Business Benefits of cloud computing in schools

By James Nicholas, National Sales Manager at Computelec

In a recent post, we discussed cloud readiness strategies and the need to first have a cohesive understanding of the benefits desirable to the school. In this post we explore those benefits from a business perspective.

As with other innovations, Cloud computing requires both a cognitive and operational shift in order to reap the benefits, not to mention a strategic plan put in place. It actually changes the way technology is consumed resulting in great economies of scale. Benefits are as follows:

Savings in Working Capital
If your school chooses the cloud model and takes advantage of a Virtual Data Centre, you could lower expenditure on hardware and backup hardware, making a significant shift from Capital Expenditure to Operational Expenditure. In this scenario, user demand on technology is always increasing and instead of refreshing technology every few years once it fails to meet needs, the cloud costing model sticks very closely to the demand of the users only paying for what you need. The move to cloud and an operating cost model smooths out the payment curve and closely aligns it to actual end-user/school demand. See this short video for an explanation :

Flexibility of Payment
The payment model shifts from fairly unpredictable lump sums to regular ongoing payments which you can scale up or down depending on your service requirements at any given time to assist with forecasting. It’s like getting a taxi each time you want to go out instead of purchasing a new car with associated costs, maintenance, risks and responsibilities – not to mention the depreciating value.

Savings in energy
Reduction in large power costs to keep your infrastructure running and air-conditioned.

Risk Mitigation
By utilising Cloud technology, you can shift the risk of failure to your Cloud provider. You can reduce your Insurance amount and utilise services such as Backup as a Service and Disaster Recovery as a Service in your Business Continuity Plan, backed up by powerful Service Level Agreements.

Ease of access to the latest technology
Liberate your ICT team from having to research, consult, arrange quotes, trials, plan and physically deploy new technology, not to mention renew and upgrade software licenses. Software as a Service pushes out updates campus wide.

Time to deploy
The normal process to design, purchase, configure, install and fully deploy new IT systems can be significant. In the case of new enterprise infrastructure such as servers/storage/SAN’s etc. from beginning to end can be months. With a cloud approach this time to deploy can be down to days.
Once established, cloud technology can then modified and tuned to demand on the fly without going through all the usual physical rigours. This frees staff up and effectively gives the school increased labour from their IT department.

Staff Utilisation
With ICT staff now saving time or getting back time they can be redirected to more strategic ICT and educational goals for the school. Cloud allows the focus to move from base operational tasks to higher level strategic pursuits around integrating IT & curriculum and overall usage of IT in the school and classroom.

At Computelec, we are all about assisting schools to make smart strategic decisions to support both short and long term financial and educational goals. If the Cloud model is something you would like to investigate further, get in touch with us on 1300 36 1988 or via email today.