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Budgets and Expenditure Thread, ICT Budget formula. in School Administration; Wondered if anyone had one & how they worked it out etc......
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    ICT Budget formula.

    Wondered if anyone had one & how they worked it out etc...

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    Re: ICT Budget formula.

    Close my eyes and mash keys on my calculator for a few seconds.

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    Re: ICT Budget formula.

    Have 2 budget proposals. the first is the one which you do not stand a chance with. Then when they ask you to resubmit, you submit the second for the items which you want. Then you tend to get most of what you want. Has worked for me for years!

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    Re: ICT Budget formula.

    This seriously depends on how much of the budget you control or are allowed to control, and for which areas.

    Main areas are as follows.

    Network Infrastructure - this is the cables to the desk, to the servers, the hardware running it all, the WLAN and any licences involved in it all. Your budget needs to contain enough funds to allow for expansion for new facilities and the renewal of equipment (switches, etc) depends on the age of it, the technology it uses and what the life expectancy of the kit is. The technical specification for IT Infrastructure from Becta (in draft and being discussed tomorrow) tries to set a common baseline for this and includes things like moving to layer 3 switches, Cat6 standard cabling, introduction of VLANs and so on ... if you are aiming for this level you cannot do it in one go (unless you have a new build) so you can look at it as a 5-10 year project in all honesty.

    Workstations - when costing for new kit you need not only planning for getting the box on the desk but the licences to connect to servers, the software to run on the machines, work out how long the kits will last doing the job you are asking it to do ... think about moving it to another location 2 years down the line to a less arduous task ... do not be scared to move kit from one room to another ... that way you might be able to get something a bit better for each department each year. Most workstations could be considered to have a 5 year life span if sticking with the same OS, but plan for a 10% failure rate in year 4 and 25% in year 5. This means that you are likely to be replacing 20% of all your desktops each year.

    Laptops - This varies depending on who is using the kit and where. Classroom sets of laptops can be made to run for 4 years ... but they take abuse ... and then some. We consider a failure rate of 15% in year 3 and 35% in year 4 to be reasonable. We have a life expectancy of 4 years max for classroom laptops but have had to accept 3 years in some areas (lots of non-warranty repairs needed due to user damage that cannot be tied to an individual ... if we can tie it down we bill them!) Expect to replace 25% of classroom laptops each year. Staff laptops can be made to last longer ... but you need to move them around. Try to have no member of staff with a laptop for more then 2 years. Give them something new and pass their one down the chain ... by the time a laptop is 4 years old and about to be passed on it can go to a HLTA or LSA ... We replace 20% of laptops for staff each year.

    Projectors - 5 year life span ... then you run into the problem of *finding* replacement bulbs ... we have been lucky for the last 2 years and had few failures ... but we are constantly expanding. Accept the you need to replace 33% of your bulbs in a year and up to 20% of your projectors.

    Peripherals - Printers ... it depends on what you buy ... we have a 7 year life expectancy ... and this is mainly due to the cost of replacement parts or toners being hard to source. we have just gotten rid of a few perfectly working HP laserjets ... because they are too costly to run. In one year the money we saved in consumables by going over to the particular Brother printers we like has paid for the printer ... so each year after is a saving. expect to replace around 15% of your laser printers ... and maybe 20% of your inkjets. Scanners ... allow for 15% due to failures or breakages.

    Then you get to the servers. We try not to run critical apps on a server that is not in warranty. We tend to go for a 4 year warranty and then run a server for a year doing replaceable stuff ... ie file serving for rarely used files, test servers, QCA testing (only joking!) ... expect to replace 25% of your servers but be happy to continue to use them for another year if possible. Into this also include your UPSes ... and this varies from type to type. Follow manufacturers guidance on this as it could go seriously wrong.

    Then you get to consumables ... at 10% on to what it cost you last year and then negotiate better pricing ... this gives you some slack so that if you need to spend more you can.

    Then we get onto connectivity and other services.

    Connectivity is a fixed price year on year from either your RBC or other provider ... getting the yearly price down is difficult unless you agree to sign up for 3+ years. Services ... the RBC may provide email, filtering, caching, webserving etc as part of the service ... if not you have to include the software / licence costs into this as well as the boxes to host them on.

    You then get to software ... you may be lucky enough to get access to the eLCs ... or you may have to get things from your own pot. Plan when you are going to go to the next version of software as you may have to do it across the whole school. If you are replacing hardware each year you can get away with budgetting for the new version of software and putting the cash to one side until you are ready to do the whole lot.

    Then you have training to consider too ... try and get a small lump sum to cover the costs of books or conferences that you may not easily be able to account back under IiP or Training School paperwork. BETT and InfoSec are good examples of this.

    This is really just to cover standing still.

    I try to do 4 versions ...

    Annual Costs only - this covers SLAs and annual costs we cannot avoid (connectivity, SIMS, leases).

    Standing Still - this is annual costs plus the above cycle of replacements.

    Development - This covers expansion of ICT suites ... maybe the odd rebuild of a suite or expanding in to new technologies such as remote access from home or thin clients.

    Innovations - This is wish list ... a few key projects that can be clearly linked with doing something that will push learning in certain areas. It is good to have a few different projects and just try to get one agreed to ... if you get the backing of a few teachers to go with it ... mention things like 'action research' ... it goes down well.

    I think that sums most of it up ... LGfL do have a spreadsheet to cover most of this somewhere based on an earlier Becta model.

  5. Thanks to GrumbleDook from:

    dave.81 (29th January 2008)

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    Re: ICT Budget formula.

    Fantastic post Tony. I'll be making use of that.

    Would love to see that spreadsheet again too.

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    Re: ICT Budget formula.

    I will poke the cyborg and see if his powers of search can find it ... failing that I will actually just look myself ;-)

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    Re: ICT Budget formula.

    The cyborg seems to be asleep or not around ... and I stopped being lazy too.

    The LGfL presentation is available here and the last page of the slide has a link to the tool but I would recommend people look at the presentation too.

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    Re: ICT Budget formula.

    Great.

    Thanks very much Tony

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    Re: ICT Budget formula.


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    GrumbleDook

    A good sound plan for ICT

    however if were to even do one point, such as 25% of servers per year, with 4 year warranties, we would be looking at having a budget of > 1000 for everything else :P

    Can you draft up a cheap version

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    Yep ... an easy way to do a cheap version is to not have ICT.

    If your school wants to be serious about it they need to invest.

    Other possibilities is to take the hit for one year with rolling out servers and config for thin clients, then slowly replace all but a few suites with thin clients. The exceptions are those rooms that need to do media editing.

    Karoshi is one option, chatting with folk like The Cutter Project are another.

    Thin Clients have their limitations though.

    You can always add another year or 2 onto the replacement programme (a 4 year programme to a 5 year one means going from 25% to 20% ... not that much of a saving really) ... but be prepared for a certain amount of machine failure ... and if you are talking about server failure then you are looking at serious risks.

    Use the LGfL tool linked above and take it to your senior management ... it may be a shock for them but it sounds like it is needed.

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