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Sparkrock Cloud Series

K12 and the Cloud: What You Need to Know

As part of our ongoing series on migrating your data to cloud storage – server banks run off-site by protected hosts – today we look at how cloud migration is an essential tool for freeing you from outmoded systems, and putting your time and expertise to their best use. Have questions about the cloud? Check out our Cloud FAQs and catch up with the other blogs in this series to get up to speed.

Many K12s are stuck relying on outdated and outmoded hardware and software, some of that tech hovering at end-of-life, by which point you’re on your own for upkeep and repair. Maybe you’re stuck with what you have because the investment of time in learning new systems is daunting. Or perhaps because it’s the last thing you prioritize when assigning monetary resources to more “immediate” concerns. But leaving yourself at the mercy of systems with poor user interfaces, no integration between departments and scattered access levels, or the kind of user speeds that leave loading screens and communication channels chugging along creates a whole host of problems you can’t afford long-term. And the longer you wait to fix those systems, the worse those problems get.

But updating your system doesn’t have to be painful, it doesn’t have to involve time-intensive adjustment to complicated software, and it doesn’t have to blow your annual budget on constant repairs. Migrating your infrastructure to cloud allows you to free up time and space for your own IT teams to further your in-house programs and goals, and maintain control of your data, set access restrictions and determine privacy at scaleable levels. It’s also a less expensive investment: a single annual charge instead of unpredictable and escalating maintenance and repair costs for your on-premise hardware.

Moving your existing systems to the cloud is a way of evolving the tools you must work with, and because it’s a flexible control and management system it futureproofs your approach so you’re not spending time and money constantly upgrading from year to year. And it does so in a wide range of ways.

Things you no longer have to do:

By moving your data offsite you reduce the amount of hardware you have to rely on on-premise, and remove the need to bolt on ever-expanding multiple applications to get the kind of functionality you need. While retaining the ability to effectively manage your systems, with built-in redundancy to make sure you always have recovery options like cloud disaster recovery – if you ever lose data on your own systems, you can recover it from the cloud.

And in the event of malicious intrusion, you don’t want to be dealing with that on your own. Firewalls and intrusion detection systems can prove difficult to configure and maintain, and IDS protocols are prone to false alarms. Cloud security is accurate and responsive in the event of DDoS attacks and other hacking attempts. Cloud security protocols are designed to block, learn from, and adapt to better prevent intrusions. All backed up by teams of dedicated security experts.

How switching to cloud is a smooth transition to better service:

Because all you’re doing is relocating your data to remote, better protected storage, cloud solutions don’t interfere with distributing or using your Client Access Licenses. You free up network bandwidth by locating your primary data off-site, and benefit from the cloud’s access to much higher bandwidth when working with and accessing your data. And with a solution built on Microsoft, you have guaranteed in-country data residency so whether you’re in the US, Canada, or Europe, you know your data is locally stored.

But cloud deployment is only as good as the partners you’re paired with. And that’s why at Sparkwork we pair with Microsoft to take advantage of their first-class security and data storage capacity. They provide the backbone of the cloud storage, we provide the adaptable, less expensive system that bridges their network and yours. And because Sparkrock’s cloud solutions are designed specifically with K12 needs in mind, Sparkrock’s software has ministry reporting options built right into our solutions, so you’ll never be hit with penalties from submitting late or inaccurate reports to meet state requirements.

It’s time to shuck the outmoded and outdated systems weighing you down, and graduate to a better, securer, more flexible solution.

Learn more about technology for K12 in the recent Microsoft and Sparkrock webinar.

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