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Cloud Migration Service Providers: Driving Change For K12 EdTech

  • Published on: May 29, 2024
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  • Updated on: June 18, 2024
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  • Reading Time: 5 mins
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Authored By:

Rishi Raj Gera

SVP - Ed Services

Education technology is a powerful solution for educators to engage with their students. As per the reports, the edtech market in the US was valued at $42.3 billion in 2023 with K12 accounting for the major contribution. However, the recent ransomware attacks on US schools are giving rise to data privacy and student safety concerns. Amidst the edtech fervor, parents and educators are growing vulnerable to cyber attacks that risk crucial data sets such as administrative records, parent social security numbers, and credit card numbers. The attacks underscore data-rich and extremely vulnerable environments of educational institutions, with the K12 sector leading the way. This article delves into the security tightrope walk of edtech and explores the role of cloud migration service providers for both efficiency and security.

An Asian woman and man developer team working on programming software data online at a cloud migration service provider office.

The Emerging Security-First Approach in K12

For K12 edtech developers, the shift to the cloud presents opportunities in many areas: security, efficiency, and accessibility. Armed with this knowledge, edtech developers are leveraging cloud technology to build secure and engaging learning environments. The cloud computing market in the K12 education sector is projected to grow at a CAGR of 18.77% between 2021 and 2026. However, data security challenges prevail.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) has identified K12 education as a target-rich and resource-poor sector. This has not only driven the attention of technology providers but has compelled the White House to step in for remediation. In August 2023, the Department of Education and Homeland Security in the US conducted the ‘Back to School Safely’ event hosted by First Lady Jill Biden. Together, the administration committed to strengthening cybersecurity in K12 through the creation of comprehensive policies, cybersecurity toolkits, and monetary grants.

In April 2024, the US Department of Education announced the Government Coordinating Council (GCC), a new council aimed at a collaborative effort between federal, tribal, state, and local governments to create more resilient K12 digital infrastructures.

These efforts follow the National Cybersecurity Strategy released by the White House in March 2023, which urges the private sector to move the responsibility of securing technology from users to manufacturers. For edtech developers, this is an opportunity to do good work and deep dive into probably K12 education technology’s biggest transitioning period. With security playing a pivotal role in education technology designing for long-term success, edtech players partnering with cloud migration service providers stand to benefit from enhanced data security, regular compliance, and increased education among developing teams.

 

How Robust Cloud Infrastructure Can Enhance EdTech Security

To navigate the security tightrope, developers must prioritize robust data encryption in the age of cloud technology. Cloud is not a magic bullet: it provides scalability not protection. By acknowledging these limitations, edtech developers can leverage the benefits of cloud migration service providers for maximum impact. For instance, a provider can offer data encryption services for data in transit and at rest. They implement strong access controls and identity management solutions to ensure that only authorized users can access sensitive information.

Developers of edtech products are aware of the unexpected surges and failures of applications during peak times. Providers can offer auto-scaling features to support increased loads without compromising security. Another key benefit of cloud migration service providers is their ability to identify and mitigate threats in real time. Through DDoS protection and incident response capabilities, providers can help developers quickly address and recover from security breaches.

 

Addressing the Critical Security Threats

As K12 developers continue to deploy new features, the need to address security vulnerabilities becomes crucial. A well-rounded service provider can offer code reviews, security audits, and automated testing to detect vulnerabilities before deployment. They integrate security at every stage of the development lifecycle to address security issues at the point of occurrence.

While disasters may seem like the end, cloud migration service providers can operate with much-needed clarity and help design and implement comprehensive disaster recovery plans, ensuring minimal disruption and data loss.

 

Striking the Right Balance Between Development and Training

Cloud is a powerful tool for enhanced learning and administration. However, with great powers comes great responsibilities. Teachers, administrators, and learners using the edtech solution need guidance on secure usage practices. Providers can offer training resources and conduct security awareness programs to understand the importance of security and how to maintain it.  Cloud migration service providers can create a win-win situation for K12 institutions and edtech developers by educating users on the best practices for security.

 A cloud migration service provider uploading and transferring data from a computer to cloud computing.

 

Finding the Best Cloud Migration Managed Services Providers

Measure twice, cut once is a wise approach when selecting the ideal cloud migration service provider. By taking a meticulous approach and considering key factors, edtech developers can meet their current requirements and support their future growth and innovation goals.

