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The 5 year technology plan: Focus on your INFRASTRUCTURE!

If you think you know what tools you will need in 5 years, you are probably wrong.

If you are budgeting so that you buy sets of an item over several years, you’ll have a dichotomous challenge: the item will become both cheaper AND less desirable.

If your infrastructure can’t support the technology you have, your technology is ineffective.

If you don’t invest in a learning culture for adults, your ‘knowledge infrastructure’ will hold you back.

The 5 year technology plan? Do this 5 years in a row: Purchase/spend for this year; make sure your infrastructure can support your needs for next year; and, re-evaluate frequently.

My advice beyond this:

7 comments on “The 5 Year Technology Plan

  1. Consistent and constant evaluation is necessary to maintain technologies. As tech ages and advances are made, we must adjust and adapt both the hardware and software and our knowledge of each must keep up.
    The most imprtant aspect is the necessary training and continual motivation for the users of the learning tools provided.

  2. I spent a few years as the Manager of Technology for my school district and worked to convince management at the time that this was the correct approach to planning … keep your focus on today and the near future, not on the 5 year future. Management changed and thoughts were that we needed to look farther ahead. Eventually, I was relieved of my position because of budget and without a principalship to be had in the district, took an early retirement. Now, I am back as a principal and there is new management again and a new technology principal (smart, he remains a principal). There is a current 5 year plan being written and an expectation to have that delivered in the next month or so. I have not been invited to be a part of the committee, so I have no knowledge of whether they are moving back to the kind of thinking you espouse above and which I share, or whether they are moving to a plan that will be as firm as can be for the next 5 years. Only time will tell, I guess.

  3. I’m so very thankful that my principal insisted on installing the same high-quality wifi in the elementary school as was installed in the middle and high schools.

    Last week, we had almost all 200 fifth graders doing similar projects at the same time. Had my principal not planned for immediate needs, teachers and students would have been really frustrated by slow speeds.

    Good reminders.

  4. I just sent a link to this post to our college’s technology coordinator. He needs as much support as he can get, because he has the right ideas, but the administration is resistant. Your ideas are so logical and fiscally sound that I think he will find it useful in making proposals about how to spend…It sure doesn’t hurt that you worked in Dalian for 2 years! You won’t be just some random foreigner who doesn’t know “local conditions”.

  5. You really have some great points here. I agree with your idea that when we purchase infrastructure that will be used for a long time. I also believe in continuously training the employees to adapt to changes in both technology and infrastructure.

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