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Technology at Your Fingertips
Chapter 1: Knowing What to Do

Chapter 2: Knowing What You Need

Chapter 3: Knowing What You Have

Chapter 4: Knowing What to Get

Chapter 5: Knowing How to Implement Your Solution

Chapter 6: Knowing How to Train Users

Chapter 7: Knowing How to Support and Maintain Your Technology Solution

What Provisions Should Be Made for Ongoing Oversight?

How Do You Plan for Providing Ongoing User Support?

How Should You Monitor Regular Usage of Your System?

What Kind of Ongoing Technology Maintenance Will Be Needed?

How Do You Monitor Your System's Users' Needs?

What Do You Need to Do About Upgrades to Software?

What Do You Do About Replacement and Redeployment of Equipment?

Should You Accept Donations?

When Should You Use Volunteers?

How Do You Find Qualified Help When You Need It?

Is That All There Is To It?
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Chapter 7: Knowing How to Support and Maintain Your Technology Solution

Finding help is best done through similar organizations and groups in whom you have confidence.


How do you find qualified help when you need it?
Throughout this book, we've discussed the importance of finding the right people with the necessary expertise to help you, the decision maker, make the right decisions. We've also discussed the necessity of having experts who help install, implement, monitor and evaluate the system, and the importance of providing ongoing technical support and training for staff so that everyone is up-to-date. We have not discussed how to find these experts, however. Knowing where to find technical support and advice is critical for informed, successful decision making. There are numerous sources of qualified help available, many of whom are willing to come to you to help. Some sources you may want look into include:
  • Professional organizations that provide appropriate member services.
  • Private or not-for-profit consulting organizations or individuals.
  • Governmental agencies chartered to provide assistance.
  • Technical and professional publications.
  • Training programs.
  • University faculty or centers.
  • Vendors who are willing to describe their solutions.
You should also look for sources of help among other organizations similar to yours. These are often the best source of useful assistance, as they may have already faced the same challenges as you. Talk to their decision makers. Ask about the consultants they used. Use the feedback you receive to make informed choices for your own organization.

When dealing with consultants and organizations that have products to sell or who represent specific products, make sure that they disclose those relationships up front to avoid possible conflicts of interest. Your organization should determine in advance whether vendors, organizations, and individuals who represent products would be appropriate sources of help. If a product recommendation is not a part of the help needed, or if an open and public bidding process will follow, vendors representing specific products may be able to provide current and appropriate expertise.

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