As more schools and universities embrace online learning—which often requires increased data storage and access to web-based apps and platforms—cloud computing’s popularity is on the rise, according to a new report.
Technavio, a company that offers market research across a variety of industries, has predicted that the global cloud computing market in education will see a compound annual growth rate of more than 26 percent between 2017-2021.
K-12 schools and districts use cloud computing to store and manage data on Internet-based servers, instead of on local servers hosted by the institution. SaaS, or software as a service, models offer access to a software system or platform online, like Microsoft Classroom or Google Classroom. Infrastructure as a service, or IaaS, refers to vendor-hosted data storage.
The findings mirror the picture presented in a recent survey published in EdWeek Market Brief, which found that cloud-computing usage has become the norm in many districts. Of 550 ed-tech leaders surveyed by the Education Week Research Center and the Consortium for School Networking, 80 percent said that their districts use cloud-based software. School officials surveyed said they see cloud computing a way to save time and money.
Technavio’s report identifies market drivers and challenges and offers analysis of four companies: Adobe Systems, Blackboard, Cisco, and Ellucian. The report also breaks down market segmentation by geographic region, end-user (K-12 schools or higher education), and cloud service model.
Cloud services can be less expensive for districts than maintaining their own infrastructure, the report contends, and this lower cost is a major incentive for adoption. Schools can integrate new technologies and store more data without having to update or purchase additional hardware.
The adoption of mobile learning and an increased focus on learning analytics are also driving the market for cloud computing, the analysts say. As Chromebooks, iPads, and other tablets become commonplace in the classroom, cloud computing can help schools and districts manage higher data loads. Instructional software hosted in the cloud often can track and analyze students’ performance, providing the driving engine for personalized learning programs.
In estimating market size, forecast, and segmentation, the Technavio analysts surveyed industry journals, government bodies, and annual reports of key stakeholders. The company also used a proprietary internal repository of data.
Technavio says it identifies market drivers and challenges through consultation with manufacturers, suppliers, and industry experts.