The Cloud in Action: Hosting for Education

Students at computersBusinesses are starting to become more aware of what using cloud systems entails and for those where investment is usually forthcoming and funds are plentiful, it’s possible to future-proof IT systems by starting to integrate into cloud systems slowly. Elsewhere, however, it’s not perceived as being so easy to start making use of cloud hosting and there still seems to be a small reluctance in the public sector and in areas like education to really get started.

It’s perhaps true that the sort of cost savings large businesses experience when using the cloud over traditional rack storage aren’t going to be seen in smaller operations with less data to host and, potentially, less need for complex software or client-facing packages. In many cases, however, the benefits come from usability.

For example, the cloud lends itself perfectly to group working. This means that multiple users in multiple locations can create, edit, rework and design documents, presentations or even multimedia software simultaneously. For schools and universities, this kind of exercise is extremely common but often a bit cumbersome, usually resulting with many students hovering over one laptop.

This sort of potential also offers up great opportunities worldwide. Why shouldn’t, for example, schools from the UK be networking with schools from America on a shared history project? Cloud hosting makes it possible for the top universities to spread information, data and results and to work simultaneously on the findings without detrimenting the usability of the package as a whole.

The potential, too, to share educational software subscriptions through the cloud is massive. Schools and universities in the UK are rapidly moving towards using multiple locations and, rather than a clunky intranet or internal network, the cloud can make software sharing effortless through different locations; ideal for students who need to run models, experiments or design work through a PC.

Cloud computing isn’t just about cost-saving, it opens up the potential to work differently both within and between organisations and it’s just this sort of innovation that is going to appeal to the schools, colleges and universities of the future.

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