6 IT Challenges Charter Schools Face and How an MSP Can Help
Charter schools all have one primary goal: provide students with the best possible education. Administrators and teachers create engaging lessons that challenge students and prepare them for their bright futures. Without the right technology, however, a school can easily fall behind the curve. Without a team dedicated to IT efficiency, operations run slow, and educational opportunities slip by.
Managed service providers (MSPs) offer charter schools a way to outsource their IT operations entirely or to support its internal IT department. In this article, we’re sharing six common challenges that charter schools face and how MSPs offer a solution.
Everyday IT Challenges
1. Implementing new technologies.
As technology advances, boundless opportunities become available for both students and faculty. New technologies can supplement students’ classroom experience and make administrators’ and teachers’ daily tasks more efficient. Unfortunately, schools aren’t always able to take advantage of new resources because procuring them takes dedicated time. When administrators and IT staff are left to research and request equipment on their own, on top of their already-overloaded schedules, schools could miss out. To continue providing students with a well-rounded education, charter schools need ready access to the latest technology.
MSP solution: An MSP provides quick access to the newest technology, ensuring that it’s in alignment with the school’s technology plan, as well as its education and organization goals.
2. Getting equipment up and running.
Each piece of new equipment requires setup. IT staff must spend their time ensuring all new technology has the necessary controls. This tedious process diverts the IT department’s time away from exploring technology solutions focused on education or efficiency. Because equipment in schools regularly needs to be replaced, IT staff consistently need to add this task on top of their extensive workload.
MSP solution: MSPs take care of the setup of each new piece of equipment.
3. Ensuring equipment is working properly.
Once a school receives new equipment and sets it up, IT staff are burdened with constant maintenance and repairs. Even for smaller schools, between computer labs, in-classroom technology, and staff equipment, keeping everything up and running can quickly become a full-time job in itself. This responsibility becomes more stressful when faculty have take-home equipment that needs attention. IT staff must allot much of their time to answering questions and troubleshooting.
MSP solution: MSPs can take over all maintenance and repairs, including help desk requests
4. Scaling quickly enough to meet students’ needs.
Charter schools’ technology needs continually fluctuate. As student and staff numbers increase and technologies change, it can be challenging for schools to keep up with the demand. Often, schools stretch technology resources too thin before making—yet another—large investment in equipment.
MSP solution: Because an MSP makes new equipment readily available, and takes care of the setup process, schools can scale as quickly as needed without making a large upfront investment or slowing down operations.
5. Protecting students’ information.
Once IT departments are tasked with daily maintenance, repairs, troubleshooting, installations, and more, there often isn’t an adequate amount of time devoted to security. IT staff stay on top of security processes the best they can, but vulnerabilities are bound to slip through the cracks. Even the slightest miss could compromise students’ personal information and other sensitive files. With the right information, a hacker can slow operations, steal resources, and exploit personal data.
Now more than ever, the education sector is seeing ransomware (a type of malware) with the power to close school for multiple days and cost the organization thousands of dollars. You can read more about the threat ransomware poses to schools here.
MSP solution: Having an MSP taking care of daily IT tasks and security alleviates the pressure that internal staff feels and strengthens the school’s overall cybersecurity.
6. Maintaining consistency with internal IT staff.
With any organization, managing an IT staff comes with challenges on its own. Each person requires a different level of investment—training, benefits, salary, time, etc.—spending resources that could be used elsewhere. Even normal turnover can slow down progress and leave a school without necessary coverage in IT.
MSP solution: Because an MSP provides a team of trained IT professionals, schools spend less on management expenses while receiving better, more comprehensive IT support.
Managed Services Can Help
The toughest challenges faced by charter schools can be solved with a managed service provider. An MSP can provide schools that lack an IT department with a full-service team of professionals, without the expense of training and management. Or, an MSP can serve as IT support for a school’s internal department, allowing them to get back to the core focus: students’ education.
Contact Technology Lab to schedule a consultation. Our team of experts is available to listen to your needs and help you create a long-term technology strategy to reach your goals. We improve your school’s security and efficiency and let you get back to what’s important.