Science Center of Iowa

How We Helped The Science Center of Iowa Navigate a Tricky Transition


Located in Downtown Des Moines, the Science Center of Iowa’s hands-on exhibits and unique programming attracts visitors from all over the state and beyond. More than 300,000 people engage with the SCI each year by visiting the museum, participating in their statewide educational outreach program, or attending their accredited preschool.
When the SCI reached out to Grand Consulting, they were faced with a tough decision. Should they hire full-time IT staff? Should they fully outsource their IT department? Or should they take a hybrid approach and do both?

Their organization was going through a transitional phase and the clock was ticking. They needed to make a decision quickly, but weren’t 100% sure what would be best for them long-term. 

Grand Consulting offered a low-pressure solution: the Grand Consulting team would take a few months to audit the SCI’s infrastructure and provide full-time staffing during the review. This would give the SCI a bit more time to consider their options.

Surprising Discoveries

For the SCI to operate smoothly each day, several smaller entities need to work together. Their building is home to more than just exhibits. It has a gift shop, cafeteria, pre-school, and an entire office staff behind-the-scenes. Also, during any given week, the SCI hosts a handful of community events.

Grand Consulting started their audit by familiarizing themselves with the software and equipment used in each of these areas. This included common office technology like workstations, networking, and printers, but also a ticketing system, POS software, interactive displays, A/V equipment, lighting, and a security system. 

As Grand Consulting became acquainted with each of these systems, they documented what was found and worked to troubleshoot any issues they discovered along the way.

During the audit, Grand Consulting identified several ways the SCI could cut excessive spending and streamline operations. The SCI was paying for unnecessary security contracts, expensive equipment they didn’t need, and licenses that weren’t being used.

Thoughtful, Long-Term Solutions

The SCI was so happy with Grand Consulting’s findings, they asked them to stay onboard. Grand Consulting continues to provide full-time staffing while methodically implementing upgrades or replacements, one at a time, based on the SCI’s most urgent needs.

So far, Grand Consulting has replaced the SCI’s access points and networking gear with equipment that doesn’t require an annual license. They swapped out the SCI’s phone system for a VoIP service that is much cheaper and includes more modern features. Grand Consulting also revamped the SCI’s entire networking infrastructure to ensure better security, ease of maintenance, and future growth. 

Grand Consulting regularly checks-in with the SCI to make sure they are both aligned on the SCI’s long-term goals and vision. If, at any point, the SCI decides to change course, Grand Consulting is more than happy to adjust and do what’s best for the long-term success of their organization.