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Digital data has become integral to parts of all our lives, with data security absolutely paramount; likewise, it is imperative that educational establishments give due consideration to where their data is stored. Here we outline some key benefits and some questions to pose to potential suppliers to ensure your decision-making process is as painless as possible.

Most schools are now living with technology as a given in their day-to-day operations. From students’ work to facilitating teachers’ email to hours of classroom preparation, all data needs to be stored somewhere and this storage needs to be safe. Data loss is a problem no one wants to see, especially when hours of work might be at stake, not to mention exam grades.

Cloud storage has boomed for schools and has become one of the most trusted places for data backup; indeed, public sector cloud is expected to take up over half of storage spending growth worldwide by 2018. Cloud storage providers take your data, deliver automatic backup, and ensure the quick restoration of previously backed-up data; however, concerns still remain over its effectiveness, efficiency and usage.

Cost effectiveness

Cloud storage expenditure comes under operating expenditure rather than capital expenditure. This can make it massively more efficient and is a great benefit for finance teams and IT teams alike. It can free up capital expenditure for other larger projects that might be more vital to the running of the school and means IT budget negotiations are easier and quicker.

24/7 availability

No longer does an IT manager need to be present on site in the instance of backup issues. They simply need to have a laptop and an internet connection, wherever they are, and can work on solving any issues that arise.

Data safety

Off-site data storage is always at risk of destruction, which might be the result of theft or natural disaster. Is this a risk you are willing to take? Data stored in the cloud does not hold the same risk. It remains safe and accessible, letting you to breathe a sigh of relief and enables you to focus on projects that might really make a difference to your school and the way it operates.

Efficiency

If you are sick of maintaining massive stack of files, cloud storage backup is the answer. A few clicks ensure your data is saved exactly the way you want it to be. Your IT team is free to focus on development or other important tasks while not being tied up in storage issues. What’s not to like?

If you are sold on the benefits, you are still likely to have some questions. Here we outline a quick checklist of ten questions that will help you to identify which of the providers on your radar is a good fit for your requirements:

  1. What is the frequency of data backup?
  2. Is there a clear data recovery process?
  3. Where is data ownership kept?
  4. What privacy protection is in place?
  5. Who has data access?
  6. What is their personal information sharing policy?
  7. What steps are taken to ensure information security?
  8. How is encryption used and in what form?
  9. How reliable is the provider’s system and what are its failover guarantees?
  10. What are its service level agreements?

Moving your backup to the cloud can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if pupils’ valuable work and teachers’ hard-earned hours are at stake. There are so many benefits, and yet so many considerations. As with any decision-making process, the ultimate question is whether cloud backup for your school is appropriate and necessary. Consider the benefits we have outlined, ask the questions we have proposed, and the decision will be child’s play!