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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cheshire school board’s iPads draw criticism from Town Council but the savings is “right there”

An article in the Cheshire Citizen titled “Cheshire BOE’s iPads draw some cavils” outlines a perfect example of the cost of new technology and the minimal time to return on the investment (ROI) and the savings generated.

In the article the following gross savings were outlined:

The Board of Education saves about $100 per meeting by using the iPads, Florio said. Normally, a police courier must be paid overtime to deliver meeting packets to board members. The packets often contain confidential information, which is why a police courier is used. Savings are also realized through the cost of paper.

“For the most part, we’ve cut down on copying and binders,” Florio said. “We certainly spend some money preparing and delivering packets.”

The cost of the units was also outlined:

Florio said each device costs about $400, slightly discounted from retail price

But let’s skip that and figure the cost of fully, brand new devices. Let’s look at iPads rather than any other models (yes those might be less expensive but I am going for market mainstream for this example).

Apple - iPad 2 with Wi-Fi – 16GB - $399.99 (at the time I searched this link down) – mind you; I would only suggest this model as a “paper document replacement” device as I feel that 16GB is too small for doing other things with it but as a base model for this use it is perfect.

In an example where 10 would be needed that is $4,000.00 spent. The units are good for three to five years (or longer but let’s call it four).

So let’s use the example of Wallingford Town Council meetings because I think it is fair to assume the costs would be relative.

In 2012 there were over 30 meetings between the regular session meetings, special meetings and the budget meetings. For the sake of argument and being conservative in our cost analysis let’s say there were only 25 meetings for the year.

Given the above that would be a cost of $2,500.00 so in a year and a half (basically) you have gotten the full return on the investment (ROI) and you are generating a net savings beyond that.

Even if the devices lasted only an additional 18 months (for a total of three years only) that is still about $3,700.00 in savings

Also, there is asset recovery at the end of their lifespan. They might only fetch $50.00 a unit used but that would still be $500.00 recovered to the town.

So in 36 months (years one, two and three) you save $3,700.00 and then you sell the used devices for $500.00 for a total of $4,200.00 in cash.

When you go to buy 10 new devices (for use in year four) to replace the 36 month old ones retired and sold, the cost of $4,000.00 is totally negated by the dollars as shown above.

So the 36 months following (years four, five and six) it is all 100% savings that is perpetuated going forward. The total cost of savings in those 36 months, all things being equal, would be $7,500.00

So when people ask “how is spending on technology going to save us money” this is one simple, base use example as already shown by Cheshire (using similar Wallingford examples). 


  1. why not use android tablets much cheaper then iPad and you can add memory card to expand capacity can not do on ipad?

  2. I don't disagree with you there. I didn't want to add too many variables to the article and to my response.

    We very well could get other tablet readers for less that are effectively designed for ONLY documentation viewing / paper replacement (for example a Kindle or Nook) for much less.

    The savings would be even greater and on those example devices the battery life it much longer

  3. Any thing with apple in the name is a rip off i find it amazing that consumers do not see it. they make IPhone iPad, pod's that the consumer can not replace the battery themselves they have to send it back to apple and be riped off even more stay away from apple!