IT lessons need learning

As thousands of North West school children make a welcome return to the classroom – and technology continues to inspire new ways of learning - a leading IT chief says there are many lessons to be learned about computer investment and data infrastructure.

David Silous-Holt, managing director of IT support and supply specialist Blue Orange, says slow broadband and limited general expertise, combined with unreliable and even unnecessary platforms, has left some establishments bottom of the technology class.

“When I first became involved in this sector four years ago I was a little surprised at what I found. In some cases IT was so bad in primary schools but it wasn’t always due to a lack of spending money. On too many occasions they were being sold the wrong kit. That could involve not being fit for purpose or even powerful enterprise level systems which were not required and a waste of money.

“I’d just had a child myself and I thought it needs to be better in schools. I cared and developed a deep passion over a period of time. I recognised it needed to be realigned.”

Blue Orange specialise in remote and on-site IT services as well as hardware supplies, to schools, colleges and businesses throughout Lancashire and beyond. Leading clients include Hugh Baird College and GLF Trust. It is also part of a select group of suppliers that make-up the HP for Education trade-in programme which offers special pricing, trade-In rewards and educational solutions to deliver even more value from HP technology investments.

Now in its eighth year, HP for Education has already given back several million pounds to educational establishments - and this continues with an expanded and improved programme for 2020, with an even greater focus on applying HP technology to make a measurable impact in learning environments.

Cloud-based technologies – from phone systems to Artificial Intelligence are leading the way in a world where children never stop learning, as David highlighted: “Technology is so important across all education establishments – many are getting it right but some are not. Children as young as four can use an iPad and if a screen doesn’t swipe they think there’s something wrong!

“As a company we conduct multiple cluster meetings with different schools to offer advice and support - and there’s massive job satisfaction. Our ethos is based on integrity, honesty and agility.

“It’s much more than just making money. If it delivers a better outcome and is better for the client that’s the way we should lead it. It’s got to be about adding value, not about making as much revenue as possible. Revenue changes and comes in different forms.”

He concluded: “As a father myself with a young boy about to start school, it’s become my personal passion and a bit of a crusade. It’s very rewarding to try and help make a difference, however big or small.”

The Adlington-based business is on course for a record-breaking year of success despite the Covid crisis – aiming to double its multi-million-pound turnover and expand its skilled workforce as part of an aggressive growth strategy.