Certification

Firstly, developers must ensure that the provider is certified by relevant authorities and complies with industry standards. Additionally, it should also offer compliance certifications that are relevant to your requirements.

Expertise and Service Offerings

Developers must assess the provider’s data security expertise and compliance with educational regulations like FERPA and COPPA. Examine the range of services provided and select the ones that meet the uptime and requirements. Can they facilitate migration to a multi-cloud environment? Can the provider enable integration with infrastructure, platform, and software?

Cost and Deliverables

Understanding the cloud migration service provider’s pricing models can significantly impact the overall cost and affordability of the migration process. Does the provider facilitate a pay-as-you-go model that charges based on actual usage of cloud resources? Is there a savings plan available?

Future Tech Enhancements

Developers must evaluate the provider’s commitment to future technology advancements. It’s important to choose a provider that is forward-thinking and continuously innovates. Their roadmap should include plans for integrating emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and advanced analytics.

Return on Investments (ROI)

Understanding the benefits of the provider can help developers justify the investment. Analyze how the cloud migration can lead to cost savings, improved operational efficiency, and enhanced scalability. Developers can look for case studies or testimonials from other K-12 EdTech projects to understand how the provider has delivered value to similar clients.

For edtech developers aiming to maximize their impact, these considerations prove invaluable in crafting authentic impressions through their solutions. This thorough evaluation process will help ensure that your cloud migration is successful, secure, and capable of adapting to the imminent needs of the K12 educational technology landscape.

 

Written By:

Rishi Raj Gera

SVP - Ed Services

Rishi possesses extensive experience in managing a mixed portfolio of responsibilities around Advisory and Consulting in areas such as product adoption, back-to-school readiness, student and teacher experiences, DE&I, accessibility, market expansion, and security, standards & compliance.

FAQs

Cloud migration is crucial for K-12 edtech developers because it enhances security, improves scalability, and increases the efficiency of educational solutions. By moving to the cloud, developers can leverage advanced technologies, provide more reliable services, and create secure, scalable learning environments for educational institutions.

Cloud migration enhances data security through advanced encryption methods, strong access controls, and real-time threat detection. Providers offer comprehensive security features such as DDoS protection, incident response, and regular security audits, which safeguard sensitive educational data and ensure compliance with regulations.

The main challenges include ensuring data privacy, protecting against cyberattacks, complying with educational regulations like FERPA and COPPA, and managing security across multiple cloud environments. Continuous monitoring and updating of security practices are necessary to address these challenges and emerging threats.

Providers mitigate the risk of ransomware attacks by implementing robust security measures, such as data encryption, identity management, and regular security updates. They also offer incident response services to quickly address breaches and develop disaster recovery plans to minimize disruption and data loss.

Developers should seek providers with relevant certifications, expertise in data security, comprehensive service offerings, transparent pricing models, and a commitment to future technological advancements. A proven track record in the K-12 sector is also important for ensuring that the provider understands the specific needs of educational institutions.

Providers ensure compliance by integrating regulatory requirements into their services, conducting regular audits, and offering documentation and support to adhere to standards such as FERPA and COPPA. This helps K-12 institutions maintain compliance and protect student data.

The pay-as-you-go model allows schools to pay only for the resources they use, leading to significant cost savings. This model is particularly beneficial for handling fluctuating workloads and avoids the need for upfront capital expenses, making it a cost-effective option for K-12 institutions.

Cloud migration enables auto-scaling, which automatically adjusts resources to handle increased loads during peak times. This ensures that applications remain responsive and reliable, even during high-demand periods, providing a seamless experience for users.

Providers design and implement comprehensive disaster recovery plans to ensure that educational data is backed up and can be quickly restored in the event of a disruption. This minimizes downtime and data loss, maintaining the continuity of educational services and ensuring resilience against potential disasters.

Cloud migration service providers offer training resources and conduct security awareness programs to educate users on best practices for security. This helps create a secure digital environment by ensuring that all stakeholders understand how to maintain data security and protect sensitive information.

Developers should expect providers to integrate emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and advanced analytics. These advancements can enhance the functionality and security of educational solutions, providing new opportunities for innovation in the K-12 sector.

Developers can justify the investment in cloud migration by analyzing the potential return on investment (ROI), which includes cost savings, improved operational efficiency, and enhanced scalability. Reviewing case studies or testimonials from similar projects can provide insights into the value delivered by cloud migration service providers and demonstrate the benefits of the investment.

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