The Digital Revolution

For years, this was the steady state. Then, a breakthrough: Those working to devise a cloud solution for higher education started listening to their prospective customers.

We stopped debating the merits of single or multi-tenant approaches; public or private hosting models; or the many other technical questions standing in their way. Instead, we shifted our attention to a simple question: How can we provide the real-world benefits of the cloud to diverse institutions with unique systems, regardless of whether the solution fits neatly into the tech industry’s preconceived notions of what the cloud is supposed to be?

Here in 2017, the result is a cloud that is tailor-made for the mission – and a wave of higher education migrations that are putting the “slow to adopt” myth to rest.

Institutions responsible for massive amounts of highly sensitive personal information now have the levels of security they need. Those who have become reliant on customizations or private databases – either because users love them or because they are necessary under particular regulatory regimes – can now keep those databases and still upgrade on a mass or cohort scale. They can scale up during periods of peak activity and scale down to conserve resources at other times on the academic calendar. And, all the while, users can enjoy consistent access to the latest features and functionality available today.

At the same time, SaaS software purpose-built the cloud is now available in the areas of HR, finance, student information, CRM, and analytics. Hybrid, on-premises, hosted and SaaS options are all on the table and have introduced flexibility into the equation. Pathways to the cloud have become more pliable for institutions that want to move at their own pace. And key infrastructure providers have partnered with vendors to ensure that institutions can migrate with the confidence that such a significant undertaking requires.

All of this is why we’re seeing more and more institutions move to the cloud in some shape or form – and why analysts such as Ovum predict that global higher education spending on cloud will be greater than $2.6 billion in 2021.

Because technology providers finally began to understand the fundamental differences that exist between business and higher education, a match made in heaven is finally coming to fruition. The cloud’s sliver lining is shining bright at last – and it’s inspiring colleges and universities to retake their rightful place as leaders of the digital revolution.

About the Author:

Kevin Boyce is Chief Operating Officer at Ellucian.


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