Industry experts and technology decision makers continue to affirm the benefits and advantages of a cloud storage and computing system for organisations and institutions. Depending on how your school operates as well as on your organisations’ needs, this will help you see the value in cloud computing as opposed to traditional data storage.
However, some schools and educational institutions are still hesitant in adopting this technology – and with good reason. A whitepaper identified data breaches and lack of due diligence among users as top security risks currently faced by schools. Despite this, the benefits of using cloud data storage continue to be seen in different industries.
As you study the implications of getting a cloud storage for your school, it’s important to look at the reasons why your school needs such and weigh the subsequent risks in order to be prepared and fully utilize its advantages.
Cloud storage & computing – the benefits
Using physical servers within school grounds is already considered outdated and clunky. Maintaining data centres, servers, and making sure security measures are in place can be tedious for any organisation, especially for educational institutions which usually doesn’t have a dedicated IT team.
Despite this, as real-life demands for students get stiffer, educational institutions must prepare and equip themselves with the right tools and systems that will help them to effectively teach kids and prepare them for a successful career. Take a look at some notable benefits you’ll enjoy through cloud data storage and computing.
Efficient and cost-effective for schools
Using cloud data storage can be very cost-efficient for schools as compared to running a physical data storage and a processing centre on their own. Any organisation that uses any kind of network infrastructure has to maintain its own servers and computers for data processing – this requires a dedicated IT team as well as pricey devices and computers. By removing this burden, schools will be able to minimise their IT team drastically, save energy, and avoid repair costs altogether.
Flexible and provides ease for students
Most students will have their own computers and hard drives that are large enough to store class files. But what happens if their these devices are lost or damaged? Since cloud storage is flexible and is widely accessible, students can access education materials whenever and wherever they please. Cloud storage systems also help its users get organised while providing a convenient way to learn with minimal impact on their work and other aspects of their lives.
Seamless and convenient for educators
With cloud storage, teachers within a school can create a central repository of resources that they easily access and share with one another. Teachers can pick the best information and examples to create their lessons and avoid duplication of effort and wasted time. In addition, since many cloud storage services keep track of different versions of files, it is easy to restore the old version and have that available for everyone without needing to run around collecting outdated copies.
Cloud security – the risks and how to address them
Despite the proven benefits and advantages cloud storage and computing can provide to you and your school, a number of risks will always be present. Thankfully, with proper planning and preparation, and by taking a shift in dynamics, these risks can be well-managed and avoided.
Technology use in education must emanate from the experts
Before technology has a chance to really benefit schools, there has to be a fundamental shift in thinking and dynamics among members of top management and decision makers. Technology adoption is usually a big decision that needs to be properly deliberated. Without clearly-set goals and strong will, full tech adoption can be half-hearted and fail expectations.
Since the people in IT would essentially have a deep understanding of the benefits of cloud technologies, IT departments can spearhead technology adoption in schools by influencing key people and the organisations’ staff by demonstrating the tangible positive effects of cloud storage and computing, addressing concerns both from a budgetary and performance standpoint.
Security risks should be known to all users
The use of Internet-based services has its own disadvantages. One of the most common and serious is the security risks from viruses and spams. While a dedicated cloud-based storage has measures in place that will help diminish your exposure to these hazards, some can get past and may lead to major problems.
Most security risks can be avoided by simply educating your system’s users. People who use your cloud storage must have a good grip on how to prevent data breaches by keeping their login credentials safe. More importantly, they must be knowledgeable of spamming techniques which can be entry points for malware and other uncertified software.
Integration between in-house IT and providers must be coherent
For schools with an existing data processing system and IT team in place, it’s crucial to let cloud data providers work around your old system for a seamless transition. A closely-knit collaboration between your in-house IT team and IT experts from your cloud storage provider will not only allow best practices to be shared, it can also lead to an efficient and creative use of techniques and know-how.
A change in perception form the school administrators and decision-makers is a crucial aspect of transitioning from a traditional data solution to a cloud-based one. When knowledge about new teaching technologies is properly cascaded across the organisation, hesitations in adoption can be addressed and will allow a more seamless way of teaching students.