Cloud computing has affected nearly every sector of technology over the last several years, upending traditional methods of data storage and business operation. Companies have adopted cloud-based systems to improve business efficiency, relieve physical systems from the burden of storage, and to cut costs. But the education sector is feeling the effects of this new cloud world as well, albeit at a slower pace. Cost is a huge concern for school systems, and cloud services are aimed at turning the old structures of expensive physical data on their heads. Market research and consulting company MarketsandMarkets predicts a significant increase in cloud implementation into educational institutions over the next few years, after having done some exploring into the future of the cloud/education sector.
VISUAL CONTEXT: GLOBAL CLOUD GROWTH
The group forecasts that the global market for cloud computing in education will more than double in size in the next five years, growing from its current total revenue of $5.05 billion to $12.38 billion in 2019. While North America will remain the technological leader in this sector, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region are to show the most significant traction. Annual growth rate for the global market is expected to be 19.9%.
The report states:
The significant production of inexpensive computers, Internet broadband connectivity, and loaded learning content has created a worldwide trend in which Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is being used to alter the education process. Cloud computing is beginning to play a key role in this revolution.
Of course, it’s not all roses for the market; after Edward Snowden’s leaks regarding the massive digital spying tactics of the NSA, the cloud computing industry was the first to take a hit. Cloud is forecasted to take a dip as the natural skepticism of virtual data storage that so many had come to trust is now thrown into question. “Is using a cloud making it easier for the government to see my digital actions?” and “How reliable is a cloud-based storage system if the government can get in the back door of so many digital systems?” were some of the questions asked after the leaks.
Still, perhaps the second-guessing many have done of cloud-based technologies will not fully reach the education sector, if this research proves true. Regardless, privacy will continue to be a concern for all as schools digitize files and begin to move confidential information storage to the cloud.