Stabilizing the Chaos of Replacing Technology

Success Story: Ithaca College


The urgent challenges facing campus IT operations have never been greater. From higher demands and expectations from students, faculty, and staff to shrinking resources that require IT departments to do more with less — the pressures are daunting. That’s why it is more important than ever for schools to consider a proactive long-term strategy to address core IT services.

That is what one school quickly realized along with the growing demands within their school. Ithaca College, a private school located in Upstate New York saw expectations were growing and they needed to find a long-term solution to the challenge of providing access to the most current technology platforms, while making it easier to provide the ongoing support of core IT services. Although they knew these challenges had to be addressed, the school was still facing the growing pressure of reducing costs while streamlining their IT operations. Despite its importance, addressing core services in a more sustainable way requires an ongoing commitment of operational funding for related projects. And, since most capital projects have a significant, continual operational impact, the differential access to funding streams (operating expenses vs. capital expenses) can create significant problems in the development of a long-term funding model for sustaining core services. This required Ithaca’s IT leaders to think differently about their process. The school needed to shift their focus towards addressing the funding of new technology in a more sustainable way. Ithaca sought to develop a funding model that would sustain core technology services over the long-term, and the Ithaca College Technology Renewal Program was born.

“We had different departments ordering computers throughout the year. [Then at the start of the fiscal year], we’d see this huge influx — hundreds of computers — and people would be expecting them to be installed over night.” - David Weil, Director of Enterprise Application

Ithaca College considered the possibility of leasing technology under their renewal program to achieve these goals. Leasing the equipment provided the Technology Renewal Program a consistent and predictable budget, while establishing a disciplined refresh cycle and transferring the responsibilities of ownership. All of which greatly enhanced the long-term effectiveness of the program. Ithaca College now refreshes more than 1,000 computers annually, 99% of which are returned at the end of the lease. Ithaca College can now look ahead to growing the campus through additional innovative technology initiatives that support the mission of the school. 

For over 13 years, Ithaca College has partnered with First American, to make their technology Renewal Program a tremendous success. The program has sustained support of their core IT services through technology renewal and eliminated the compressed demand surges that IT operations were often faced with prior to the program. Ithaca College now has a 3-year refresh cycle on devices for students, faculty, and staff; and a consistent program that makes it easier for their IT operations to manage. The result is a strategic, predictable renewal process that supports the schools core services through the consistently planned replacement of the school’s technology, freeing resources to better meet rising demands of students, faculty, and staff elsewhere on campus.




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Ithaca College

"First American has consistently shown that they are all about the relationship, that they are all about the people, and about looking at this as a long-term investment... It's apparent to us, in all of our interactions with First American that they have the long-term view with things, that they’re looking at this as a relationship over time and they try always to do the right thing for the relationship and for us."

David Weil
Director of Enterprise Application Services

[Integrity + Smarts]

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