What Are the Benefits of Cloud Software for Higher Education?
Mor Mordchaev, Cloud Consultant, IaaS Services
February 8, 2022
The benefits of cloud software for higher education will be obvious to anyone who can remember those banks of desks inside school and university libraries – all with a PC and licensed copies of expensive software that had to be paid for and pre-loaded, regardless of whether a student was using it or not.
It is more practical for students to use laptops and tablets, so they can work anywhere – in school, college, or at home. With cloud software their physical location no longer matters – they always have access to the same support network and software.
In many cases these tools can also facilitate greater student collaboration because they are cloud based. Adobe has undertaken research into the way that Creative Cloud is used and found that when Adobe was integrated into teaching and coursework, student outcomes improved. Students earned A’s and B’s at a 4.5 percent higher rate, had 8 percent higher grades overall and saw a 0.2 percent average increase in GPA.
This also adds more value for students in higher education because they learn the type of creative and collaboration skills that will be essential once they need to venture out into the workforce.
Oracle has also published some useful research that shows some of the financial benefits available to higher education establishments. Moving systems into the cloud allows them to reduce hardware, save the time and money they are spending patching and updating student systems, and dramatically improve security across their network.
In addition to the student-facing systems the Oracle study also found that colleges and universities can also dramatically improve their internal systems. This involves the removal of legacy back-office applications and a dramatic improvement in the cost and functionality of finance and HR systems.
The pandemic forced many colleges and universities to support online learning to a much greater degree than they were previously supporting. This has also created the opportunity for greater international student collaboration. In India, universities are leveraging on the opportunity for greater connectivity between students and startup companies, creating more innovation and eventual job opportunities.
But while the pandemic may have been the most recent catalyst for change and greater cloud adoption, there are many fundamental reasons why higher education institutions should already have been exploring this option, including:
- Pay only for what you use: all software and capacity can be paid for as used and required, not paid for up front, and often left idle in a university library. This creates much greater cashflow control and efficiency.
- No infrastructure to manage: you do not need to invest in the space required for a data center, or the team to manage it, to the headaches that arrive when a power outage causes chaos.
- Greater value and opportunities: with students using software in the cloud, they are free to work anywhere, classes can be physical or virtual, collaboration with students and companies in other colleges or international companies is easy.
- Improved data security: even better, your institution is far better protected by security systems that proactively monitor the network for suspicious activity, rather than relying on firewalls and routine checks.
The pandemic forced many institutions into rapid changes that may not be ideal for the long-term, but you can review where you are and build a path into the future.
If your institution is facing pain points with your on-premise software or is looking to become more agile in response to evolving demands on higher education, cloud-based solutions may be an investment worth pursuing.
Take a look at some of the case studies on our website. We have a long track record helping businesses across many industries (including higher education), to plan for and manage a cloud migration. The team at WatServ can help you to see the opportunities and to realize them in a highly efficient way.
WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with 1000’s of users connecting from around the world, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.
WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.