Smart IT: Strategic Technology Planning & Investment

SmartIT: Strategic Technology Planning and Management

CoSN’s SmartIT initiative provides strategic IT investment recommendations for the smart CTO. There are several smart ways to address the cost and choices of technology projects and infrastructure. SmartIT addresses these with a strategy of applying interactive tools to tie the district’s technology investments to its strategic goals. Instead of being trapped in the old thinking of approaching educational technology as a cost center, these tools provide a method to quantify and position your IT spending as investments for improving learning in quantifiable terms. Your district can keep its technology programs intact, and position itself to run a smarter, stronger, and more cost‐effective technology—and educational—operation.


Need more information? Download our Strategic Technology Planning and Investment one-pager and Cloud Computing one-pager for a more comprehensive look. 


Two Components of SmartIT

Total Cost of Ownership

Understanding the complete cost of your computing programs is key for the implementation of your strategic plan and evaluation of actions to provide better service for less. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a methodology to measure and understand the costs of acquiring and maintaining networks of computers and obtaining staff and other user-related support. A TCO assessment helps to determine and articulate in quantifiable terms the effects of proposed budget cuts or other changes that could result in deficiencies.

Value of Investment

As technology budgets continue to be scrutinized, it is more important than ever to carefully evaluate the anticipated costs and benefits of proposed projects. CoSN provides a methodology and specific tools to allow K-12 districts to estimate the costs and expected benefits of proposed technology efforts. The Value of Investment (VOI) methodology can help districts evaluate proposed projects, articulate project costs and benefits, sell a project, and sustain a project.


External Resources


blue arrow with two Xs on each side icon  three interlocking neon green-bordered jigsaw pieces iconThis CoSN resource is related to the following skill areas from CoSN's Framework of Essential Skills of hte K-12 CTO