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Education Survey Identifies the Increase in Cloud-Networking and Key Trends in Infrastructure Plans

Deidra Peterson Specialist, Vertical Solutions Marketing Publicado 22 May 2024

Education Industry Shows Notable Uptick in Cloud Computing 

Digital transformation in education is happening for many reasons. Innovations in education technology in both K-12 and higher education are empowering educators to deliver a more enriched, personalized learning experience, increase operational efficiency and reduce the cost of IT.

Recently, Extreme Networks surveyed over 200 education IT professionals to uncover their insights on the rise of cloud computing, a key element of digital transformation. Given the many benefits of the cloud, it’s high time that education starts taking advantage.

5 benefits of cloud computing:

  1. Flexibility, Agility & Efficiency
  2. AI/ML Driven Insights
  3. Security
  4. Reliability
  5. Cost Savings

Intriguingly, survey results indicate that the use of cloud is increasing, but cloud networking remains a concern. In fact, many education institutions are holding back when it comes to moving their infrastructure to the cloud. IT decision makers’ reluctance is understandable, but we believe that cloud networking can serve as a major digital transformation accelerator for education institutions. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key findings from the survey, plus the advantages of networking in the cloud.

Key takeaways for IT decision makers from the Extreme Networks education survey

Today, 94% of education institutions are hosting at least one solution in the cloud, including:

  • Email/productivity (82%)
  • Learning Management Systems (52%)
  • Student Information Systems (48%)
  • CRM (14%)
  • Curriculum Content (39%)
  • Teaching Devices (20%)
  • Other (6%)

With communications between students, staff and parents and taking place digitally, it’s no surprise that most survey respondents are relying on the cloud for email and productivity, arming administrators with the necessary tools for maintaining constant communications. Learning management and scheduling software follow closely behind email/productivity with the two working in tandem toward a more efficient, productive classroom and school system and by extension a pleasant, seamless learning environment for communications and lesson delivery. Student information systems continue to be a major initiative, with 48% being hosted in the cloud. Curriculum content is also critical, enabling teachers to store educational materially efficiently and access it on demand. Teaching devices are also a key use cases considering the increasing role connected and smart devices play in education today, from interactive white boards to VR devices.

Yet, only 17% of education orgs currently manage their IT network in the cloud. Their reasons for making the move:

  • Lower cost (40%)
  • Network or application availability (35%)
  • Better access to resources from anywhere (48%)
  • Better data back-up (32%)
  • Improved security (23%)
  • Ease of Management (59%)
  • Higher quality of user experience (staff, students, visitors) (27%)
  • Easier funding from expense budget (16%)

At the same time, many education institutions struggle with network issues from patching and upgrades to availability.

  • 58% of education institutions have had issues with their network availability in the last 1-5 years.
  • 68% of IT professionals spend 3-10% of their time conducting network upgrades and patches.
  • 95% wish they could detect network problems before they affect students and staff.

Though adoption of cloud networking in education is still maturing, organizations are seeing the value. 40% of education institutions have plans to move their IT network to the cloud in 1-5 years.

Survey findings tell a powerful story. Cloud use cases are seeing a significant increase in education, demonstrating that schools recognize potential benefits and have started the process of making the move where possible. Though cloud computing is on the rise throughout education, there’s a clear opportunity to take advantage of cloud networking as part of the greater digital transformation strategy.

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