Cloud in Education Institutes : A driving force for learning and Research

 In Cloud

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SMAC 3.0 (Social, Media, Analytics, Cloud) and IoT like Technology is driving business innovation and transforming the way business consumes the technology.These technology is disrupting the business and gaining rapid adoption. Open Source culture in these emerging technology provide an open platform for innovation and adoption. Emergence of these technology provides ample of opportunity for students and researchers. The IT Industry is having a specific focus towards SMAC (Social, Media, Analytics and Cloud) and has completely bought into the idea of consuming and contributing to Open Source technology in this space. It is important that the Educational institutions have a clear objective and provide a platform to promote these technologies among students and researchers to be relevant and thrive in this dynamic digital world. Educational institute need to provide a platform to take the researchers and staff to the edge of these technology to capitalize on the opportunity provided by them.

This blog outlines the Opportunities, Challenges and Solutions for embracing these new technologies in Educational Institutes.

Opportunities

Open Source: SMAC technologies are largely driven by Open Source Communities. Open source projects provide tremendous opportunities to explore and learn through collaboration. The Software are developed by and for the user community.

MOOC: Massive Open Online Courses have become one of the most high profile aspects of the use of technology in teaching in recent years with more than 142 universities providing free courses open to all participants via Coursera and edX alone

Market: As per the survey 25% of the IT Spend by large Enterprise business are towards these technology and is expected to have a market share of $ 1 Trillion by end of 2020. There is a huge shortage of skill set on these new technologies.

Open Innovation: Open Innovation is gaining momentum where Universities are seen as Innovation explorers to perform basic science and discovery research that they hand off to companies. Universities can be a vital source of product innovation since their primary focus is to discover new knowledge that sometimes results in cutting-edge technologies.

Challenges

Infrastructure: Most of the Educational Institutions in developing nations are still using Traditional PC based Lab. The PCs are preconfigured with Operating System and Software and are often shared by the students. Many educational institutions still have software running on physical servers which makes it difficult for these expensive hardware to be shared, used/reused for dynamic needs as per requirement

Environment: Lab environment are not agile. They are usually fixed and pre configured to meet the various needs. Labs having a pre-configured setup of these emerging technology are often not available.

Availability and Accessibility of Lab: The Lab Environments are usually allowed to be accessed only during a specific time slot due to lack of enough resources and lack of Networking infrastructure to expose them to be accessed from anywhere.

Skillset: Lack of skill set in Educational Institutes to set up and provide guidance on these technology

Collaboration: Lack of Collaboration or Knowledge Sharing across or within universities among students and researchers to explore and learn.

Solutions

Private Cloud based IaaS: Cloud Computing is not just about reducing cost of Infrastructure, it is one of the major driving force for innovation. Universities and Research organizations need to leverage Cloud to accelerate the speed of Innovation. Open source cloud platforms like Openstack which can be used to provide Infrastructure as a Service within the Institution.

Orchestration Platform: The advent of Cloud and Orchestration has resulted in the infrastructure being treated as code. Universities and Research organization need to leverage these technologies to dynamically create Environments required for learning and research.

Collaboration platform: There are various Open Source Collaboration platform available such as Kunena or Joomla which can be used for technology specific collaboration between Researchers and Students for sharing and learning.

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