IT System Requirements in Schools

IT professionals are familiar with system requirements, and they are comfortable helping to define them, exceed them in budgets and design specifications, test them, and confirm them. We write them when planning IT installation in schools as well.

The reality, however, is that system requirements (the nature of the hardware, software, and connections) do not always specify the requirements of the systems. In schools, we have very diverse users and they all must be able to use the systems. The system requirements may overlook the needs of some individuals or may make erroneous assumptions about them, thus the requirements of the systems are unmet or incomplete.

System requirements for business use can often be specified to meet exact needs: “these people need this data at this time on these machines and they must use this application to analyze it.” A requirement of systems in school settings is that they accommodate the uncertain and unpredictable needs of teachers and learners.

We don’t like that as IT professionals. It violated everything we know about configuring and managing IT. It is unfortunate of you don’t like it, but that is the reality of working in schools. The requirements of the system often must be dictate your system requirements.