Every school relies on technology. It’s in every room. And the varieties and uses of technology are so broad that it’s often difficult to know when an upgrade is due. Not everything needs to be the latest model. However, you can’t limp along with old tech, either. Soon enough, it will cost you in other ways.
So, we put together four principles that apply to everything tech-related—from your school app to your coffeemaker—which will help you determine when it’s time to get that upgrade.
1. The school’s tech no longer works the way it was intended
All technology breaks down over time. However, it’s natural to accommodate our lives to deficiencies in the machinery, rather than entertain the seemingly more radical notion that it should be the other way around. So long as they can “get by,” schools tend to extend grace to equipment or software that’s no longer in working order.
The first order for delinquent tech is often to make repairs. However, after a point, the cost and frequency of repairs needs to be weighed against the cost of replacing the equipment or software.
2. An upgrade in the school’s tech would save you time
Ideally, a school runs like a tight ship. There shouldn’t be dangling lines, loose knots, or holes through which a steady (perceptively innocuous) stream of expense flows. But there are many types of cost. The financial cost you might save by not upgrading might not outweigh the cost of maintaining old technology.
What you “save” by putting off an upgrade might cost you in time or labor.
3. Newer versions of your tech are available
As mentioned before, not every piece of tech in your school needs to be cutting-edge. Many upgrades are simply inconsequential, depending on the piece of tech and its purpose. However, it pays to be on the alert for newer versions of your tech. Technology is constantly being adapted to meet your needs, and merely keeping an eye on what upgrades are available—even if you don’t end up getting them—might just be the best practice for determining whether or not an upgrade is necessary. Many upgrades (or updates) are free, and you should take advantage of those whenever possible. More importantly, knowing what’s on the market will let you know if an upgrade holds long-term savings, even if accompanied by short-term costs.
4. You’re caught in a world lost in time
Imagine you had to pay for your groceries, but before you could pull out your credit card, the clerk pulled out a pen and some carbon paper and began writing down your credit information. The experience would be disorienting, would it not? Now, imagine you tried to explain to her that you simply had to “swipe” your card in the reader. She nods understandingly, but insists this method works fine. It’s the same result, right? Even if she suggested a reason or two why this method should be preferred to credit card readers, would you return to that grocery store, or would you feel your time was being wasted?
When people feel similarly disoriented when they visit your school—whether visitors, students, parents, board members, or staff—it might be time to consider an upgrade.
Take, for example, the way schools collect funds. A lot of fundraising efforts rely on the assumption that people carry cash. If you’re not prioritizing a mobile giving solution like Pushpay, you’re operating on a donor solution a world away from where your donors actually are. The people who work in and visit your school are in the 21st century, so it follows the school should be, too.
Know When It Pays to Upgrade
Your technology is intended to make life easier. If it’s not, it might be time to seriously consider upgrading. The time that is saved working with (or on) outdated tools can pay for the upgrade over time.