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Can hybrid cloud give higher learning a leg-up?

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Dave Heyns – Group Sales Director for Education and Research, Dimension Data

Modernising tertiary education is crucial for any country

Every economy needs its people to flourish in the digital age. That means living in a connected, smart, helpful, and automated world. An education institution that’s not able to offer this because its technologies, operations, or research lag, is holding society back. And no students also means no funds.

The game is on for colleges and unis

Education institutions must now compete in offering new ways of learning

Higher learning institutions used to compete at academic level only. Now, they must also compete in new learning methods such as open online courses, ‘anywhere, anytime’ online access, and new fields of study. These depend on how available and secure its platforms are, and how well they perform.

Great platforms need powerful, resilient servers and big-load, low-latency storage. They also need large-bandwidth networks to carry rich media; and intelligent, automated, responsive security to deal with a barrage of threats.

Why as-a-service is a good idea

Bar a few, higher learning institutions don’t have the budget to modernise their tech. They certainly can’t afford the capex needed to rid them of constant upgrade cycles. These will only worsen thanks to technology’s fast progress.

There’s no need to rip and replace universities’ legacy technology that still works. Consider cloud services

But looking at it with an opex view, IT budgets can future-proof them today. There’s no need to replace legacy tech that still works and is close to showing a return. To extend its life easily, quickly, and cheaply, just serve all new or consumption-based functions from the cloud.

It’s time to take the hybrid road

In future, most technologies will be offered as a service. Until then, going the hybrid route – with everyday functions onsite, and new, difference-making functions in the cloud – will help. This enables the institutions to compete for students, funds, and research projects without gutting themselves.

In fact, a hybrid cloud – and, in some cases, an education community cloud – can put money back into their pockets. They can then keep innovating to stay relevant to the economy it serves.

To learn more about how higher-learning institutions can modernise, read our latest thinking article: ‘Why new business model changes for higher education require new it infrastructure strategies.