Cloud Networking: The Vital Part of the Equation for Universities and Colleges [Article]

Cloud Networking: The Vital Part of the Equation for Universities and Colleges [Article]

Andy Riley, Sales Director at Daisy explores the benefits of cloud networking for this new generation of hybrid learning…

Eyes to the front, reader. It’s March 2020 and in a quite literal overnight transformation, UK colleges and universities have made the switch to online teaching and learning. For some it’s an entirely new ball game, for others it’s a simple pivot, either way, one thing has become clear – technology has raised its hand to answer the sector’s most pressing question: “How are we going to do this?” and in answering, goes on to be the shining star of its class; the first-class honours student of education of which IT managers and CIOs can be proud.

As lecture theatres and classrooms sat empty, their virtual counterparts filled to the e-rafters as the likes of Zoom, Teams, Skype and other such alternatives were brought to the fore. Together, teaching staff adapted and students adjusted in order to embrace new systems that would help them sit out a global emergency.

Fast forward an entire school year (and then some), it’s clear that online learning is here for the duration. But, now that the global emergency shows signs of waning, how will technology answer the next question of “What now?”

Education has been progressing steadily in becoming smarter for a while now. For example, the use of WiFi can now be used to interpret patterns between dwindling attendance to concentrated location hotspots to help identify students who may not otherwise be speaking up and may otherwise fall under the radar – a major advantage in tackling mental health struggles. Similarly, managed cloud solutions have been adopted to mitigate the costly and labour-intensive process of installing additional hardware throughout the busy Clearing process. But pressures also existed before COVID, such as the delivering of more enriched, personalised learning experiences and increased operational efficiencies. So as great as the progress is, it was progress for a time when education was carried out purely on-site. Today, those pressures still need to be addressed, but must now also work alongside the new, more hybrid learning challenges posed by the pandemic. As a result, there is now also a need for the provision of pro-active infrastructure strategies that can focus students and empower staff when away from campus.

Attempting to solve this equation can often lead to an increasingly complex and distributed IT environment. One that needs to remain secure and robust in a sector battling with limited resources yet needs to be fast, agile and scalable in order to support the needs of today and those – whatever they may be in whatever the circumstances – of the future.

Luckily, solutions do exist out there that can help reduce the need to mix many different technologies into a solution that just isn’t quite right. ExtremeCloud IQ delivered by Daisy, is an end-to-end cloud-driven networking technology that delivers the flexible, agile, scalable, and intelligent solutions to support the unique and complex needs of your institution. From driving a more enriched and personalised learning experience in order to improve learning outcomes, to allowing administrators to protect student information and satisfy compliance requirements, you can accelerate your digital transformation project with confidence.

This article was originally published in Public Sector Focus Magazine July/August 2021 Issue