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Takeaways from Hardwired: Technology for Shared Spaces

April 3, 2017 by Katie Edwards0

Last week, we were joined by Greg Bugbee from Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology for new ways to think about how to design the technology that goes into a space. Here are five tips for maximizing your IT investment.

  • Ensure form follows function. Who is going to be in your space and how will they use it? Your users should drive your IT infrastructure. Think not only about how they will act while in the building, but what they will be producing for others outside of your four walls. For example, if you have tenant partners that develop webinars or host virtual convenings, they’ll need more IT infrastructure than those that have traditional teams in the office at all times.
  • Estimate your network’s total carrying capacity needs. Each person in your space will likely have two devices to connect to the wi-fi. Also, security cameras, door locks, copiers, and other devices will need wired connections. A complete estimate will help you get the right bandwidth into the space.
  • Look into alternatives to the commercial internet. If Google Fiber is available in your area, the capacity is worth the costs. Also, Internet 2 is a nationwide network that runs parallel to the commercial internet that provides connectivity to universities, nonprofits, and other researchers, that allows for fast connections into your space.
  • Design meeting spaces for the end users that are simple, support any device, and are familiar. Devices like a Windows Surface Hub or a InFocus Mondopad have interfaces similar to Windows-based desktops, and can be customized for your setting.
  • Search for non-proprietary solutions. While many proprietary solutions have cool unique features, they are often not compatible with the technology that your tenant partners may have access to. Maintenance and upgrades can be costly with these devices as well.

Thanks to Greg for sharing his expertise. We’re also grateful to Justin Breznev of Hacker Fund, who couldn’t join us for the webinar, but helped to develop the content.

 

 

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About Our Blogger:

Katie Edwards

Katie connects NCN members with the resources they need to make their projects a success. She holds an M.P.A. in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University, where she studied nonprofit co-location as part of her coursework. Katie’s research background and her first-hand experience with the Co-location Task Force for the Indianapolis’ Early Intervention and Prevention Initiative give her a unique perspective on shared spaces and nonprofit centers.


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