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 high-tech 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 effectiveness of campus operations and promote new avenues for learning, research, and teaching.
TOP SEVEN CHALLENGES FACING EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS
Scarce financial resources Educational institutions must support IT-enabled institutional efficiencies and innovations while balancing IT priorities and staying within budget.
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.
Data security Securing and protecting valuable institutional data as well as the private data of students and staff is paramount.
Data-enabled institutional culture Institutions can use business intelligence (BI) and analytics to inform the broader conversation and answer big questions.
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.
Change leadership Institutional constituents must adapt to (and leverage) the increasing pace of technological change.
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.