As cloud computing services outperform current infrastructure, with 99.9 percent of uptime or better in many cases, the road to the cloud for schools looks good. Between the flexibility of the cloud and the power of onsite software, your school can map out a cloud strategy that works.

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Here are some simple steps to consider if you’re thinking of cloud computing for your school:

Step 1: Justify cloud services

Start by discovering how much cloud computing is already taking place in your school, and consider how your existing applications could take advantage of the cloud.

Evaluate a web service or hosted application in a test or development environment. Did the service save you time or money? Use any savings to justify future endeavours.  

Step 2: Budget for the cloud

Consider how the cloud gives you a predictable budget and plan for IT resources. Offloading some IT functions to the cloud can free up funds to further develop services for students, teachers, faculty, staff, and parents.     
   
Know when to make your move. Some cloud strategies, such as PaaS, pay off over time, so factor in how long it might take to recoup your investment, and set expectations accordingly.  

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Step 3: Integrate cloud services

Look for ways to integrate onsite applications and databases with cloud technologies to offer more or faster services. But make sure your data is secured in transit, not just at the ends.    
   
Think big—especially if you’re a small school. Cloud services are massively scalable. Who else might benefit? Keep other departments in the loop.   


Here's some further reading in our cloud for education whitepaper:

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Baby steps in to the cloud whitepaper