4 Common Cloud Challenges in the Higher Education Sector

4 Common Cloud Challenges In The Higher Education Sector

4 Common Cloud Challenges in the Higher Education Sector

The higher education sector is continuously progressing with the latest technological advancements. Universities need to create an excellent experience for students to help them thrive, and one of the best ways to do so is by utilising the newest technologies available.

Cloud computing provides a wealth of benefits for any organisation, and this dramatically helps universities and educational establishments improve their services with these benefits. However, there are also a few key challenges that educational institutions face when considering cloud computing.

In this blog, we will go over the four key challenges that Higher Education institutions face when implementing cloud computing into their organisation so you can ensure that you’re prepared to meet these challenges and provide the best service for your students.

Challenge 1: Security

With so much information on the line, the information of thousands of students, staff, and other critical personnel, any form of data breach or cyberattack could be catastrophic.

The United Kingdom’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport found that 62% of Higher Education institutions reported breaches or attacks weekly, showing how lucrative and targeted these organisations are. With this, it’s even more important to be security conscious and protect your organisation.

While the cloud is more secure than an on-prem system due to the lack of ability to physically breach the server hardware, moving to the cloud alone doesn’t protect you from malicious attackers.

By ensuring that you back up and encrypt your organisation’s most important data, you protect it from harm or being stolen, meaning that you can rest safe knowing that no matter what happens, there’s a plan.

Creating a disaster recovery plan is one of the critical steps in this, as it will allow you to quickly get back on your feet in the event of a disaster, meaning that your students will be affected far less than otherwise.

Challenge 2: Cost

While the cloud is far cheaper than on-premise alternatives, issues such as hidden fees and the budget constraints that educational institutions face make keeping costs affordable a challenge.

With this, knowing exactly what your organisation needs so you can pick the right plan and model and negotiate with providers to get the best deal needs to be prioritised; as an educational institution, every penny counts.

However, a traditional cloud computing cost management solution might not work for your organisation, especially with the high turnaround of students utilising the services and different departments’ different needs.

Using specialised tools to track and manage your resources accordingly will help you save costs in the long run, as leaving unutilised storage within your implementation will be costly and lead to haemorrhaging money over time.

Challenge 3: Integration

Cloud integration, the challenge of bringing together different data sources and modernising them to utilise with your cloud implementation, is complicated within educational institutions.

These institutions are often built upon legacy systems that would be almost impossible to replace and must be worked around. This means that to ensure compatibility, a more diplomatic approach needs to be taken for your cloud implementation to be successful.

For example, if an institution uses a learning management system (LMS) that uses a specific file format that isn’t utilised in your cloud infrastructure, it could lead to significant problems for that LMS and even make your data unusable.

Standardisation of data formats across your organisations will help you ensure compatibility, and selecting a cloud provider that supports as many file types as possible is also vital in ensuring that everything works how you want it to.

Another issue is migration. The sheer number of students within a Higher Education institution that would be using the systems at any given time means that there’s never really a good time to migrate over; it would mean system downtime, which could be a significant issue for any student who needs to work during that period. The best fix for this is migrating gradually rather than in one go.


Challenge 4: Governance

Cloud services make governance for higher educational institutions much more complex due to the many intricacies of cloud computing.

This is because cloud providers involve third-party providers, meaning that you give up governance and control of your data. This takes accountability and security of your sensitive data out of your hands, meaning verifying who is responsible during a security breach can be impossible.

Higher education providers are also held to a higher standard for compliance due to the sensitive nature of the data handled by universities and the institution’s importance. Schools and universities, for instance, hold health data about their students, the unauthorised access of which could be dangerous and costly.

Clearly defining roles and responsibilities in service-level agreements (SLAs) with cloud providers will allow you to ensure it’s clear who’s responsible for what, meaning there’s no confusion if it ever becomes relevant.

By using policies and frameworks to create a clear understanding of what’s expected to meet compliance regulations, you can ensure that you remain compliant and that there are fail-safes in place to stop any compliance breaches from happening, meaning that you can rest assured that you don’t fall into any compliance issues in the long run.

How We Can Help

While the cloud significantly benefits educational institutions, several challenges must be addressed for optimal cloud implementation. By addressing these challenges, you can ensure that your organisation is ready to take advantage of the full power of the cloud.

If you want to start with the cloud but don’t know where to start, contact us today. Our experts will give you a helping hand along the way and get you started on your cloud journey.

Get in touch with us now and see how we can help.

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