Does refurbished IT holds the answer to technology challenges?

Digital technology has become a prerequisite for schools; students will, no doubt, need to be digitally-fluent in order to thrive in their lives after school. However, procuring the hardware to enable this can be costly for a school. Here we explore refurbished IT as a possible solution for schools which want to make their IT budget go that bit further

Now more than ever, education establishments are faced with replacing and updating equipment on greatly reduced budgets across all departments. IT infrastructure, in particular, is one area that is increasingly central to the provision of modern, high quality teaching and, consequently, requires consistent renewal – something which can be beyond the average school or college IT budget.
One solution to this challenge – and one that many education providers seem unaware of – is the role of refurbished IT hardware and supporting materials. By opting to buy reconditioned PCs, monitors and laptops schools and colleges can save thousands of pounds.
“A big myth of refurbished hardware is that it’s not as good quality or doesn’t match the exact specifications schools require. However, that’s not the case. For the amount it costs to buy, for example, 10 new PCs direct from a vendor such as Dell or Apple, a school’s procurement manager could purchase 20 reconditioned systems that are exactly the same spec and quality – but for a fraction of the cost,” Bill Champness, managing director at Hardware Associates, explains.

By working with the right IT partner – and receiving the right advice – schools can get the maximum value out of their available budget, equipping students and staff with the resources they need and even providing peripheral equipment as added extras.
“What’s more, a lot of schools are unaware of the potential goldmines that they’re sitting on in unused IT equipment. Every school or college will have systems, monitors or laptops that they no longer use and are literally just sitting there gathering dust. We offer an asset disposal service which can be very financially rewarding for education providers. What we can do is take unwanted kit off them, thoroughly check it and provide cash back for the unused equipment. In this way, schools and colleges are provided with cash they never thought they had and can use it to purchase further equipment as and when they need to,” Bill says.

Ernest Bevin School case study

Ernest Bevin School for boys and co-ed Sixth Form College lives by an ethos that is central to everything it provides for its students and expects from them in return – the pursuit of excellence. Providing the best in learning facilities is of paramount importance to the school as it strives to equip its students in their most formative years and prepare them for either education at university level, or indeed, for their first steps into employment.
“Part of our drive here at Ernest Bevin is to ensure that we provide the very best for our students. That means the best in sporting facilities, science and technology and that’s why we work with partners like Hardware Associates, to help us source first class technology without breaking the bank,” Rukhsana Sheikh, principal of Ernest Bevin School, says.
New computers, monitors and tablets can cost schools a small fortune which is what makes refurbished hardware a worthwhile option. By choosing reconditioned equipment schools can save as much as 80% off an ‘as new’ equivalent. A saving of this magnitude means that they’re able to replace a good number of old computers and systems without having to invest too much.
Over the last two years Ernest Bevin saved a total of £15,000 – £7,000 on the purchase of 35 refurbished Dell OptiPlex 7010 i3 PCs and £8,000 on the purchase of 40 refurbished laptops. Refurbished equipment can keep costs down for schools and many find that they get twice the amount for less money.
“We hadn’t really heard of, or were familiar with, refurbished IT equipment but, by working closely with Hardware Associates, we realised that we could provide high quality technology resources to our staff and students on our available budget,” continues Rukhsana. “In fact, by going down the reconditioned path, we were not only able to equip the school with what it needed but were also able to afford the luxury of additional equipment without paying over the odds.”
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