Staff Help Desk and How-Tos
LBCC Guidelines for Purchasing Hardware and Software
This document provides guidelines through which LBCC hardware and software purchases should be made. The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure the safety and reliability of college systems and data. Information Services and Media (IS/Media) is charged with supporting college owned computer hardware, software, and peripherals in ways that meet the college’s strategic priorities and support the mission of the college. IS/Media is responsible for maintaining the quality of the college systems, network, servers, workstations, and peripherals at reasonable costs. This policy establishes standards and guidelines for the purchase of college technologies. The guidelines for hardware and software purchases adhere to the following principles, regardless of funding sources:
- Any hardware or software purchased with college funds is the property of the college.
- All college property must be inventoried for discoverability and auditing.
- Only college owned hardware and software is supported by IS/Media.
- Equipment must be approved by IS/Media before it is connected to the LBCC network.
- Equipment must be approved by IS/Media if IS/Media support is required or expected
These guidelines apply to any purchases of hardware or software using college funds. All such purchases should go through the IS/Media Department. IS/Media purchases hardware and software that are sustainable, compatible with existing systems, and can be supported. Centralized purchasing ensures:
- compatibility with campus network;
- compliance with technology security policy;
- suitability based on use-case assessment;
- licensing compliance;
- hardware and software that can be effectively supported;
- availability of sufficient resources (including initial and recurring costs);
that the purchase is made according to state dollar threshold requirements or made via price agreements/state contracts meeting the competitive procurement requirements.
Applying standards allows the college to efficiently select and manage technology, obtain better pricing, reduce maintenance costs and increase access to training and assistance. These standards are re-evaluated periodically based on common needs, vendor offerings, cost, reliability, supportability, quality, sustainability, compliance with recycling policies and timeliness of vendor response. Purchase of non-standard technology components will need to be justified with the IS/Media. The college will not provide support of any hardware or software item, unless that purchase was made with approval of IS/Media.
Software & hardware purchases require IS/Media involvement if any of the following are true:
- Assistance will be required to install or implement the software or equipment.
- Software or data used by the software will be stored on an internal server.
- The hardware will be connected to the campus networks.
- Software will use and/or store data other than “Directory Information” and will be covered by FERPA or other regulations.
- Software or hardware will require campus credentials for authentication.
- Software or hardware will be made generally available to students and/or employees.
- Integration with other campus systems is required.
- Ongoing support from IS/Media is expected.
Purchases of permanently mounted hardware require IS/Media involvement. IS/Media will coordinate the installation with Facilities.
Purchases of peripherals (hard drives, adapters, mice, keyboards, etc) require IS/Media involvement if there is an expectation of future support for the specific device. IS/Media involvement is always recommended to ensure device compatibility and best pricing.
IS/Media generally does not support hardware and software that have been purchased without IS/Media involvement. Support for such systems would be best effort and only as time allows.
Software and hardware purchased by the College should consider accessibility as a factor in the decisions. Hardware or software purchased by the College should comply with one or more of the following standards as evidence of accessibility:
- Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act
- W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
As part of the selection process, the vendor should supply:
- A valid Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)
- Another statement by the vendor that provides an evaluation of the product’s accessibility.
The office making the purchase should follow these guidelines:
- Provide documentation regarding accessibility supplied by the vendor.
- Provide a list of any exceptions to the above accessibility standards identified in the vendor documentation.
- Consult with the Disability, ADA, Equity and Compliance Committee to cover necessary accommodations
In the event that no suitable product is found that meets minimum accessibility requirements, a description of the reason the product was selected will be submitted to IS/Media. IS/Media will store this documentation for the duration the product is in use.