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Is the cloud right for my school?

An Education Sector perspective on Cloud based solutions

Is the cloud right for my school?The trend toward cloud based solutions

Interest in cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) has risen sharply among small to medium enterprises, including schools, because it allows you to alter your operational and capital cost mix, obtain scalable access to technology resources, mitigate your risk and rationalise your IT resources.

A distinct lack of understanding of where and how cloud computing can be used to transform your organisation is often cited as the biggest barrier to the adoption of cloud solutions.

Developing a clear plan for the potential use of cloud solutions that articulates the benefits and risks and that considers both operational and back office IT considerations within a school, is a critical step in improving understanding of its potential.

Our cloud adoption assessment process provides you with guidance that reduces the ‘hype’, helping you answer the question: Is the cloud right for my school and why?

How could my school benefit from cloud based solutions?

Cloud computing allows you to scale your information technology solutions with a more manageable investment. Access to this type of scalable technology provides an opportunity to remain ahead of your competitors in relation to the range and quality of service and technology you will be able to offer now and in the future. The ultimate advantage that implementing cloud computing provides you with is that of agility.

Agility is provided by allowing you to focus on training and adoption rather than building and testing and the nature of cloud based solutions means that implementation timeframes and deployment costs are reduced which results in benefits being realised as early as possible.

In the education sector cloud computing has the potential to provide a range of specific benefits including:

  • Agility and scalability for growth including:
    • Avoiding the equivalent on-premise licensing and hardware for email provision and access
    • Avoiding the equivalent on-premise costs and capacity for providing large amounts of  information storage space for students and the ability to easily increase storage capacity as requirements change
    • Changes to the nature of your direct IT human resourcing requirements as some services can be procured on a subscription basis which is variable with demand / volume
    • Allowing you to take advantage of emerging trends and opportunities as your reliance on legacy software and infrastructure that inhibits rapid transformation is limited

  • Reduction in costs over the medium and longer term:
    • Most savings occur in the areas of installing software and hardware and upgrading the application
    • No upfront capital expenditure
    • Reduced IT staff costs as the vendor manages the technical environment or an improved maintenance service as staff resources are directed to other IT priorities

  • Subject to your student information system capability, provision of remote access including
    • Portals for teachers to enable sharing of teaching and other related materials
    • Portals for students to enable access to items such as lesson materials and assignment submissions
    • Portals for parents to enable access and the ability to update student information, reports and facilitate parent teacher bookings

  • Assuming appropriate WiFi connectivity is implemented, support for secure and controllable BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environments. This reduces reliance on specific items of hardware used by students, teachers and employees which are the responsibility of the school and can be easily lost/stolen/damaged including user learning devices such as tablets and laptops/notebooks.

How Deloitte Private can help?

Deloitte Private can help by:

  • Identifying opportunities that allow you to take advantage of cloud computing in an appropriate manner

  • Confirming the benefits, costs, risks and mitigation strategies for implementing cloud computing

  • Addressing key challenges with the adoption of multiple cloud based systems, including what integration is required and how co-ordinated business and operational processes will be supported in environments that utilise cloud computing to varying degrees.

For further information please contact our school experts from the right hand section above.

You can also find out more about cloud technology by following this link: Cloud technology - Deloitte Private.

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