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Getting the best value from ICT Budgets in Independent Schools

Originally posted on 9 January 2017 With ever increasing demands for new and improved technology in independent schools, it is easy for ICT to become a bottomless money pit. Naturally, every school wants to use technology to enhance the learning environment, equip pupils for the digital world that they will be living and working in, as well as ensure that the school is keeping up with its competitors and using technology in a way that will serve to attract further pupils to the school.  The bursar however, has the unenviable job of trying to balance all these laudable ambitions against a limited budget! 

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“Closed Cloud” in Independent Schools

In my recent article, I talked about cloud computing in independent schools, the differences between public cloud and private cloud, and some of the concerns independent schools had about data protection in relation to public cloud solutions.  Interested in finding out about ICT in schools? Take a look at our FREE White Paper to discover more >> Due to these concerns, I am seeing increasing numbers of schools looking to adopt private cloud or indeed "closed cloud" solutions where all data remains in school. So today I thought it would be useful to elaborate on "closed cloud": how it works, what benefits it offers independent schools and how it compares with other types of cloud technology.  Closed cloud uses the same technologies that public and private cloud providers use, but the vital difference is that rather than being hosted at a cloud provider's data centre somewhere in the world, the whole system is physically located in school.  As with private cloud, this necessitates dedicated hardware and thus is more expensive than public cloud. However it has the benefit over both public and private cloud of providing complete assurance around data protection, since all data remains in school at all times. There is also much less reliance on a third party, as although a provider will typically be running and maintaining the system on the school’s behalf, they are not actually hosting the data and therefore should there be a falling out, or indeed a firm ceases trading, there is no vulnerability to the school in terms of their data.  In terms of functionality, a closed cloud solution offered similar benefits to private cloud, including: 

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