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Education Featured Article

September 13, 2012

The Role of the Cloud in Higher Education

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing


There are many use cases emerging for cost reduction with cloud implementations in the education segment. With colleges and universities increasingly becoming dependent on technology – coupled with rising costs and budget cuts – cloud computing is being viewed as a long-term strategy for more and more higher learning institutions.


In fact, there are many examples of universities that have achieved considerable cost reductions by adopting cloud computing, John Omwamba pointed out in a recent article.

“A good case in point is the Eastern Washington University which managed to save $70,000 in a span of three years once they deployed Live@edu by Microsoft (News - Alert) for their email services,” the Cloud Tweaks report said. “Lakehead University on the other hand retains up to $250,000 in annual spending on email services after outsourcing their services to Google (News - Alert). E-mail is just one tiny section of cloud computing but the results are clearly reflective of the revolutionary effects the cloud can achieve in higher learning institutions.”

In addition, a 2011 cloud tracking poll by CDW (News - Alert) showed that 28 percent of the organizations sampled use cloud computing to a considerable extent. In the U.S alone, 34 percent of higher learning institutions are using some form of cloud computing services, only three percentage points behind usage among businesses, which led at 37 percent.

In related news, TargetX recently unveiled two cloud-based tools, introducing new cloud-based services in the area of student retention. The latest cloud-based tools have been developed on the popular and well-accepted Force.com platform of Salesforce.com (News - Alert).

According to Brian Niles, CEO at TargetX, the expansion of the company has arrived at a very important juncture for higher education, TMCnet recently reported. Colleges and universities have an additional pressure for locating and hiring best-fit students. They are also required to hold on to these students through graduation, and ensure advantageous associations over a long period as alumni and likely donors.

“[The new services are] built with TargetX’s unparalleled communication tools so that colleges can create relationships with students, alumni, potential donors and other key constituencies, and so that data and services can be easily accessed and shared by all departments using the system,” Niles said. “Understanding the nature of ‘best fit’ is critical, because it impacts every facet of an institution. The way we look at it, a best-fit student makes your school their first choice, they love it there, they leave it better than they found it, they graduate from it, and then give back to it, financially and otherwise.”

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

 

 


Edited by Jamie Epstein




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