech Upgrades with ICT Subscriptions

May 16, 2018, 8:52 GMT+1
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  • Offering students access to the latest all singing, all dancing tech can be prohibitively expensive – that is, unless you structure the costs over a longer period of time...
Spread the Cost of Tech Upgrades with ICT Subscriptions

For schools, keeping up with the latest technological advances is a constant struggle. Almost as soon as they’ve taken the plunge and invested in a certain technology, something bigger and better comes along to take its place.

This can be a frustrating experience. Not only does it leave institutions in a neverending race to keep on top of the latest innovations, it also results in inefficient spending, with large amounts of money being wasted on devices that quickly become obsolete.

Yet failing to stay on top of classroom technology innovations can also have a negative impact on students. Without ready access to laptops, tablets and other such devices, pupils are less able to learn fundamental digital skills that could prove vital in future, and can quickly become less engaged.

It’s long been clear to most schools that they can’t afford to ignore the numerous benefits that classroom technology can have, but that doesn’t change the fact that trying to capitalise on the opportunities and solutions available can be an expensive business. This is even more true for smaller schools, for whom it’s often simply not financially viable to continually reinvest in technology via a series of sizeable oneoff payments.

The answer here might instead lie in arranging for access to the required technology through a payment-over-time subscription model, whereby staggered payments are made over a number of years. By spreading out the cost of otherwise expensive technology and devices over time, schools can be given a chance to refresh and update their hardware and software assets without breaking the bank. Done properly, arrangements like this mean that more cash can be put aside for capital projects, training and curriculum innovations focused around the needs of students.

One school that’s seen benefit from adopting a payment-over-time subscription model is Layton Primary School in Blackpool. Having previously struggled to upgrade its technology via traditional means, the tailored subscription that Layton signed up to has allowed it to upgrade all of the iPads used in its classrooms without having to apply any additional pressure on its capital expenditure.

The usefulness of these subscription models extend far beyond a school’s bottom line, by enabling schools to become more agile and competitive in the learning technologies they’re able to offer. A rolling contract will ultimately allow schools to update, tweak and refresh their devices and the software they use more regularly, helping them to take advantage of the latest developments and become technological trailblazers, rather than risk being left behind.

Chris Labrey is the managing director of Econocom UK and Ireland (@Econocom_UK) – a digital services company and provider of ‘as-aservice’subscriptions and ‘payment-over-time’ solutions.

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