What Are Cloud Services?

So what are Cloud services? Broadly speaking, a Cloud service is when you use a system that isn’t running on your own local servers.

The Covid pandemic has accelerated the use of Cloud services, examples of which are Zoom, MS365 and Google Workspace. These are Cloud services that you can access from any Internet connected device.

The adoption of Cloud services was alre ady gathering pace in schools, but many schools were forced to adopt the use of the distance learning capabilities within MS365 and Google Workspace in just a matter of weeks.

Though challenges were faced, it is clear that without the use of Cloud based distance learning tools, schools would have found it impossible to deliver the teaching content that they did.

But what will this mean to schools long-term in what and how they purchase and support systems?

Schools still have a large number of systems and servers located on their local network. In order for teachers and staff to access these systems from home a remote access solution has to be put in place. This adds cost, complexity and risk.

Schools should look to adopt a “Cloud First” approach to procuring IT systems. The benefits of this approach are:

Reduce the cost of the IT refreshment cycle

The support and management overhead switches to the service provider

System updates and feature releases occur in short regular cycles

Cloud services are designed to be highly available

Cloud services are available from any Internet connected device

The traditional way of buy IT is to purchase based on what the maximum requirement might be over the coming five years. This is not only difficult to do, but is also extremely wasteful. Because Cloud services are subscription and usage based, it means the cost of the service directly relates to the rise and fall in student numbers. This means the cost of Cloud services is accurate and easy to predict.

By reducing the support burden created by the use of in-house servers, the support staff are able to focus on providing value added services to the classroom as opposed to fixing problems.

Contact Educa IT today to find out how we can help make the most of Cloud services.

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