As further education providers look for ways to save money and make the best use of their resources, one of the biggest decisions that senior leaders may be weighing up is whether to move to the cloud.
Why move to the cloud?
- Moving to the cloud could help your college make significant savings. Straightaway you’ll cut down the cost of maintaining your IT systems as you won’t need to deploy and manage multiple servers. This in turn gives you less to worry about when it comes to software updates, upgrades and backups, which are all done automatically.
- Security is another key priority. With your data securely transferred to a cloud hosting platform you will be able to access it from any device, at a time and location of your choosing.
- With the increasing consolidation of college and training providers into geographically dispersed multi-site groups, staff are having to access data from multiple locations. Moving your MIS to the cloud offers the portability to pick up and access your data from wherever they are working.
Planning your migration to the cloud
If you’re planning on moving, there are some key steps that you will need to take to ensure your migration is as smooth and successful as possible:
- First, make sure that you have a decent internet connection. If you’re not sure about your connection, the UNIT-e team can carry out a simple prerequisites check.
- A thorough assessment of your workloads prior to migration will help determine which databases will need to be migrated to the cloud (and which ones won’t). Some institutions favour a ‘lift-and-shift’ model, while others take the opportunity to re-platform. Again, the UNIT-e team will provide help and guidance.
- As with all projects, it’s also important to think about how you define success. You need to be clear about why you want to move and the benefits to your organisation – is success simply getting rid of your server and removing the need to look after what you are upgrading? Or are you planning to roll it out across your organisation, giving staff the ability to access your MIS from different locations so you are not constrained to one location?
Cloud computing has come a long way in a short space of time and with the flexibility that it offers staff and students, it’s one of the main reasons why we are now seeing more colleges and training providers making the decision to move.