Cloud Computing Moves to the Head of the Class

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Education is graduating to the cloud for its computing power, security, and collaboration tools.

More than any other technology, cloud computing lays the groundwork for hightech education. The accessibility of information stored in cloud servers makes it possible for educators and students to access courseware and educational materials from anywhere. Data storage, backup, and security challenges are simplified in the cloud, and the reliability and affordability of cloud-based applications are friendly to budget-conscious institutions. Cloud-enabled technologies help schools increase the efficiency and collaboration of administrative processes, including student recruiting,admission, and retention. They also enhance the operational effectivenessof campus operations and promote new avenues for learning, research, and teaching.

TOP SEVEN CHALLENGES FACING EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS

  1. Scarce financial resources
    Educational institutions must support IT-enabled institutional efficiencies and innovations while balancing IT priorities and staying within budget.
  2. Ever-increasing bandwidth demands
    Schools are consuming ever-greater volumes of bandwidth, so it is
    becoming critical for schools to get their infrastructure right to support this.
  3. Data security
    Securing and protecting valuable institutional data as well as the private data of students and staff is paramount.
  4. Data-enabled institutional culture
    Institutions can use business intelligence (BI) and analytics to inform the broader conversation and answer big questions.
  5. Digital integrations
    It is vital to ensure system interoperability, scalability, and extensibility, as well as data integrity, standards, and governance, across multiple applications and platforms.
  6. Change leadership
    Institutional constituents must adapt to (and leverage) the increasing pace of technological change.
  7. Student-centered institution
    Technology takes an increasing role in defining the student experience on campus—from applicants to alumni.

BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS FOR EDUCATION

• Efficient communication and data-sharing tools
Communication, collaboration, and data-sharing are fundamental tenets of
the education experience, and increasingly schools are leveraging technology tools that promote advanced communication and data-sharing options.
• Cost-effective technology and IT management
Cost is a constant concern. Services that place minimal demands on scarce
internal resources help schools spend more funds on their missions.
• Security of student information
The vast amount of sensitive personal and financial information collected and stored by schools and universities needs to be stored and held securely and in compliance.
• Access to decision-making data
Big data is now being used for strategies such as student retention, course
planning, and back-office process automation.
• Promoting student success
Higher education institutions are placing considerable importance on student success initiatives, with 74% incorporating a student success focus into their IT strategy.
• Physical security
Schools are taking steps to protect students and staff, and are increasingly
interested in integrating security technologies with other platforms.

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