Sunday, August 31, 2014

Going through the Cloud

Various higher education institutions face increasing challenges due to shrinking revenues, budget restrictions and limited funds for R & D. Therefore it leads to a serious issue, regarding the stipends of research scholars.
Some colleges are looking toward business transformation strategies by organizing workshops, conferences and this brings up an ideological shift to enterprise culture to address the people and process sides of that paradigm. On the technology side, one of the most significant potential avenues for transformation is the adoption of Cloud Computing to reduce costs, boost performance and productivity and increase revenue. But unlike other countries, India is still lacking a lot for set the infrastructure of clouds in the institutions.

Basically the complete transformation has to address all three elements; but I will focus here on the technology aspect. Cloud computing is an effective and efficient technology that can provide education and prepare students as per the latest requirements of the job market, everything at a low cost and with no reduction of quality in the scope of education.

Most of the educational institutions of India host their IT services on premises. Shifting away from this model to cloud, be it Iaas or Paas, would allow them to focus on their core business— education—instead of having to allocate resources for things such as technical support, storage, help desks, e-labs and e-assessments. All the institutions could settle for a “pay as you go” model as to share the computational loads with various colleges, which would prevent the need to host and maintain dedicated infrastructures.

Though cloud computing can bring many benefits to higher education institutions, some issues still need to be considered and addressed, among which are:
  Security and the degree to which an institution is willing to relinquish a certain degree of control over that security
·     The legal issues surrounding data sharing
·     The service provider’s ability to ensure privacy controls and protect data ownership
·     The service provider’s ability to provide adequate and satisfactory support
·     The continuity and availability of data

Cloud computing is an attractive option for cost-conscious institutions seeking to reduce financial and environmental outlays while transforming education. This technological advancement can make knowledge available to entire communities, bridge the social and economic divide and prepare future generations of students and teachers to face the challenges of the global economy.

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