When we design IT systems for schools (and for all other organizations), we must address several characteristics to ensure it functions as we need it to:
- Secure–The systems must be configured to allow only those whom we want on the systems to be able to log on. We must also prevent damage to the devices, networking infrastructure, and the data on the systems.
- Reliable–When users turn the devices on, they need to operate with little latency provide access to the hardware, software, web resources, and data the users need.
- Robust–When a classroom full of users connects to the network, it must be able to handle the load.
- Integrated–When new devices are added to the system (in this case, devices includes software), it must “play nice with” the existing systems. For example, adding a slew of Macintosh computers may add interesting capacity for students, but it may introduce many new problems for those who are responsble for managing the network.
- Supportable–Additions or changes must fall within the capacity of existing financial and personnel resources to manage. If managing the additions expands the work so that IT professionals cannot do all the work or it requires skills and knowledge they lack, then either the decisions must be revisited or resources must be available to provide the necessary workers or training.