As the curriculum changes with more of a focus on computing and IT, it’s vital that you give both your students and staff access to the latest technology to allow them to enhance their learning and teaching experience. But, in a sector that’s riddled with budget constraints, how can you achieve this without either severely impacting the education experience or capital budget available?
In this article we’ll explore the options of both leasing and capital purchase to help determine the best solution for your institution.
What is Leasing?
Leasing allows educational institutions to spread the cost of an asset over its useful economic life without impacting on capital budget. It allows you to conserve cash flow and to positively accelerate your IT technology roadmap. This is particularly useful for educational institutions who are under increasing pressure to reduce costs, yet still need to provide the best facilities possible to their students and staff.
What is a Capital Purchase?
A capital purchase is an outright cash payment for assets at a fixed cost. It’s a simple and easy procurement method, providing that the education provider has the capital budget readily available. By choosing this procurement option, the full cost of the asset is paid outright allowing you to have full ownership over those assets. Transactions are easy – you decide what you want, search where best to get it and go out and buy it.
But, what if you needed to buy, for example, 30 new laptops for the ICT suite? Do you have the budget to buy this outright? Chances are, if you work in the education sector, possibly not. So what do you do?
By opting for a leasing agreement you’ll have the flexibility to stay up to date with the most current technology without impacting your capital budget. This not only allows you to move forward with other plans you may have for IT in your institution (i.e. infrastructure upgrade etc.) but will also allow you to upgrade your existing IT hardware at any time so that devices are never outdated.
We’re often told to “put your money into things that appreciate not depreciate”. The nature of technology moves at a phenomenal rate and in 12-18 months, those devices that were purchased with your capital budget will have depreciated in value and will be worthless. The technology will be outdated and therefore provides no educational benefit to your institution. So, why not put your money into something that’s going to be more valuable to students and staff in terms of learning and teaching outcomes?
Your students and staff will be able to benefit from newer technology sooner compared to the usual four or five year cycle, ultimately enhancing the user experience and allowing your students to gain the skills they need for future employment.
The Benefits of Leasing
There are significant benefits to be gained when looking at a leasing scheme.
Here are just a few:
- Spread the cost over the useful life of the hardware and pay for the use of it, meaning you pay less than it is actually worth
- Flexibility to upgrade as and when new technology develops
- Fixed payments for the contract duration
- Compliant budget acceleration
- IT strategy and roadmap acceleration
- Alleviate budget constraints
- Avoid technology obsolescence
- Flexible working and mobile learning
- Increases the number of employees/students online
- Ability to manage project expectations
- Provide the best technology for students to further develop their ICT skills and creativity for the future
- Assists in IT asset disposal
The Final Word
To sum up, there are distinct benefits to both a capital purchase and leasing scheme. However with restricted budgets consistently becoming an issue within education, you need a solution that allows you to put latest technology into the hands of your students and staff and enables you to develop a strategy around how these devices can then be used within the curriculum.
By opting to take out a leasing scheme you’ll ensure technology is always up to date through lifecycle management and accelerate budgets to allow you to get the technology you want rather than having to compromise. This means that your students get access to the most current devices and their learning potential is enhanced. Total repayment is also less than the total asset value and offers you the flexibility to expand your IT estate when needed rather than when capital budget dictates.