Feb 17 2021

Why Cloud Infrastructure Matters to K–12

Infrastructure as a Service is a cost-efficient and secure solution for districts managing hybrid learning.

Even if every school around the nation reopened classroom doors tomorrow, remote learning — in some form or fashion — seems likely to remain a permanent fixture in education. Knowing this, school systems increasingly recognize a need for cloud infrastructure that can support the evolving demand for distance education technology.

Choosing the right solution, however, may seem intimidating and, in some cases, cost-prohibitive, especially for school districts that aren’t yet ready to invest in a full overhaul of their network environment. This is where the benefits of Infrastructure as a Service come into play.

IaaS uses a cost-efficient, pay-as-you-go model. Schools can access their data wherever there’s an internet connection, eliminating the need for complex hardware or a full data center. Customers benefit from a cloud-based data center with the highest security capabilities, impressive efficiency and flexible, on-demand services.

Is Your School Ready for IaaS?

When it comes to adopting cloud solutions, not all school districts are ready to invest. There’s a significant knowledge gap surrounding the concept of IaaS, including how it affects a school’s existing IT workforce. School systems typically have established teams to maintain their physical infrastructure and data center. Moving to the cloud can potentially change how their IT teams operate.

Steps must be taken to ensure the district’s existing IT staff is ready to function in a cloud environment. With the right approach, IT staff can work more closely with students and support their increased technology needs in the classroom. Additionally, staff can become cloud certified to expand their skill base and eliminate knowledge gaps.

READ MORE: How to create an infrastructure for a remote-ready school.

Significant Advantages Offered by IaaS

In districts that are ready, Iaas could prove incredibly valuable for K–12 administrators, educators and students alike. Here are the top three benefits of Infrastructure as a Service in K–12 education.

1. Pay-as-You-Go System Promises Cost Savings

With a traditional data center, the school bears the responsibility of building and maintaining physical infrastructure. Hundreds of thousands — in some cases, even millions — of dollars are invested into robust equipment to support the maximum capacity needed, yet it’s often used at only 10 to 20 percent of its capability. With IaaS, customers pay only for what they use. The pay-as-you-go model ensures schools get the most out of their investment without sacrificing their budget.

2. Cloud-Based Data Centers Are Secure and Efficient

Security is a major advantage of IaaS offerings. These cloud-based data centers are designed to uphold the highest level of security for organizations of all types. School districts benefit from premium security and robust efficiency at a lower cost compared with traditional options.

3. On-Demand, Versatile Services Give Educators Enhanced Flexibility

In the cloud, schools have access to a series of comprehensive, on-demand services. If teachers want to try out new software in their remote classroom, their IT departments don’t have to invest in new equipment or build out additional infrastructure. Instead, IaaS gives educators the flexibility to try new services with the click of a few buttons.

This article is part of the “ConnectIT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology” series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the #ConnectIT hashtag.

[title]Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology

Nadine_C/Getty Images

Become an Insider

Unlock white papers, personalized recommendations and other premium content for an in-depth look at evolving IT