Reasons for Hardware Standards
TMCC has established a list of supported hardware and software products for systems located in administrative work areas and in academic computer labs. The list is in the IT Operations Core Services Catalog. The standards were created for the following reasons:
- Liken the need for standardized equipment to the need for a contractor to build a building but every worker is using different parts, i.e., many plumbers putting in the infrastructure but the pipes they use are different and may not fit together; thus leaks or water may not flow.
- The ability of technical support staff to support multiple systems is limited; when the college was smaller and had few users and computers, this was a possibility. As the college continues to grow, supporting multiple versions of computer systems, each requiring different images, etc., is impossible, especially given the full-time staff available to support the college and the reliance on student technicians to provide the support.
- Standard configurations ensure faster response time and faster troubleshooting time since all systems are configured the same. End result: Easier configuration, management, troubleshooting, and upgrading.
- Support staff unfamiliar with disparate systems cause customers to spend time supporting themselves (and each other). This is a cost that often is not considered by organizations, i.e., lost productivity.
- Provides a long-term working relationship with a mainstream computer vendor which makes it more likely that special service or pricing can be obtained for faculty, staff, and students.
- Eliminates variables that must be considered with Information Technology Services and deployment, network access, and hardware configuration/reconfiguration.
- Positions the college to run newer software without requiring upgrades. This eliminates future costs.
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