2023 in Edutech – no more Hybrid Hell

Published by Matt Setchell on

Cloud is coming mainstream in 2023, and I hope Hybrid dies a death. In a education sector that is struggling on so many fronts, we need to simplify edtech environments for schools and trusts so they can benefit from great strides in technology made since the pandemic. Even if the government continues to underfund and undervalue the importance of EdTech.

With Cyber attacks and the risks they pose becoming clearer then ever in 2022, education establishments can’t afford to not move their systems and platforms fully cloud based for the additional security it brings. Additionally the funding and expertise is often not as readily available as it has been in the past to keep on premise systems as secure as they need to be, tied into the growing gap in features between on premise and cloud solutions the rationale for migration has never been clearer.

Many schools and trusts are caught in a hellish hybrid nightmare, not fully adopting cloud, and therefore neither getting the benefits or ease of use of cloud, and getting increasingly frustrated by IT in general, especially when seeing the success many are having. They are also investing in keeping many duplicate systems and licences going, as well as having to secure both platforms, and invest in support and management of both.

Is transformation from on premise to cloud possible within the next 12 month on such a scale possible?

We just need to look at the transformation from SIMS to Cloud MIS to see when put in a position of necessity the change will happen. Those in a position to influence the change, whether as part of MSP or those working within schools must not see hybrid as a stepping stone, they must push fully to cloud. its perfectly possible at every stage if properly planned for and implemented. Having been part of a team that have already helped some 25 schools move to full cloud this year, from primary, secondary, private schools and entire trusts. There are many blockers, but when looking at the impact for end users, the change is a natural progressions and actual simplification for them. Why worry about saving locally or cloud, when you can save to cloud without any change in user experience. Why worry about managing devices offsite, which you can enrol within Intune or Google Workspace and create consistency for users?

Those people who are blocking, are often scared of the change.

For example, many schools who have yet to embrace cloud MIS is because of a lack of understanding of what SIMS does – and then being told by someone whose career is based on the software you shouldn’t change. When one of the very many advantages of Cloud MIS is ease of use, decentralisation of data and skills and removal of complex management, support and updates.

The same is true when considering moving to the cloud, blockers are often those who fear they have the most to lose. A lack of investment in their training and support breads fear of change and potential risk of failure coming back to them. When in reality, management in the cloud is best for everyone – and poses no threat to their careers as long as they embrace the change.

What is after cloud?

With some schools now already fully cloud, what is the next step? Savings from on premise infrastructure, duplication of systems, support and management time get turned into more devices and more impact. Connectivity continues to need investment to meet increased demand, and devices that empower users, and don’t block lessons are more vital then ever. The next step is therefore simple – making sure technology is easy to use, easy to access, secure and fully understood is essential.

And it’s that last point that is key. All in education need to embrace technology as we make it more reliable and readily available (moving to a 1:1 world) – staff and students need to understand how it can save time, make work accessible with minimal additional workloads. This is actually the realisation of years of hope and false starts into a credible next phase born out of a global pandemic that necessitated change on a incredible scale.

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