What Does “The Cloud” Mean To Your EdTech Program?
There’s much talk about the cloud. What does it mean to your program and how can you leverage it to reach your program participants and expand your initiatives?
The term “the cloud” really covers just about any website you visit, whether it’s Google, LinkedIn, your online payroll system or any other online business tools. As companies move to SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions, more and more mission-critical data is being stored in some remote location. This is affectionately referred to as “the cloud.”
Let’s say you have a program that promotes positive change in the school environment, such as exercise, anti-bullying or nutrition. What does the migration of your program’s data to the cloud mean for your program?
First and foremost, it means you now have access to a sophisticated, powerful and scalable infrastructure that you could never replicate in-house. The inherent security, reliability and scalability of today’s cloud solutions are astounding.
While you can still find $19.95 website hosting plans, that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about major platforms such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud that host databases and applications that allow your programs to have a national and even global reach. Since the costs are incremental, you’re paying for what you need as you go, so you have little or no initial capital outlay which helps you to budget for your program.
In terms of reliability, most large web hosts have sophisticated capabilities like geographic redundancy and point in time data recovery and offer strong SLAs (Service Level Agreements). Many of the solutions also have an elastic nature to them so that they can scale up for busy times but scale right back down when your demand slows down.
Is there a downside?
There’s a perceived vulnerability when your data is in someone else’s data center. But the major providers go to great extremes to make sure your data is protected, not only from the outside but also from other hosted clients and even their internal employees.
You have to keep an eye on costs. It can be tempting to add more and more devices for testing and other purposes because it’s so easy to do. This can lead to some sticker shock, so it’s important to keep an eye on all the devices in your development and hosting environment to make sure they’re necessary and scaled appropriately.
You might also be tempted to use the almost unlimited power available to solve performance issues that might be better solved by a closer examination of your software. The leading providers include protection from attacks, such as denial of service, and, they apply security updates to their services. They do not specifically protect your application, so you’re still responsible for firewalling your environment and making sure there are no vulnerabilities in the software you are using.
The cloud empowers your organization’s program to have the backing of a professional-grade infrastructure which allows you almost unlimited reach and capability. Your capital costs are basically eliminated but your operating costs will increase. Used wisely it will allow you greater impact by increasing your reach and capability.
MMS Education can help you better understand your data and how to make it work for you. MMS has nearly 40 years of working with schools, systems, administrators, and agencies.
Most importantly, we embrace your mission and deliver on time and on budget, whether you’re outsourcing one specific project or need a complete turnkey operation.
Call us today at 866-382-6116 or fill out this form to see how MMS Education can help you reach, engage, and measure impact in the PreK-12 education market.