North carolina technology
The proposal for a statewide education network makes a very interesting case regarding the needs of the media and library centers today. It immediately points out that there is an existing problem regarding the education network today by suggesting that the current systems are inadequate to meet the current needs of the students. It proposes the creation of a statewide education network to facilitate the statewide systems (NC WISE) and also to pave the way for next generation solutions.
On a whole, the proposal makes a good point by being able to stress the relevance of the statewide education network. It clearly emphasizes the needs that this system will be able to address as well as the possible areas of concern that will be encountered in the implementation of this plan such as autonomy issues and costs.
The strongest point of this plan is that it is able to show the importance of having a statewide education network. It is clear at the onset that high-speed access that is reliable will benefit any media and library center. By integrating the system on a statewide level, the libraries and media centers will be able to share information more efficiently and effectively balance out the access to information in the state. Communication issues are also addressed by this proposal since the implementation of a statewide education network will facilitate statewide systems. While the concerns regarding the costs were mentioned, the implementation of the statewide education system, as mentioned in the proposal, will offer benefits and cost less in the long run because of the savings that it generates by lowering the statewide costs of ownership as well as offer discounts for E-rate internet interconnectivity.
The strong points of this system are basically that by implementing the statewide education system, there will be improved communication among the media centers and libraries all over the state and also allow for integration of the library and media centers. This system, while it may have an initial outlay of an undetermined but estimated high cost, promises savings in the long run with the discounts and cheaper statewide costs of ownership.
There is no doubt that this proposal for the implementation of a statewide education system will greatly benefit the media and library centers in the state. The weakness of this plan and proposal however lies in its failure to integrate key factors in its proposal.
The first weakness is with regard to the cost. While the proposal makes a good case by suggesting there will be discounts, there is no specific mention of what this plan will really cost. While it is clear that it may be costly from the start, it does not give an idea of when the financial benefits will kick in. In the present times, there is always the cost of money which must be considered. An item may have a huge down payment but be worth it in the long run or it may be cheap at the start and just have heavier payments in the end. The question that must be addressed with regard to this is if there are other uses for the large amount of money that will go into this system that may have the same effect or if it is really beneficial in the long run. Will the continuous maintenance and upgrade demands cost more in the end and erase any benefits that may be derived from the projected savings?
The next weakness in this proposal is the failure to consider the political motivations that may affect this decision and the source of funding for this system. The proposal makes mention of the fact that cost and degree of control may become a problem. This is precisely the weakness of the system. The higher the cost of the education system, the higher the degree of intervention the funding source will require. There will be problem in the level of control that must be exercised in order to keep the autonomy of the network. A solution to this would be to try to make the system self-sufficient by charging joining fees and access charges at the start of its implementation to help shoulder the initial costs.
The final weakness is the security risk. While it is presented that the implementation of this system will improve security, there are also other risks that should be considered. Integrating all of the networks will make every media center and library that is connected to the system vulnerable to attacks. It is analogous to a longer chain link fence that has to be constantly monitored to ensure that there are no breaches in the perimeter. A successful attack on one installation or center can easily lead to breaches in other centers.
The proposal makes a very valid point but fails to consider certain key factors that are important to make the plan an efficient and effective process for the benefit of media and library centers statewide.