Software-defined IT isn't just for cutting-edge Fortune 500 enterprises. School districts across the country are also turning to infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solutions to boost agility, improve flexibility and increase productivity. With a decreased emphasis on purchasing and managing physical hardware, ed tech leaders are able to spend more time using IT to generate meaningful results and optimizing services for students, teachers and administrators.
We reached out to several IT leaders in K–12 to hear firsthand about how IaaS is transforming their environments.
"The great thing about infrastructure as a service is that districts don't need to invest in or maintain hardware. It lets districts purchase virtual servers, storage, hardware and networking components on an as-needed basis."
"With technology advancing so quickly, our district felt the need to outsource it. Our infrastructure needed a major facelift, and it made sense to use a service provider that deals with infrastructure every day. The day-to-day security is something I don't worry about anymore."
— Dr. Matt Robinson, Superintendent, Cameron R–I School District, Cameron, Mo.
"The biggest benefit of IaaS for district IT leaders is that it frees us up to concentrate on technology integration rather than maintenance and installation of servers and hardware. We have to have robust Internet connectivity to prepare for online testing, so we can use the bigger pipe for cloud services and move them offsite, which allows for redundancy and disaster recovery."
— Mike Swanson, Technology Manager, Kildeer Countryside Community Consolidated School District 96, Buffalo Grove, Ill.; follow him on Twitter at @mswanson
of K–12 survey respondents cite concerns over the technical aspects of integrating cloud applications and infrastructure with legacy systems as an impediment to adoption.
of surveyed K–20 respondents plan to adopt cloud-based email applications "in the near future."
SOURCE: "Smart Infrastructure" (Center for Digital Education, 2013)
of IaaS adopters say the service improves their ability to adjust quickly to operational demands for additional servers, data repositories and other solutions.