Report: Educators Adopting Cloud Technology in Record Numbers

March 1, 2013

While cloud computing has already established a foothold with individuals and with companies big and small, there's still another area where the technology can expand: education.

CDW's recent "State of the Cloud" report predicts that within one year, cloud computing will account for one quarter of K-12 schools' IT budgets. Within four years, that figure will be up to 35 percent.

The primary reason for the move to cloud technology, the report states, is data storage; secondarily, schools are also interested in conferencing and collaboration tools, as well as office and productivity tools.

According to the Guardian, moving to the cloud will help school systems save money on everything from printing costs to electric bills, thus freeing up more funds to pay for quality teachers.

"ICT is always a big drain on a school budget," said Phil Jones, a school IT manager. "Any way we can save money is a massive help."

One way schools have cut costs is by storing its data using open-source software instead of paying exorbitant fees for proprietary cloud systems. Rather than employ a "one-size-fits-all" system, Jones says, schools can adapt open-source solutions that fit their specific needs. The cost and flexibility are both major pluses.

While educators remain concerned about both security and technical difficulties with the cloud, their cloud use continues to rise nonetheless. Efficiency, employee mobility and innovation ability are all key reasons for the switch to the cloud, the CDW report noted.

Furthermore, the report indicates that 76 percent of IT professionals in K-12 education say their own personal cloud use has influenced their recommendations in the workplace. People are moving to the cloud in record numbers, and their schools are making the leap with them.