Moving school operations to the cloud

Moving school operations to the cloud Max Quality | Moving school operations to the cloud
By Tim Cropper-Williams | 12th October 2020 | 15 min read

Schools reopened for a full intake in September with the expectation of returning to as near to ‘normal’ as possible. However, as a result of COVID-19, local lockdowns are continuing to spread across the country; with closures and remote learning becoming the 'normal' for many, more schools are realising the benefits of the cloud.

According to the Department for Education, while nearly nine in ten students returned for the new term, cases among students and staff quadrupled within the space of a week and the number of absent pupils rose by 50%. 

The need to support students and close the attainment gap, as well as increasing pressure from the Department for Education, means that schools must be prepared to continue delivering an appropriate curriculum in the case of closures. For school staff and teachers, this means the ability to access data whilst working remotely is vital - enter, the cloud.

Why cloud software is the answer to your remote teaching concerns  

Online resources and cloud software have enabled businesses of all sizes to continue operating over recent months. This same level of flexibility is required by schools to ensure students receive the same education and opportunities to thrive in our next normal. Schools must investigate methods to strike a balance between traditional and remote learning to support all students – whether in the classroom or at home. 

In a recent survey of more than 400 schools and MATs, over 91% agreed that the ability to remotely access data (be that student, parent, finance etc.) is vital in the delivery of school operations. Schools, like businesses, have proven their ability to adapt to flexible ways of working, with software facilitating the delivery of education under the most unforeseen circumstances. The aim now, with schools reopened, is to continue escalating these digital plans, rather than allowing old habits to become the norm. 

Cloud costs – can you afford to ignore it? 

Inevitably, the pandemic has escalated digital strategies for many schools. Nearly 50% of respondents to our survey stated they had been impacted financially by the pandemic, with many referring to investment in new equipment as a reason why. The decision to switch or update software and hardware often entails steep initial setup costs, not to mention the expense of unexpected repairs.  

Cloud services eradicates these issues. Schools pay for what they use, without worrying about the additional expenses and potential downtime. Good providers will also protect it from attack and ensure that service is uninterrupted, so there’s no negative impact on students’ education.   

For this reason, schools must be conscious of potential risks when choosing their provider. The wrong software may leave your organisation vulnerable to attacks.  And, when it comes to student and financial data, this is a risk that no school can afford.  

Studies show that 83% of schools have suffered a cyber-attack. Today, hackers are likely to take advantage of COVID-19 to target organisations adapting to flexible working. That’s why it’s vital to use reliable, modern technology, and to choose a provider who understands the needs and priorities of the education sector.

PS Cloud - reliable, secure cloud platform for schools

PS Cloud requires double-layer authentication, ensuring only the appropriate users can access it. The system enables users to access your mission-critical IRIS Financials suite wherever you may be, all while protecting your precious data from thieves, hackers and cyber-attacks. 

With PS Cloud, schools benefit from: 

  • A dedicated server environment with no shared databases and proactive remote monitoring 
  • Daily backups to a secondary location safeguard your data and ensure you're always in control 
  • The highest levels of security and stable remote connection, ensuring compliance with strict legislation

Delve into the detail of cloud accounting software with our free infographic. Begin your journey to the cloud today with our range of cloud-based products including cloud HR software and hosted payroll.

About the author

Tim Cropper-Williams

Product Director

Tim Cropper-Williams is responsible for all communication and engagement products at IRIS, including PS Connect, ParentMail, +Pay, BioStore, Truancy Call, IRIS Looked After Call, IRIS Engage and Accountant Go. Tim has worked in the communication and engagement space for over 14 years in training, support, management, sales and product.