Is private cloud top of the class?

Geraldine Osman

Geraldine Osman is VP International Marketing at Connected Data. She has over 18 years of technology marketing leadership experience, much of which was gained specialising in storage and security. Geraldine has worked extensively with pioneering technologies to bring them to new markets and geographies, defining go-to-market strategies that deliver fast adoption of next generation technology.

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It’s September, which means the summer holidays are over and it’s business as usual. However, the classroom today’s pupils will return to has changed dramatically from that of our generation’s. Instead of blackboards and chalk (or whiteboards and pens) the modern classroom is full of technological devices, phones, laptops and tablets. Today’s pupils are using all kinds of new devices to create digital files and classwork has stretched beyond the simple notepad or poster board into the ether.

"Although it might seem convenient to continue using public cloud services, there are two reasons why this is inappropriate for the school environment; cost and safety."

Furthermore, if UK schools follow the trends started in consumer IT and picked up by the enterprise, then BYOD (bring your own device) could also be making its way into the classroom. The reality is that mobile technology is not going away and some schools (particularly in the US) have realised that they could take advantage of the technology rather than fighting its use. Schools increasingly face the challenges of ever-tightening budgets, limited resources and personnel. If pupils bring their own devices then it will save schools well-needed resources, but as with enterprise BYOD, measures will need to be put into place to ensure the advantages are not embraced at the risk of data security.

The simple facts are that in today’s digital world students need a way to collaborate with peers on projects, research data, or sync documents in real time between group members and teachers also need an easy way to collect assignments or share class notes, without leaving any records vulnerable to data loss; devices such as mobiles and laptops facilitate this.

In addition, administration has the challenge of making legacy IT equipment work within the current technology landscape to ensure both students and faculty have constant access to data.

So, how can schools keep up to date with, and on top of, advances in technology while also protecting their highly sensitive data? As paper file systems become a thing of the past, cloud storage might seem the obvious solution. However, although it might seem convenient to continue using the types of public cloud services we use at home, there are two reasons why this is inappropriate for the school environment; cost and safety. The cost of public cloud can easily stack up (once you’ve hit the maximum storage allowance). But, the greatest concern is the increased risk to a school’s data, a real concern for teachers, administrators and parents alike.

The solution

A private cloud solution can offer schools and universities a more collaborative environment in the classroom while retaining the data securely on-site. An appliance that can give students mobile access, while giving teachers the ability to work from home securely. With private cloud storage, users can upload and share files both locally within the school and remotely at an offsite campus.

The most important reason for opting for a private cloud solution is to regain control of your data. If you use a public cloud service then it’s important to remember your data isn’t 100% secure. With a private cloud solution you own the server where your data is stored giving the IT department complete visibility and control over privacy and location.

A collaborative classroom

Every year schools and universities are changing and modernising. From blackboards and chalk to electronic whiteboards and now laptops and projector screens, everything is constantly evolving and progressing. It is only natural that as our technology advances so too does our way of working and learning.

For today’s pupils being able to use technology to work collaboratively will be key to their development. The ability to sync and share files instantly and securely through a private cloud appliance, means that students can keep their data secure and work in a way that is collaborative and productive.

Do you use private cloud storage? Share your experiences below.

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