Rock, Paper, Scissors, Cloud? Data Storage In The 21st Century
It’s time to say goodbye to boxes full of student records piling high in bleak, unorganized storage rooms. Physically storing student data is accompanied by inconveniences such as time consuming document location, potential damage to student records, costs of printing documents, and wasted space. As troubling as those are, the good news is that it’s 2019 and cloud data storage has proven its worth. You no longer have to endure the pains associated with hard copy document storage.
But first, what does it mean to store data in the cloud? It means that as long as the device you’re using has a network connection, you can access the data you’re looking for. The data is actually stored in physical servers located in remote areas that have 24/7 network connection, allowing you to access your data at any time.
Storing data in the cloud eliminates any hardware management that could be a nuisance to IT teams. If an institution opts for an on-premise data storage option, their IT team will be solely responsible for making sure the servers are operating correctly and the devices are all seamlessly connecting to the servers. If the data is stored in the cloud, however, the responsibility of managing and maintaining the hardware falls on the service provider, freeing up your IT team to focus on other tasks.
Similarly, storing data in the cloud is easier for schools to maintain because they don’t have to manage sporadic software updates. As you’ve probably experienced on your personal devices, updates are a frequent occurrence and are vital to maintaining optimal functionality. For large pieces of technology like servers that store data, updates are extremely crucial to making sure the data is stored securely and is easily accessible by authorized personnel. Schools that opt to store data in the cloud are relieved of the burden of updating software on a routine basis.
Another benefit of storing data in the cloud vs. on-premises and in storage rooms is protection from harmful natural disasters. Hardware and boxes of documents are at risk of being damaged from unexpected phenomena like earthquakes, fires, floods, etc. Data storage servers, on the other hand, are located in areas that have low risk of damage from natural disasters. And in the rare case a server does sustain damage, the data can be temporarily held on other servers until the first is back up and running.
Last, storing data in the cloud requires a smaller initial investment to initially set up. Most cloud storage service providers charge a subscription fee to their customers (typically an annual or monthly rate). Setting up an on-premise data storage system, on the other hand, can be much more costly due to multiple initial fees such as paying for hardware, implementation, configuration, and more. Because using cloud storage requires fewer things to be set up to start storing institutional data, the up-front cost is much cheaper, meaning schools that might be tight on cash can still leverage cloud data storage.
All in all, storing data in the cloud presents many more benefits to institutions than amassing thousands of physical documents in storage rooms. Institutions who employ cloud data storage are well positioned for continuous modernization in the future. Are you ready to make the switch? Your staff members will be elated to hear that they won’t have to visit the dreaded storage room for much longer.
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