“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”: Why fixing things as they break just isn’t good enough in IT

In News by Olivia Johnson

In the last few years, the role of technology in schools has become increasingly prominent. COVID-19 highlighted the overwhelming benefits of having more in-depth IT ecosystems and since then, schools have strived to provide a cutting-edge learning environment. However, a big consideration which is often missed when investing in IT hardware is its lifecycle.

Nearly everything has a lifecycle, from books to clothing, from cars to pots and pans. An item’s lifecycle can vary greatly depending on a number of interchanging factors, such as how well it was made in the first place, the types of materials used, how often the item is used, and how well it is taken care of. For example, we all know a pair of shoes that are worn daily will have a shorter lifespan compared to shoes that are only worn on special occasions, and this is simply information we factor in when making buying decisions.

The same logic applies to IT devices. Laptops and tablets for students, for example, will have a shorter life expectancy than those belonging to teachers, simply because of how they may be used and how often by different individuals. While it may be obvious most of the time to spot when a laptop is coming to the end of its life, there are a few other reasons why you should be refreshing your hardware sooner than you may think. It may be tough to part with expensive devices that still look and operate how they should, but there are other aspects to consider, such as energy efficiency, security, and the long-term consequences of neglecting this crucial aspect of educational infrastructure.

  1. Energy Efficiency:

In the face of climate change and a global push towards sustainability, energy efficiency has become a top priority for institutions across all sectors, including education. Outdated hardware tends to be less energy-efficient, consuming more power than their modern counterparts. By refreshing hardware, schools can embrace energy-efficient technologies, significantly reducing their carbon footprint.

Modern computers and devices are designed with energy-saving features, ensuring optimal performance with minimal energy consumption. This not only contributes to a greener environment but also allows schools to allocate resources more efficiently, directing funds towards educational initiatives rather than high energy bills.

  1. Security Concerns:

More so than ever, the security of sensitive data is a paramount concern for educational institutions. Outdated hardware often lacks the robust security features found in contemporary devices, making schools vulnerable to cyber threats and data breaches. As technology evolves, so do the methods employed by malicious actors.

Refreshing hardware enables schools to stay ahead of potential security risks by adopting the latest security protocols and features. Up-to-date devices come equipped with enhanced encryption, secure boot processes, and advanced firewalls, providing a fortified defence against cyber threats. By investing in the latest technology, schools can safeguard sensitive student and staff information, ensuring a secure digital learning environment.

  1. Long-Term Consequences of Neglect:

Failure to refresh hardware can have severe consequences for schools in the long run. Outdated systems are more prone to malfunctions, leading to increased downtime and disruptions in the learning process. This can result in frustration among students and staff, hindering the overall effectiveness of education delivery.

Moreover, obsolete hardware often struggles to keep up with the demands of modern educational software and applications. This can hinder the implementation of innovative teaching methods and limit students’ exposure to valuable digital resources. In the long term, schools that neglect hardware refresh may find themselves falling behind in the technological race, compromising the quality of education they can offer.

It may seem like a huge burden, but the importance of refreshing hardware in schools cannot be overstated. From energy efficiency to cybersecurity, the benefits of staying up-to-date with technology are manifold. Failure to invest in hardware refresh can lead to long-term consequences, compromising the quality of education and the overall efficiency of school operations. By prioritising the regular upgrade of hardware, schools can embrace a sustainable and secure digital future, ensuring a positive and innovative learning experience for generations to come.