Aug 08 2023

Cloud Flexibility and Security; Outside Help Makes Deployment More Efficient

Enquizit has long experience navigating higher education institutions through complex projects.

A hurricane hasn’t hit Florida State University since 2018, when Hurricane Michael’s 70-plus mph winds knocked down trees and cut power to 90 percent of Tallahassee for as much as a week. But university officials know that such a storm could happen again, and it could be worse. Three years ago, they reached out for help.

The school wasn’t completely ready to migrate to the cloud, but it still wanted a disaster recovery solution that would be hurricane-resistant. Enquizit, a CDW company, replicated the information in FSU’s regional data center and deployed it into Amazon Web Services.

For the first time, the university was able to fail over successfully during a disaster drill, exceeding its recovery time and recovery point objectives.

The university system may have skilled and talented IT workers, but it may not have the funding or the time to free them from ongoing and often routine maintenance to make these upgrades happen. Colleges need a guiding hand to help them find their way through all the cloud offerings and show them how to best take advantage of what the cloud contains.

Third-party providers such as Enquizit can lead universities to a better cloud experience, with more security, flexibility and scalability.

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Universities Rely on Third-Party Providers for Help With Cloud Tech

The project that laid the foundation for much of Enquizit’s cloud-based work is associated with the college experience. In 2010, the company helped build the online version of the Common App, the site that enables high school students to apply to multiple colleges with one application.

This site attracts millions of students each year who can apply to more than 1,000 colleges — and they generally have only from August through February to do so. The college application process is stressful enough without adding website downtime due to overload.

Enquizit leveraged cloud technologies to keep the website running under the onslaught of nervous high schoolers, letting the nonprofit organization that runs the Common App focus on its mission rather than needing to assign people to the heavier lift of keeping its network running.

Today, universities including Harvard UniversityNew York University and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania have used Enquizit services to facilitate their migrations to the cloud.

READ MORE: Discover how modern data platforms fuel success in higher education.

Security Matters When Sensitive Data Is Transferred to the Cloud

Colleges’ vast lakes of data are rich targets for bad actors who are looking for personally identifiable information, for proprietary or sensitive material — or who just want to disrupt a system by stealing, altering or even destroying data.

Constant surveillance and logging are necessary to watch for threats within a network, and this is an all-encompassing job. Again, universities need to educate students; assigning staff who have to keep the school’s IT systems running to watch for bugs, bots and other malware takes them away from those duties.

Look at an example from the federal government:, the single sign-on service that gives a citizen access to any government site with only one username and password. As its homepage states: “Protect your users’ information with the highest standards of digital security and user experience. handles software development, security operations, and customer support so you don’t have to.”

Enquizit built based on its experience with the Common App, which also contains sensitive information such as students’ home addresses and Social Security numbers.

Storing this sensitive information in the cloud means that the data is protected with the most up-to-date security tools, and it remains separate from a physical server that could be used as a portal to access other critical data.

When an application is deployed into the cloud, the college inherits the system security that those cloud providers have already built. And the platform built by Enquizit allows universities to take advantage of security updates done by the cloud providers at scale, at a speed that a college couldn’t keep up with while continuing to carry out its responsibilities.

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Technology Upgrades May Require Expert Assistance

Just as cloud deployment can increase security levels, it can also encourage — if not require — app modernization. Some colleges still operate on outdated systems that can’t interact efficiently, if at all, with more modern systems. At the same time, they may not have the proper backup necessary for data to survive a natural disaster, a system failure or a ransomware attack.

Even in less precarious situations, the capabilities provided by Enquizit can let schools move quickly on projects. Those capabilities allow them to be flexible enough to scale up an app when needed — say, during freshman orientation or class registration for the next semester — and retract quickly when the need is no longer there. That also helps a college control its IT spending.

There are many boutique companies that can address individual pieces of these projects — they can monitor security or provide app modernization, for example, but not always both.

Enquizit provides full-stack solutions bringing a host of IT skills together, making sure that a university’s journey to the cloud ends with a smooth landing.

UP NEXT: Here's how higher education is preparing for quantum computing.

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