It’s no secret that schools in the United States run on dramatically tight budgets. The Federal government provides about 8.5% of the annual budget to schools across the country, while states and districts must make up the remainder. Teachers and administrators are often tasked with making “something” out of nothing in terms of stretching their classroom budgets to accommodate their students’ needs and interests. In some municipalities, meeting the most basic needs of students – for example, having enough textbooks per students – is difficult enough, and making improvements to the existing communications and security technology infrastructure often falls by the wayside.
One way for school districts to improve their security and communications technology while being able to work within the constraints of their budgets is to work with a managed services provider. Technology as a Service (TaaS) providers can work with districts to create a plan for their technology hardware and software that fits their needs and their budgets while keeping them up to date with new technologies so they never fall behind.
Malfunctioning Equipment Can Be A Security Disaster
According to market research firm Omdia, nearly every school in the United States is now equipped with some form of access control technology, and nearly 90% of schools have both electronic emergency notification systems and video surveillance systems. And with the school security industry bringing in nearly $3.1billion in 2021 and estimates that it will increase by 8% over the next year, it’s clear that districts are taking their security and communications planning seriously.
However, for schools that are already running on a tight budget, making sure that all of this technology is up-to-date and maintained properly can be a challenge. At Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX security alerts had become sosome frequent that they weren’t taken seriously. Additionally, the schools communications infrastructure was lacking – with teachers and staff unable to receive messages on their cell phones and first responders unable to communicate with each other or with dispatchers.
Technology as a Service Helps Schools Maintain Their Security and Communications Systems
Parents, students, teachers, and staff should never have to worry that the technology in their building is too out of date to keep them safe. One of the most efficient ways to deploy new technologies that are routinely patched and updated and maintained to the highest standard – all while working within the budget allocated by the school district – is to work with a Technology as a Service provider.
At the core of a TaaS offering is flat-monthly pricing. With flat-monthly pricing, you’ll know exactly what your monthly expenditure will be – and exactly what services and/or hardware you’ll be receiving – over a set period. Additionally, TaaS offerings provide a simpleway to keep technology up to date.
For most TaaS providers, when the agreement is drawn up it takes into account the typical lifetime of hardware and an average software update cycle so that the costs of regular upgrades can be factored in. In the event of a major hardware upgrade – for example, outfitting your entire school building with new cameras – the total cost of the hardware will be divided over the length of the agreement so that there’s no initial upfront investment.
TaaS also affords school districts the ability to tap into the expert resources of the managed service provider for strategic planning and hardware and software recommendations, as well as for implementation and configuration, deployment, and routine maintenance tasks. This leaves the school department’s IT staff available to focus on the other aspects of their job, while the managed service providers is able to complete the installation and configuration quickly and efficiently and provide the monitoring needed to ensure the system is functioning properly.
Expert Insights and Solutions
Working with experts in communications and security solutions can also help districts come up with innovative solutions to existing problems. For example, rather than replacing a legacy system a managed service provider may be able to recommend replacing certain components or swapping out software that will allow new equipment to integrate into the existing system.
TaaS professionals will also be able to assist with site audits that identify critical areas and resources that need to be shored up to provide the best security possible.
For over 30 years, MCA has provided expertly tailored communications solutions to organizations in need of two-way radios, workplace connectivity, wireless signal enhancement, and security systems. Our team provides top-tier support for every aspect of your business and mission-critical communications projects from start to finish. Our engineers assess your needs, design custom solutions, and install systems that fit your school’s exacting requirements.