Higher Education Continues to See a Jump In Cloud Adoption
Mor Mordchaev, Cloud Consultant, IaaS Services
March 9, 2022
Have you been thinking about cloud adoption in your Higher Education (HE) school or college? Maybe it sounds complex? Maybe you are concerned about how all your existing processes may need to change.
If you have been putting off decisions, then you are not alone. Many HE institutions were forced to use different technologies to keep going through the pandemic, but that was an emergency. Now that we are seeing a return to normality, should you really be considering a new strategy?
First, why not consider the way that other institutions are using cloud-based systems. What are the advantages they are seeing?
- Long-term cost reduction: compare the cost of buying and maintaining your own equipment on-site compared to the cloud. You will see significant savings in data storage costs, maintenance costs, and you will no longer need to plan for a constant refresh of your IT infrastructure.
- Collaboration: improved real-time collaboration is a real bonus. You can expect to see better student communication, portals for teacher management, and the ability to easily create virtual classrooms – useful for hybrid learning and important for future resilience.
- Resource Availability: tools and resources can be made available to students from anywhere regardless of the device they are using. You can also increase accessibility by ensuring that all resources follow guidelines such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) – this ensures that students with disabilities or learning issues can also have access to the same resources.
- Scalability: on-site technology is extremely hard to scale. If you need to double storage capacity, but your data center is full, you have a big problem. None of this applies to a cloud installation – just ask your cloud partner and it happens.
- Modern learning environment: you can access many different professional certification schemes, such as VMware Learning in addition to your own internal courses. There is no limit to what can be additionally offered to students – it can all be included on a cloud platform.
The cloud environment for education just mirrors how people are now operating in both a business and personal environment. You can offer virtual classrooms, virtual desktops, unlimited data storage. This is how modern companies operate so why not in Higher Education?
There are challenges. You need to change your security strategy to be more holistic, to focus on the entire network and not just a firewall. You need to transition all those applications from the data center to the cloud. You need to ensure that your internal technology staff are now trained in cloud management and cloud security – this might be your single biggest cost and challenge.
But after some initial up-front investment in training and transition, your ongoing costs will be reduced and efficiency will be easier because you will start paying only for what you are using – the real required storage, the real number of applications being utilized. The return on investment varies from one institution to another, but it should be rapid – and significant.
Take a look at my most recent article about cloud adoption in Higher Education. I summarized a few of the benefits there and outlined what you need to start thinking about to commence a transition.
If you have any specific questions or comments then reach out to the WatServ team. They will be happy to answer your questions and hopefully can reassure you that despite the initial process of transition, you can reduce administration costs AND create a better Higher Education environment for your students and staff.
WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps organizations digitally transform through cloud technologies and managed services.
Serving clients as a trusted advisor since 2006, WatServ provides experience-tested, strategic solutions across all stages of the digital transformation journey. Clients choose WatServ to migrate infrastructure and applications to the cloud, secure critical data, implement disaster recovery, deploy virtual desktop, enable data-readiness for productivity solutions and manage IT environments.
Our clients span a broad range of industries, and we’re a global supplier of IT services for many Brookfield Portfolio Companies. To help our mid-size clients, we provide scalable offerings that simplify cloud adoption and drive business optimization. For enterprise clients, we co-create cloud solutions that enable stability and efficiency for complex IT tools and processes.
With more than 15 years of experience, WatServ has a track record of delivering quantifiable business results and a superior client experience. Ranked as one of Canada’s Top 100 Solution Providers for the last three years in a row, WatServ is always on.