Higher education embraces cloud computing just in time

According to Absolute Markets Insights, cloud computing in higher education is expected to grow 25.4% by 2027. This is expected to increase due to implementations of cloud-based solutions to reduce costs and improve productivity and efficiency. Oh yeah, to pivot just in time.

Those of you in higher ed or who track it perhaps have noted a few causes for concern lately.

First, there does not seem to be a significant discount for online remote learning compared to tuition that includes supporting classrooms and other structures that cater to in-person learning. Harvard University announced last year that when the first semester of the school year began, all course instruction would be done online. However, tuition for the full year would remain the same at $49,653. That could mean a $200K tuition bill that will likely be paid by a student loan that will take years to pay back—perhaps by a student who never set foot on the campus.

Second, students who are now learning remotely in traditional colleges and universities report in survey after survey that the quality of the learning experience has gone down. They also report that colleges and universities are ill-prepared for remote learning, and systems are primitive and difficult to use. Outages are common, and the paths of communication between student and instructor are often difficult to navigate.

A final issue is rising competition. The colleges and universities that were already either partly or completely online (typically leveraging cloud platforms) have had a head start of many years, and thus offer much better student experiences as well as lower tuition costs. They have pivoted to full remote learning without any changes or additional investment.

Competition can also come from online training companies that mostly support continuing education but could easily offer degree programs, in many cases leveraging the same content which is better than what you’ll find in higher ed.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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