Understanding what you spend on ICT today and budgeting for the future.

Before you can really plan effectively for future ICT spending you need to take stock of what ICT you have in school now and what it is costing you. Becta did a good job of producing an Investment Planner (see attached) where you can determine the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Undertaking the exercise can be a reality check and can help you:

  • Model different investment strategies;
  • Support strategic and financial planning;
  • Highlight details of the full cost of ownership of ICT over several years;
  • Suggest a budget allocation for funding equipment replacement (refresh);
  • Continue the conversation about sustainable ICT provision.

The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a school's ICT totals all the costs associated with the purchase, implementation, operation and maintenance of the ICT (equipment costs / software and licences / technical support / broadband charges). The ICT Investment Planner provides an estimate of the total value of a school’s ICT infrastructure for a financial year and projects costs for the next two financial years. It takes into account inflation, equipment replacement, disposal and upgrade programmes and any new ICT initiatives. Note - the ICT Investment Planner assumes that the ICT investment remains the same or improves. However, in future articles we will explore how you can make that ICT budget go further.

Anyone can fill in the details but in a typical school it might need several people to complete it. Having an up to date hardware and software inventory helps, as well as sound financial records.