Head in the cloud? Senior management’s role in IT provision
Schools are often slow to adopt new technologies and many have yet to make full use of cloud technologies, despite the obvious benefits they offer. In this blog, we’re going to run through a few reasons why senior management needs to wise up to the new possibilities of technology.
IT direction needs to come from the top
Schools which have a senior management team who are interested in utilising the benefits of IT tend to have the best IT systems. Proactive management seize the opportunities that new technologies offer, but where they fail to educate themselves in best practice there is a danger that their own prejudices will form the basis of the school’s IT strategy, and they will not fully appreciate the benefits new systems offer.
One ideological problem that schools often have with cloud technologies is the worry about whether sensitive data is really secure if it is kept in the Cloud. The result is that systems stagnate, especially administrative systems. Schools see running their own servers as the only solution that will guarantee security.
Yet this is a challenge that many businesses also face. Customer data and industrial secrets also need to be kept secure, both from unauthorised access within the company and externally from hackers or scammers. Cloud solutions exist that provide data security, while still allowing the sharing of data, between teacher and pupil or for group collaboration.
One major advantage of Cloud-based software solutions for schools is that updates occur on a rolling basis without the need for downtime. As an example, hosted SIMS systems use a Microsoft Azure server to provide the same level of functionality that schools with a dedicated SIMS server have, but without the need to have IT staff maintaining the hardware, and ensuring updates and backups have completed.
More of IT for the same budget
With fewer on-site costs, schools can make better use of their budgets, enabling them to subscribe to more software services and have less maintenance downtime. But to make full use of Cloud technologies senior management needs to be interested and involved. Ambitious schools will ensure that at least one member of senior management understands IT technologies. Other schools will lag behind until the rest of the world forces them to catch up.
Senior management and IT – where to find out more
Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss the use of new cloud technology or any other aspect of improving your IT infrastructure.