Cloud is the Future for Education Sector

When it comes to cloud computing, big businesses generally don’t put too much thought into it. Nowadays, it’s virtually considered to be a “no brainer” to switch from on premise storage to the cloud. It’s why we are seeing large tech companies like IBM thrive. In fact, some would even argue that business from cloud computing clients are keeping large organizations like IBM afloat, especially when it seems like their other business units are contracting.
The funny thing is that even though when people think of cloud computing, they think about which tech corporations can benefit from it, but tech organizations aren’t the only entities that should be considering moving their data to the cloud. Every establishment with data should create a cloud strategy.
One of the least discussed areas that harbors a great deal of data is the education sector. The Department of Education and smaller institutions alike house as much data as any large sized corporation, if not more, yet most of these establishments have yet to switch over to the cloud. Formulating a plan to migrate their data over to the cloud will help educational institutions in more ways than one.

Maintenance and Upgrades

Since computers came into use, schools have always purchase hardware, software and systems at ‘x’ cost, and have run them until the end of their life cycle. This required an extraordinary amount of manpower and resources. Moving to a cloud based system, though, will be a game changer. There are minimal entry barriers and it requires less manpower and time for maintenance and upgrades.

Streamlining Processes

The only potential downside seen by IT professionals wanting to move to the cloud is cloud security. Aside from that, the cloud will enable educational institutions to streamline many processes including installation times, deployment, and the aforementioned maintenance and upgrades.

Efficient Collaboration

It’s 2016 and students are still gathering around one computer when working on a project. One by one, students would use a single computer to work on their portion of the project and then take turns on it. This is unfathomable in today’s world. With the cloud, online collaboration means each student can use their own device in an organized manner in real time, from the comfort of their own home / workplace.

Sold! But Why Haven’t They Moved?

Like large business organizations, it’s a no brainer for educational institutions to move to the cloud. So, why haven’t most made the switch already? There are several factors at play but two stick out from all the others. The first one is relatively obvious: habits. After decades of using a certain system, you become complacent. Organizations fully understand the costs involved and thus are able to plan financially. On the surface, moving to the cloud is a big “financial question” to these institutions even though the savings in opportunity costs over on premise systems are huge. Secondly, working in the cloud is a culture of sorts. For example, collaborating via the cloud is excellent in theory, however there needs to be effective team work from every individual involved in a collective project.
Though the above examples are just some of the reasons why a large portion of the educational sector haven’t made the switch to the cloud, it’s only a matter of time until they realize that these “barriers” are fairly easy to overcome. When that occurs sometime in the very near future, on premise systems for these institutions will become completely obsolete.