Written by: Sachin Nigam, CTO, Goavega Software Pvt. Ltd.
Though cloud computing technologies have been around for a while, the education sector hadn’t given serious attention to cloud migration until the emergence of remote learning models. Cloud migration has undoubtedly been a savior to educational institutions during these trying times. And now with the shift to hybrid learning from the remote learning model in the post-pandemic era, cloud computing still holds its significance in the growth of the education sector.
Cloud migration has numerous benefits in the context of a fast-paced, comfort-oriented environment where ‘quick’, ‘easy’ and ‘cost-effective’ are the latest buzzwords. Institutions that are yet to explore and adopt cloud computing need to get on the bandwagon at the earliest to enhance the learning experience for students while simultaneously reaping other important benefits for the organization. Let’s discuss how cloud migration can be a catalyst for enhanced productivity in the education sector.
- Cloud technology is pivotal to reducing infrastructure costs
Teachers, administrators and students stand to benefit alike with cloud migration. This era of hybrid learning demands easy access to data from anywhere which isn’t practical for an organization that solely depends on a traditional system. Cloud migration isn’t something that is useful only for remote learning. Even as students return to physical classroom settings, cloud technology helps institutions cut down unnecessary costs and operate with greater efficiency. The hardware costs of maintaining a traditional school network infrastructure far exceed cloud-based software expenses. Cloud technology also opens access to an arsenal of tools that educators can choose to pay for depending on their specific needs. A pay-as-you-go model makes cloud a highly cost effective solution. Plus, organizations can save money on power, licenses and support costs.
- It helps achieve greater reach, flexibility and enhanced learning capabilities
With cloud technology, distance is never a barrier to pursuing a course. Learning materials can be accessed from anywhere which offers greater flexibility for students who cannot attend in-person sessions. Cloud opens opportunities for students to access courses from reputable institutions from the comfort of their home. In the context of hybrid learning, collaboration is streamlined with cloud technology. Educators can share assignments or lesson plans after in-person sessions. Cloud migration enhances the in-person learning experience by providing a platform for strong collaboration and feedback. Physical learning sessions are enhanced with cloud filling the learning gaps that were previously unavoidable in the absence of tech-enabled solutions.
- Create immersive learning experiences with Artificial Intelligence
Cloud technology facilitates effortless scaling to handle traffic spikes and peak usage. Cloud computing is an effective catalyst for improving Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities for the education sector. Immersive learning makes use of AI to create learning environments that enable maximum knowledge retention. Courses that employ immersive learning technologies are interactive and have higher completion rates. Since AI-driven cloud is characterized by vast data storage and scalability features, it paves way for immersive, interactive learning beneficial for both teachers and students alike.
- Identify learning gaps and address pain points with meaningful feedback
Data modernization via cloud enables instant feedback and assessment processes. Cloud migration doesn’t just facilitate data storage. It helps make sense of the vast amount of data with meaningful feedback. AI-driven cloud helps identify weaknesses and provides valuable insights for educators to address areas of improvement. It is impossible to leverage AI capabilities with traditional legacy systems. Cloud migration enables analysis of large chunks of data to create tailored learning experiences for students. Data collated can give insights into students’ performance and help organizations better align their resources towards areas that need attention. Unbiased, accurate feedback of students’ learning progress is one of the most significant benefits of shifting to cloud.
- Leverage enhanced security features and achieve compliance
Cloud data is encrypted while in transit and at rest making data storage more secure. Data would not be compromised in case of device theft which is possible with conventional methods of data storage. Organizations that deliver learning materials can do so without compromising on data integrity with cloud technology. Students, on the other hand, can protect their privacy with VPN when accessing learning material via cloud. Automatic encryption of ongoing data and traffic ensures greater security which also helps organizations meet compliance requirements. Security can be cumbersome with legacy systems but cloud migration makes sure data is well protected.
Though the education sector has been relatively slow to adopt technology, the emergence of remote and hybrid learning models have compelled organizations to accelerate cloud adoption. Cloud migration is the need of the hour to keep pace with the evolving needs of the modern world. The benefits of cloud extend beyond just enhanced learning experiences. Educational organizations can reduce costs significantly, ensure better reach, accessibility and flexibility and leverage advanced capabilities for research. Educational institutes could benefit immensely from partnering with dedicated Cloud experts so as to optimize their cloud migration efforts and get customized solutions. A good technology partner can also help optimizing processes to manage finance, human resources and serves stakeholders with insights on employee and student data. To sum it up, cloud migration isn’t just a nice-to-have; it is a necessity in this era of hybrid learning.