The need to implement and follow through with digital transformation is increasingly top of mind for higher education institutions as constituent expectations change and technology evolves. In many cases, campus leaders are looking to the sky for answers, as moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud promises to open new opportunities. But what exactly is the cloud and how can it help institutions achieve success and keep pace with the rapidly changing demands of users across the physical and digital campus?
Boiled down into a single sentence, one might say the cloud is a virtual environment that can host computer hardware, software, and data. For this reason, the cloud is often a focal point of digital transformation strategies, allowing institutions to transform and become more agile. In higher education specifically, the cloud can help institutions improve operational stability, increase efficiency, and even reduce costs.
Here are some of the reasons why higher education institutions are turning to the cloud. For more information on the cloud, check out our white paper, The Growing Role of Cloud Computing in Higher Education.
In most instances, hosting applications and data in the cloud is less expensive than hosting solutions on-premises. This is because institutions can avoid some of the costly expenses associated with maintaining and supporting the hardware that was conventionally associated with computing.
In addition, institutions can mitigate some of the costs associated with licensing when they use the cloud because of the flexible nature of the cloud, which enables it to scale on demand. This is handy for institutions when they experience times of increased bandwidth, like during registration or the housing selection process.
The cloud enables institutions to make changes on the fly or make updates to virtual infrastructure more efficiently than traditional environments. Rather than going through potentially painful hardware updates, institutions can apply updates to their virtual resources and continue functioning. As a result, institutions can be more adaptable and address or support unexpected changes more seamlessly without having to shut down operations.
Cloud computing provides on-demand scalability that enables institutions to make adjustments as their needs shift, student demands change, and new market opportunities arise. Institutions can also automate manual operations in order to improve productivity and efficiency across campus, allowing for better experiences and less downtime.
One of the bigger draws to cloud computing is the opportunity to enable better experiences. A lot of the time, cloud environments can reduce load times, which is important for enabling more user-friendly experiences.
The cloud also makes it faster and easier for faculty and staff to connect with students. When student information systems (SIS) and other core platforms are based in the cloud, instructors can monitor students’ progress closely via online course access and offer specific feedback to enable more personalized experiences. Institutions can also monitor experiences and analyze user data to gain unique perspectives and valuable insight. This data can help institutions with students and build more rewarding relationships.
As digital transformation trends continue in higher education, institutions should consider adopting cloud-based solutions that will enable them to open new opportunities, invest in their infrastructure more efficiently, and engage with their constituents on more personal levels. For more information about the cloud and what you should know before making an investment, check out our white paper, The Growing Role of Cloud Computing in Higher Education.