Technology’s role has been elevated to an integral strategic function in today’s school districts. But getting everyone to understand the value of digital transformation can be challenging and test the persuasion and people skills of even the most seasoned IT leaders.
Here are some strategies IT teams can use to help build a supportive culture for ongoing technology investments.
Set Up Direct Lines of Communication
Less than 30 days into my role at Judson ISD, our district was hit with a devastating ransomware attack that led to a total network takedown. While there were many lessons learned from that experience, one of the silver linings was how it brought to light across the district how critical our technology systems are.
This realization served as a catalyst for our IT team to develop direct lines of communication with every department.
Now, each department in the district has a dedicated IT staff member who manages their technology, system, and platform needs. This structure helps bridge any communication gaps between teams and creates trust that IT is there to support each department and their goals.
Develop Your Business Case
It’s not a question of “if” but “when” – cyberattacks or some other event will impact your district sooner or later. And the older your equipment, the more vulnerable it is to negative events that will impact student learning and staff productivity.
The key is to be as proactive as you can in shoring up critical infrastructure. But many IT leaders struggle when faced with pushback about the need for technology investments or requests for increased funds. In these instances, leaders need to present a solid business case factoring in the total costs and impact to the district should the system or network fail.