Those who were still in school when computers first became mainstream in education probably remember exchanging files using flash drives, CDs or, in the nineties, floppy disks. At the time, the typical computing environment was characterized by bulky beige desktops, low-resolution screens, and for those at the very cutting edge, a dial-up connection to the internet.
Times have changed. Cutting-edge technology is available not just to Ivy-league universities and other well-funded institutions, but also to every other entity in the education sector. Thanks to the recent shift towards a subscription-based computing model, the rise of portable devices, and the ubiquity of internet connectivity and cloud-hosted solutions, any organization in the education sector can now take advantage of the newest technologies.
Here are just some benefits the cloud brings to your educational organization:
#1. Improve student and teacher mobility
Gone are the days when education was restricted to the classroom desk. Thanks to mobile technology and internet connectivity almost everywhere, students now have the freedom to study at home or on the move. With cloud-hosted applications and storage at their fingertips, educators and students alike can manage their entire digital workflows no matter where they are or what device they’re using. All they need is an internet connection.
#2. Empower stronger teamwork
Before the cloud changed everything, one of the biggest barriers to teamwork was the lack of technology that allowed for collaboration among team members in different locations. Teamwork allows several people to bounce ideas off one another and collaborate over complex projects that simply cannot be handled by one person alone. With the cloud on their side, people can now work together on the same projects in real time. For example, Office 365 allows for co-authoring of documents, while other apps in the suite provide full video- and audio-conferencing and easy sharing of information.
#3. Reduce costs and improve efficiency
Before, only the largest and most generously funded educational institutions had access to the latest technology. They could afford to maintain expensive in-house data centers, high-end workstations, and other hardware. And almost all software commanded a high investment not just up front, but also for every major upgrade thereafter. Today, the subscription model is the norm, eliminating much of the unpredictability of spending for technology. The cloud allows you to have your computing workloads, applications, and data storage hosted in off-site data centers instead of on-premises hardware, which is often more expensive to purchase and maintain compared to cloud-hosting.
#4. Secure your systems
As with every industry using the cloud, cybersecurity has become of primary importance to the education sector. Because educational institutions hold large amounts of personal data belonging to minors, they need to make sure their IT systems are safe and secure from outside threats. Unfortunately, cybersecurity systems and expertise don’t come cheap, especially if you’re relying on in-house systems. Using the cloud for your security and compliance needs, however, gives you best-in-class, real-time protection that proactively protects against threats for a predictable monthly fee.
#5. Scale with demand
Technology should not be an obstacle for any organization's future growth. However, relying on in-house IT has inherent constraints. Scaling up will demand more space and bigger budgets. Fortunately, cloud providers have access to as many computing resources as their clients need. By partnering with cloud providers, educational institutions can scale effortlessly with demand without having to pay for resources they don’t need.
Online Computers provides industry-leading IT solutions and expertise to education providers and other businesses in and around Hanover, Morristown, and Madison, New Jersey. Call us today to arrange your first consultation.
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