Procurement of ICT services for schools - Towards a decentralised process for the benefit of stakeholders and the environment
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The aim of this research was to evaluate modern ICT procurement practices and ICT deployment in Finnish-speaking schools in the Municipality of Kauniainen. The main idea was to procure ICT services rather than hardware. The school administration defines the needs of schools and procures the services through competitive tendering. The first phase of the research was to review the previous problems associated with the old practices. The second phase was to assess how the new practice has affected the service level, costs and environmental aspects of ICT in schools. The results show that the procurement of services rather than hardware has proved to be the right decision: service levels have been improved, costs have been reduced by about 40% and, due to a longer life cycle for workstations and reduced electricity consumption, the environmental load has been cut by about 50%. The model adopted in Kauniainen requires the schools and school administration to have the skills and expertise to define their needs and the competencies to prepare and execute the procurement process. The most important prerequisite seems to be political will at local level to grant the school administration the freedom to choose the right kind of ICT service system to fit its needs.
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