The current pandemic has meant that most MATs and schools have had to very quickly implement ICT Projects. We’ve been discussing with some of our clients, leaders in MATs, how while these projects were implemented at impressive speed and they ‘function’, they’re concerned they could be storing up problems for the future. Whether it’s that the setup wasn’t correct and you’re finding the cracks or that you had to make decisions that removed you from the path of your strategic approach to ICT, it’s a situation that can be reversed or amended. The key: taking the time for an ICT appraisal.
Assessing your ICT
We’re advising our clients to, of course, assess what they have had to implement quickly to keep their Schools running. With the Easter break coming up in April, this is also a good time to carry out an objective ICT Audit and Review to also look at the whole ICT set up. This will put them in an even stronger place moving forward into the Summer term where they may be required to deliver continued remote learning if their area has a localised lockdown.
The business case for an ICT Audit and Review
While every school and Trust is in a different situation, we’ve outlined below the key benefits of taking the time now to do an ICT Audit and Review.
1. Knowing what is actually happening and the impact it’s having
An ICT Audit and Review helps you understand the reality of your current ICT situation and how effective it is, for everyone in your MAT or school.
A good, objective ICT Audit and Review combines anecdotal evidence, one-off occurrences, and on-going issues to give an overall picture and show what’s really going on; rather than being derailed by the “biggest” problem or symptom which might mask or overshadow more fundamental issues.
The goal of an ICT Audit and Review is to give you clear insight into:
- the present health of your MAT or School’s ICT systems and operations
- your network structure
- the impact your ICT is having on your teaching, learning and administration.
When you know what’s really happening, it means that all future ICT plans are built on what you actually have, rather than what you think you have.
2. You have evidence about where the real problems are
Sometimes the real problems are hidden, disguised or overshadowed by other issues that people complain about more.
An ICT Audit and Review cuts through this, gathering a range of anecdotal and factual evidence to find the real problems.
For example, you might think your problem is with bandwidth not being big enough, and all the testimonials and frustrations will point to this with comments about “slow internet”, “slow loading time” etc. However, when dug into it could be that the bandwidth is fit for purpose, but it’s being clogged up by unnecessary applications doing unnecessary procedures, such as constantly making background updates.
A good ICT Audit and Review discovers where the real problems are and presents the evidence to prove it. This makes for compelling arguments when seeking finance and support to make improvements.
3. All your ICT strengths and weaknesses are revealed
This can be a huge relief for MAT and School Leaders; weaknesses that were hidden are objectively identified and strengths are revealed.
We found in a recent ICT Audit and Review that a huge spend on ‘new’ ICT equipment wasn’t necessary immediately; this allowed the Leadership Team time to properly plan when they would make that purchase and we advised them on how to negotiate to get the best deal on it.
We often find that, for many clients, an ICT Audit and Review reveals that the next step is making sure that you’re effectively using what you already have (and fixing what isn’t really working).
Download your Novatia Note: ‘The areas your ICT Audit & Review should cover’ for more detailed information.
When you understand the true reality of your ICT situation, with hard evidence to back up the findings, you can then determine how to move forward.
When we run ICT Audits and Reviews for clients, we ensure that they result in a concise report, written in a clear, non-technical way, detailing key findings with recommended solutions and areas for development. Our clients can then plan the way forward – confident that what they do next means they are moving in the right direction.
Taking the time now to assess the state of your ICT will allow you to ensure that any ICT implemented in haste has been integrated correctly and is future proof, as well as giving you an accurate picture of your ICT so you can move forward with confidence.
Find out more about how we worked with Academy Transformation Trust, running an objective, independent ICT Audit and Review. Contact us if you’d like further information.
Watch the Webinar
Like to learn more? Andrew Martin has made a FREE webinar ''Strategic ICT Audits & Reviews: Using an ICT Audit & Review to assess your ICT after a crisis." For further details and the recording click here.
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