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IT leader enhances district-wide efficiency and productivity

A leader of a business operations interoperability transformation management project offers tips on how to align IT to achieve budget, efficiency and productivity goals.

The new era of public education is bringing changes to nearly every school system in the world. Some districts have elevated their communication strategies, some have developed digital plans, and some are floundering as they attempt to bring in new virtual tools and bridge the gap between old and new. 

Every IT leader in the nation has been put to the test.   

For Chief Information Officer Zach Lind in Ithaca City Schools, the digital transformation has been in motion for years. The district went one-to-one in 2014, and the teaching staff has long been trained on the Google Suite, so – aside from the omni-present struggles of teaching remotely – they were in a better position than most as schools shut down nationwide in March 2020 due to COVID-19.

Always looking for ways to improve, Zach used that period to enhance his district’s internal communications strategy, and was thrilled with the results, bringing benefits they continue to enjoy today. In the corporate world, there are hundreds of workspace chat tools, but many of these platforms are difficult for school districts to utilize. 

Zach and his IT team needed to transition to chat-based support for their front office workers, and they wanted an easier way to communicate between internal project teams. 

“While working in-person, you can always walk down the hall and ask a question, but remote work, or work across buildings, often means that five-minute conversations are turned into five-week email chains,” he said. “We wanted to increase efficiency.” 

They set up an online chat system and watched as the transformation unfolded. Users didn’t require training because the chatbox automatically appeared in their email window. The execution was seamless. 

This virtual internal communications strategy has continued since 2020. Quick comments and questions no longer require a series of formal emails, and files can be safely stored in one conversation chain. 

A lot has changed in the past few years. According to EdWeek, 58% of education professionals have a more positive opinion of education technology following 2020’s school closures. Many district stakeholders are hungry for a solution that is easy to use and helps them get answers faster. 

Tools like Let’s Talk – the only customer experience and intelligence platform purpose-built for education – can help you streamline inbound communications through a unified inbox. Backend capabilities allow staff to communicate and solve problems quickly, and tools like Let’s Talk Assistant chatbot and Knowledge Base help you provide consistent answers 24-7. 

Is your school community ready for a new approach? Request a consult today

By Joe Douglass
Originally published January 26, 2022 Last updated May 29, 2024