IT planning for school budgets and projects usually starts early if schools hope to accomplish their goals for the upcoming year. Every year, school districts adopt their budgets and tax rates per the Texas Tax Code. They can choose from fiscal years that run from July 1 through June 30 or September 1 through August 31. Business managers and department heads usually begin the planning for their budgets in early January.
Waiting until January to start thinking about IT needs and scheduled technology projects for the summer months can be a mistake for 2022. IT planning will need to start sooner than later if chief technology officers (CTO) want to have the technology supplies for infrastructure maintenance and upgrades.
Prepare for longer lead times
Supply chain shortages continue to stress school technology budgets nationwide. Covid forced many of the nation’s schools to shift to fully remote and hybrid options for student attendance. Technology equipment dealers struggled to keep up with the demand of schools needing to add electronic devices and improve their infrastructures to accommodate the new setup. The high demand and low supply have created the perfect storm for an ongoing supply crisis.
CTOs should reorganize the IT budgets with shortages and lead times in mind for this coming year. Let’s say a school wants an infrastructure update project completed during the summer months next year. To accommodate for the current supply shortages and long lead times, schools should order items for their project no later than the beginning of January to ensure they will arrive on time.
Take advantage of E-rate
Don’t forget about E-rate when organizing budgets for the fiscal year. Funding year deadlines for the 2022-2023 school year began in July and run through February 2022 for competitive bidding and mid-January through late March 2022 for applications requesting discounts. Working with an IT provider with expertise in navigating the E-rate process can help schools secure funding — and equipment — needed to serve students in a growing digital education landscape more effectively.
Crunch the numbers
Planning for anticipated technology needs can help CTOs streamline their budgets when supply chains are struggling. Sharp increases in demand combined with supply chain disruptions drove technology pricing up.
Schools must now do more than base next year’s spending on this year’s figures. With inflation forcing technology prices to skyrocket, schools will need to optimize their IT spend to increase the chances of getting what they need at prices that align with their approved budgets.
Working with an IT provider can help CTOs develop the right strategy for supporting existing technology needs while meeting new demands for growth.
Rely on TFE for your IT planning
Schools are under tremendous pressure to boost technology infrastructure to meet the growing demand for technology in and out of the classroom. TFE has been helping schools with their technology needs for over 20 years, from budget planning to helping secure needed hardware. Contact us to see how TFE can help you with your IT planning for the upcoming year.