Cloud Usage Growing in Education, But There's a Need to Manage Usage and Costs

By Matthew Vulpis, Content Contributor  |  October 26, 2022

Digital transformation has helped spark a new wave of technological innovation, bringing forward devices and applications with bigger impacts on the world than ever before. Cloud computing has quickly become one of the most important technologies of the modern era, allowing both individuals and organizations to access computing resources remotely through the Internet.

Cloud computing is by no means a new concept, but the technology has grown to new heights amidst the digital age, thanks to the advantages the technology holds over the older generation of computing. In fact, Gartner's latest projections have end-user spending on public cloud services totaling over $480 billion by the end of 2022, a 21.7 percent increase from 2021.

What truly makes cloud computing so distinguishable from traditional computing paradigms is its scalability, adjustable costs, accessibility, reliability, and on-demand pay-as-you-go services. These benefits have made the cloud the technology of choice among a variety of enterprises. Cloud computing is already serving millions of users simultaneously, with the ability to meet users' requests with high performance and guaranteed quality of service (QoS).

However, though high performance can already be achieved by cloud computing, amid the digital age, enterprises are continuously attempting to push the envelope when it comes to technology, and cloud computing is no exception. Organizations are now attempting to boost the efficiency of daily processes done through cloud computing, leveraging automation and optimization platforms to reach the desired level of efficacy while controlling runaway cost inflation.

"It's one thing to procure cloud services, and another thing to manage those valuable resources," said Ben McGahon, founder and CEO of Kalibr8, a cloud optimization platform that allows MSPs and IT teams within organizations to control multiple clouds, across Azure, AWS, and Google (News - Alert). "The benefits of the cloud are so attractive that more services are moving to the cloud, from compute to storage, real-time voice, video, and collaboration, and XaaS business apps. Many organizations are using different clouds for different applications, often in different regions, so the ability to understand and automate for better outcomes has become quite complex, which led us to build a cloud-native platform that is connected to all services and can be used to calibrate resources and control expenses."

As the capabilities of cloud computing grow with each passing day, as well as the adoption and use of the technology, the SaaS (News - Alert) market is growing concurrently, with projections by some that the global SaaS market spend will reach $240.61 billion by the end of 2022, nearly $100 billion more than in 2021. The high growth rate can be attributed to a growing preference (and requirement) for businesses to reduce costs by outsourcing to cloud computing companies but, as McGahon points out, this also comes at a cost because many organizations have a difficult time managing their clouds. It’s one of the reasons so many are turning to MSPs.

If the SaaS market keeps moving at this rate, the market value will likely reach an upward of $720 billion in 2028, which is a real possibility, as organizations continue to use the automation and optimization provided by SaaS to push cloud computing efficiency. Among the aspects of work processes enterprises are attempting to boost is scheduling done via cloud computing.

"One of the most effective ways to control costs is to embrace advanced scheduling, which is the technique of mapping a set of jobs to a set of virtual machines (VMs) or allocating VMs to run on the available resources in order to fulfill users' demands," McGahon explained. "The aim of using scheduling techniques in a cloud environment is to improve system throughput and load balance, maximize the resource utilization, save energy, reduce costs, and minimize the total processing time."

McGahon explained that cloud scheduling is closely related to multi-tenancy architectures requiring a SaaS scheduler that can dispatch tasks to multiple copies of the same software in a data center.

"Once leveraged, efficient cloud scheduling can offer a plethora of advantages to different industries, with education being a sector that could truly benefit from efficient cloud scheduling through SaaS platforms given that most schools are not in session every day and week of the year," he said. "Why should educational institutions spend money when cloud resources are not as needed in the summer, for example, or during winter break?"

Cloud computing in higher education assists teachers, administrators, and students in their education-related activities. It is poised for continued growth, even though many institutions are concerned about the cloud's skyrocketing cost.

"Schools have become very dependent on the cloud, as it helps teachers to upload learning materials, gives students access to their homework, and makes it easier for administrators to easily collaborate with each other," McGahon said. "The increased adoption of SaaS-based cloud platforms in higher education and growing adoption of e-learning will continue to drive rising IT spending on cloud infrastructure in education from K-12 and colleges and universities. Add to that the need for the cloud in sophisticated research labs and the growing adoption of quantum computing used for advanced projects, and it becomes very clear that the education industry needs tools to turn up and turn down consumption."

McGahon also noted that educational institutions could benefit from automated scaling solutions like the one Kalibr8 provides. "More than the on-off switch, automated scaling enables systems to remain available outside of hours during the term, but scaled to cater for decreased usage and cost savings."




Edited by Erik Linask