By: Joe Harford, MS, CIPP
On a recent trip to Maryland I had the opportunity to meet with one of our K-12 customers. Wallace Wills is the Information Services Technology Manager for Cecil County Public Schools in Maryland. As a follow up to our meeting I asked him some questions about his perspective on IT spending and security.
What do you find to be the biggest expense in the K-12 technology environment?
In Technology, it’s currently equipment costs. Over the long term, it will be that squeezing more productivity out of technology will require a better set of skills from the support worker. That will be a greater cost. Replacing stuff is easy. Using it better is much harder.
Why is developing the security culture in an organization so tough?
I always explain to people that networking was developed to promote collaboration with as many people as possible. Once you begin to qualify WHO can be a collaborator, now you’re defeating the original intent of the network. Only now are network security companies getting better at providing the right components at the network level.
Where do you believe IT professionals should focus their efforts in 2012?
Simplifying. To redefine which core services are required to get the job done with the least amount of effort. Trimming fat.
What advice can you give other IT folks in the educational market?
To all you retailers, resellers and service providers out there… stop selling me “stuff.” I could care less about WHAT you are selling or who else has bought or is considering your product. My current tactic is to stop you, midsentence, and ask you WHY your offering will help me simplify. If you can’t answer that question in 5 seconds, you don’t know the answer.