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5 clear signs your school’s IT infrastructure may need an upgrade

News 24th April 2023


Leading or managing a school can be a complex and stressful job with multiple competing priorities at any one time. Your IT infrastructure and services should be designed to make life easier, not harder.

With new technology should come new and improved ways to engage learners and improve educational outcomes. It should support staff communications, facilitate collaboration and reduce workload.

As technology evolves, schools may find that their systems have become outdated and no longer meet their needs or development plans. It is essential to review IT infrastructure strategically and make plans, and investment decisions before a critical failure occurs. Otherwise, short-term tactical fixes are required which are seldom the right long-term decision, nor are they usually good value.

This blog post will discuss five clear signs that a school’s IT infrastructure may need an upgrade or refresh.

Five clear signs your school's IT infrastructure may need an upgrade

If you recognise any of these issues, you are not alone. We work with schools nationally and there’s a common thread to most when it comes to IT. Try our buyer’s guide to promote discussions with colleagues about developing IT infrastructure in your school.

1. Slow performance: If teachers and students are experiencing slow performance or frequent downtime, it may be a sign that the school’s IT infrastructure needs an upgrade. Cloud services, streaming high-quality video and using online meeting applications for parent evenings, Governors meetings, staff training and collaboration all make demands of your IT infrastructure that wasn’t envisaged even a few years ago.

2. Security concerns and risk: With the increasing threat of cyberattacks, schools must have robust security measures in place. The National Cyber Security Centre for the UK has identified that schools are increasingly being targeted, and standards are currently being drawn up that schools will need to meet.  If a school’s IT infrastructure is vulnerable to cyber threats, with outdated infrastructure that’s unmanaged or no longer has manufacturer support,  it’s a sign that an upgrade is needed.

3. Difficulty in scaling: As schools develop their use of IT, their IT infrastructure needs to meet the demands of increased device numbers and students accessing resources simultaneously. If everyone struggles to connect and lessons can’t start promptly, it’s lost learning time and a sign that an upgrade is needed. Not only do you need to consider refreshing wireless to ensure it covers the critical areas of the school, it has to be professionally designed to cater for the density of devices needing to connect.

4. Problems integrating new technologies: As new technologies become available, it’s essential for schools to be able to integrate them into their IT systems, for example, VoIP telephony, CCTV, door access and building management systems. If a school is having difficulty integrating new technologies, it’s a sign that an upgrade is needed. 

5. Overhead in managing and maintaining the systems: If a school is struggling to manage and maintain its IT systems easily and has repeated issues that are difficult to troubleshoot, it’s a sign that an upgrade may be needed. You need to ensure support agreements back your key infrastructure components and configurations are documented and backed.   

Safe, Secure Internet and Communication Services for Schools: A Buyer’s Guide

Wave 9 understands that schools have limited budgets and that it’s important to get the best value for money. That’s why we have created a buying guide that helps schools navigate the process of purchasing and managing IT infrastructure. 

Our buyer’s guide includes step-by-step advice on upgrading your school broadband, IT security, telephony and wired and wireless networks.

Download the buyer’s guide here.

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