Sunday, May 29, 2011

Using Cloud Applications in Schools: Two Important Concerns

With our education budgets being cut to the bone, we have no choice but turn to cloud-based solutions. PC Magazine offers some guidance  in the link to the article below as your school district begins to make some decisions regarding cloud services. Two of the biggest questions many school leaders have about turning to the cloud for applications and data storage is “Can your trust these applications to a) Keep your data secure and b) Keep your data from being lost?

Can cloud providers keep your data secure? Perhaps PC Magazine says it best in answer to this question. “If your primary concern is making sure nobody ever sees your data, then perhaps you shouldn’t store it in the cloud.” While cloud storage offers encryption and they tell you no one person inside the company has access to your data, there is no way to verify that it is true.  On the other hand, these cloud providers store their data in massive server farms, and for them to do something that breaches the trust of their customers is definitely bad for business.

Can cloud providers keep your data from being lost? According to PC Magazine, the chances of you losing your data is probably greater on your own personal hard drives and devices than with a cloud provider. With all the server farms and redundant systems and backups that these companies employ, the loss of your data is extremely unlikely to happen. And again, losing customers’ data is certainly not in the company’s best interest.

The reality is simple. Technology sometimes fails, so there is no guarantee with any solution, but in times of tight budgets, cloud providers might just offer the tools we need and the savings we need.

PC Magazine's "The Best Web Apps and Online Services: Get the Most Out of the Cloud"

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