Small Church Trying to Leverage Technology

Hello Everyone,

I have recently been asked to asset my churches IT support needs and infrastructure, which I am happy to do. However, I quickly come to realize that no one has kept any notes on any of the IT equipment, software, contracts, infrastructure, etc. I will be starting from ground zero by conducting a physical inventory of all equipment and software. Then I am left with digging through old files and email to find any and all references to licensing and warranties, if any exist.

Part of my plan is to stand up an actual network with domain access between two buildings that currently have 6 hardwired systems & has just been recently upgraded to a Ubiquity WAPS system. The installer did an awesome job, but I am coming in on this at the end of the project.

What I need to know is what is your recommendation for setting a new network with AD type access and account creations, but no budget to purchase any hardware or software. I will have to utilize free-ware when possible (even against my better judgement). This is small church that had to upgrade is exterior entrances & several upgrades to meet county and state codes for handicap accessibility and other things that we were hit on for being out of compliance. So funding is very scarce at the moment. Any and all suggestions would be great. Thank you in advance.

For 6 machines, Azure AD would be my recommendation.


Depends on what you already have. Azure works well for auth and users. If you want some inventory work I’d recommend Spiceworks, it will inventory including software installed. If you need some asset management, AssetTiger is great and free up to a certain number of items.

Hello Jamey,

The church just recently installed a wireless network that is locked down & maintained in a Ubiquiti switch. However we do not have any server system or DNS for domains. All the laptops / desktops connect via a cat 6 cable or via wireless. All laptops & desktops have profiles created on the systems directly with 1 admin acct that everyone & anyone can access.

The end goal is to have a domain for everything separate from a guest wireless network. The domain side will have AD style capabilities for user account creations & adding equipment to the network. This will allow everyone that works in the church & the day school to access their email & files from any system; not a particular device because their system profile is on that particular unit.

I will also be setting up some type of clouds file server to store all church & day school files for ease of access & not to have a file server on hand.

I am basically starting from nothing & with some old PCs that will eventually need updating.

God Bless You & Yours,

J. Higgins

*Please excuse any grammar or punctuation mistakes. This message was typed on a mobile device.

I agree with @codatory, Azure AD, and InTune for management. If there’s a 501(c)(3) component, you can get your Office 365, Azure AD and InTune for free, just make sure to renew each year. TechSoup makes it pretty easy.

Thank you everyone for all of the great info. I believe I have what I need to get this up and running.


I would agree with everyone’s suggestions. The one things that I would stress is the security of the cloud systems. If they are going to house sensitive files you need to be sure you meet privacy and compliance requirements. Other than that concern…I am always a fan of spend little and get a lot. Tech Soup is the way to go on that one as well.