As I described in my previous post, we will be updating staff computers, about twenty-five percent of the fleet, each year. This will mean a total refresh every four years. Historically, we’ve updated staff laptops on a four-year cycle. All of them at once – this will be our 4th refresh of staff laptops. The reason we are doing things differently this time is that it makes the refresh of these devices much more sustainable. Staggering it out 25 percent a year allows us to keep a steady, predictable expenditure number each year and to avoid a spending spike. These spikes can be really problematic when they correspond to other projects that may come due at the same time.
So, when the strategic technology committee created the device rollout plan, we really looked closely at ways to minimize spikes across all of the major device refresh cycles. This took a lot of tinkering to get the numbers to align. Once the committee stuck a balance we felt comfortable with, they turn task of operationalizing it over to the district technology office.
The technology team took a number of weeks to construct a plan. Our goal was to find the most feasible and fair solution. We settled on a staff seniority model. We worked with the HR team, we owe a big thank you to Kim Simoens for all of her help with this, and got a list of contract dates for everyone that has been issued a MacBook Air 13 inch computer. We then looked at the MacBook’s asset number to determine age of the computer. The vast majority were purchased in the summer of 2012. However, as we’ve added staff and due to other factors like loss, theft, and damage, we’ve had to add new computers over time. We created a spreadsheet and sorted by contract date (the documented date when the initial contract was signed and returned) and the computer’s asset number (which determines the computer’s age). We then divided the sheet up in groups of 115. The first 115 staff on the list will get a refreshed computer next fall. The next 115 after that will get an up date in the fall of 2016.
Here’s the full list. You can browse the complete list to see where you stand. If you are on the list for next year, we will be contacting you early in the fall to help you with the transition to your new computer.
We fully realize that as we start this process, the staff at the tail end of the cycle will have a computer that is six years old before it’s refreshed. This is an inevitable artifact of starting a process like this and not doing one mass purchase. I do believe these computers will be viable during this period of time. However, we will be keeping a close eye on this each year going forward. I have put my computer with the last cohort so I will have a first hand understanding of how the computers are aging.
Again, once we complete the first cycle, we will all be getting a new computer every four years. We will be updating and publishing the refresh list each spring going forward. Like other seniority lists, it will look different every year. While we believe our current list is very accurate, it is possible that we have a mistake. When dealing with this type of complex data, this can happen. If you notice that something is not right, please don’t hesitate to drop me a note. Of course, don’t hesitate to let me know if you have other questions as well.