On-Premise vs. Cloud Systems Management for K-12 and Higher Education

Education IT

As the price of storage and bandwidth continues to drop, cloud-based systems management services are becoming more attractive to education institutions that need to reduce licensing costs, avoid hiring additional IT staff and must focus on increasing their level of service to stakeholders (administrators, educators and students).

Although the cloud can supply a cost-effective alternative, education IT managers need to be wary and weigh the alternatives carefully. There is no ‘one model fits all’ solution, and rather than diving headfirst into the cloud, smart education IT managers are first determining how they can maximize the benefits of their existing infrastructure. Many choose an on-premise IT systems management solution. This results in significant cost savings while avoiding what many perceive as the downsides of the cloud.

Many education institutions remain concerned about security, systems management redundancy, functionality and who has access to their data in the cloud. A wholesale migration to the cloud would be costly to reverse, so it makes sense for education IT managers to research and proceed cautiously.

Education institutions must assess their stakeholder needs and infrastructure before deciding on an on-premise systems management solution, or a cloud solution, or a hybrid approach. There are advantages and disadvantages with both platforms and these are subject to the types of systems management software and services under consideration.

Advantages and Disadvantages of On-Premise vs. Cloud Systems Management Solutions

Costs are a primary concern, but education IT managers can’t ignore issues related to security and compliance. Education institutions, which operate under regulatory compliance, should factor in:

  • Third-party possession of confidential data.
  • Stability – what if the solutions provider fails?
  • Increases to subscription service costs over time.
  • Customization and integration issues.

Gartner estimates that the Software as a Service (SaaS) market will grow to 18% of all software sales by 2013, up from 6% of software sales in 2007. The market for SaaS and cloud services is showing strong and consistent growth; however this estimate also shows that, at 82%, the on-premise systems management delivery model will remain a strong contender.

Cloud computing is an attractive proposition for education institutions seeking to make the most of the technology available today at lower costs and lower risk. The upfront investment is low, total cost of ownership is reduced and they only pay for what they use.

So, which is best: cloud or on-premise solutions? The answer is neither and both. Look for a provider who can deliver cloud-based software to remotely manage your networks and has on-premise systems management modules that deliver proactive management of desktops, mobile devices and servers.

Learn how Virginia Tech deployed Kaseya’s on-premise systems management solution to ensure application availability, system’s health and the availability of research data on the network. Download case study now!

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