Cloud computing has the ability to provide many advantages for the education sector, but there are, of course, many barriers when trying to achieve a successful digital transformation to a serverless, cloud native architecture. Along with the healthcare industry, compliance in education is strict and can make the already complicated migration process unbearable. This also isn’t helped by a lack of guidance from official bodies, leaving both physical and online schools to navigate various cloud migration strategies alone.
A successful cloud migration means a compliant one, and schools need to have certain conditions in place to ensure this. Thankfully, there are now examples to lean on of best practices that will leave schools confident they are complying while migrating. This may include some modifications to existing IT infrastructure and processes.
Let’s take a look at the many hurdles, or concerns, that educational institutions face when undertaking a cloud migration and how they can adhere to and even improve their level of compliance.
Concerns about cloud migration in education
Compliance, security, and data protection are paramount to decision-makers here. They need to pinpoint the data they store and manage, and understand the compliance and data protection implications of transferring it to the cloud. This might involve holding sensitive data in on-premise servers, held securely using the school’s current IT infrastructure, or adding additional levels of security for particular types of data.
For IT professionals, the benefits of migrating to the cloud clearly outweigh the alternative, but for educational organizations, there are still some concerns:
- Security – Educational establishments of all types must adhere to strict security and privacy standards and comply with many specific education laws. They must ensure all confidential student information is kept secure through the migration process and beyond. IT administrators must consider data collection, making sure the cloud provider’s practices are transparent and guaranteed with contractual obligations to protect the school’s data.
- Data ownership – Schools own their data and students own their data, but the school and cloud provider is responsible for keeping it secure. IT administrators have to make sure that data ownership regulations are adhered to when selecting their cloud provider. They also need to be able to easily monitor their data security and also see who is accessing what and when.
- Limited Customization – Migrating to a new IT infrastructure may hamper the school’s ability to customize its front and back-end architecture for students and staff. Customization of individual or group workspaces is a key component of a school’s offering nowadays. For example, IT administrators need to be able to seamlessly personalize any cloud desktop with certain applications and access.
Benefits of cloud migration for schools
These concerns can easily be flipped to benefits if all compliance issues are properly considered and nullified.
The advantages to education institutions by migrating to the cloud essentially comes down to four main things: ease of access, cost reduction, centralized management, and improved scalability. With the right cloud provider and tools, migrating end-user computing environments to the cloud is very easy, giving IT administrators more time to focus on creative projects.
By integrating formerly siloed systems in a cloud infrastructure, students, teachers, and administrators can access all school systems from one place. Moreover, cloud migration not only eradicates capital expenditure on legacy systems, but the organizations only have to pay for the cloud resources they use.
Perhaps most notable of all the benefits, schools will be able to attract modern, digitally-savvy students who are looking for a forward-thinking establishment that is offering them the mobile, always-on education experience that is becoming more popular year by year.
Compliance seems to be a subject covered in mystery, requiring a lot of labor-intensive work to understand and adhere to. However, it’s actually quite simple. Essentially, compliance in an education setting involves ticking the right boxes and making sure everything works correctly.
In the case of cloud compliance, educational organizations must have the proper systems and practices in place to satisfy regulations and laws relevant to their industry, such as GDPR, for example.
While educational compliance laws and standards vary across education levels and regions, they usually address the same challenges:
- Data transfer
- Data access
- Data security responsibility
- Data visibility
How does cloud migration help with compliance in the education sector?
While it may seem scary and present many serious risks, if done correctly with the correct tools and partners, the cloud presents many significant benefits to educational institutions. A successful cloud migration can help schools meet ever-changing compliance regulations, which in turn will help them develop an evolving infrastructure.
Bespoke systems and procedures can be deployed across singular and hybrid-cloud environments that carry out continuous scans and security audits to ensure compliance and save IT administrators time.
On-premises solutions can only deliver network-level insights and won’t give you the entire story because of privacy concerns. A cloud platform improves visibility across various networks, security procedures, and more so compliance problems are recognized and rectified quickly and efficiently.
Data security responsibility
The tiresome chore of manually monitoring, maintaining, and configuring your systems to remain compliant is no more. That’s right, automated operating controls and security measures ensure regulations are implemented and enforced on a large scale.
Easier access and management of all systems, permissions, accounts, etc. A seamless cloud environment with all necessary applications for students, teachers, and administrators accessible with ease.
Education institutions are encountering substantial new IT challenges nowadays. From 3facilitating increasingly digital-native pupils to having to adhere to stricter compliance regulations, CIOs are having to make bold changes to the way they approach their institution’s IT infrastructure. They’re also being pressured to reduce costs while enhancing the overall educational experience for both teachers and pupils. Today’s students grew up in a world with connected devices and expect the latest technology in school with seamless ways to access it. To address these challenges, more and more schools are undertaking a cloud native migration utilizing GKE and are quickly realizing how the cloud can aid their compliance adherence.
If you’re thinking about undertaking a cloud migration, talk to the experts first. Contact us here for a free consultation.