Technology & Innovation

There’s more ways than one to be a good (data) host

Data is the lifeblood of the modern vocational education and training industry. With a constant need for providers to gather, access, disseminate and store business and student information, ensuring it is flowing freely and secure is critical to keeping the heart of an education business beating.

There’s just one question. Where’s the best place to keep it?

Navigating data hosting options can be confusing terrain for educators. With a range of solutions available, from managing your own servers on-premise to joining the growing trend towards the cloud, knowing the advantages of each option can help providers make this important decision.

 

1. Host your data at home 

Hosting data on-premise in locally managed servers is the way that most businesses - including education providers - have traditionally managed and stored their data. The advantages include:

 

  • Familiarity

For a long time this was simply how data was managed. This gives many providers the comfort of the familiar (complete with the gentle hum of a server room and an IT support person down the hall).

 

  • Reliability

On-premise hosting can give providers confidence they can limit things like system downtime, which may be perceived as out of their control when using a third party provider through internet access.

 

  • Control

By keeping things in-house, providers assume control over much of the hosting function, from the security of their information right through to hardware maintenance and basic software support.

 

  • Security

Do-it-yourself hosting behind a firewall can be perceived as a safer place for data to reside, in comparison with being shipped to an offsite location that is dependent on an external service.

 

2. Borrow a friend’s place

Educators have the option of hosting their data in servers that are owned and managed by a trusted, third party provider and are located in a safe location off-site. The advantages include:

 

  • Cost savings

Educators avoid having to direct capital towards on-site IT infrastructure - like their own expensive on-site servers - by utilising those that are being provided by the off-site third party provider.

 

  • Maintenance

Managed hosting enables educators to eliminate the challenges of infrastructure maintenance and upkeep. All this is taken care of using hardware and experts supplied by a technology partner.

 

  • Security

Providers who offer hosting services often regard the highest possible levels of data security as business-critical, meaning that customer data is secured with up-to-date security measures.

 

3. Shoot for the sky

Cloud SaaS systems are the most recent - and hottest – trend in education business data management, from smaller providers through to enterprise clients. The advantages include:

 

  • Scalability

There are no in-built limits on growth when educators use cloud software. This leaves them free to scale up and scale down their system usage depending on their business needs in the now.

 

  • Mobility

Cloud computing delivers true mobility for educators. All students, trainers and managers have access to a single source of truth for data, wherever they are, on whatever device at any time.

 

  • Security

Cloud service providers have the capability to deploy advanced security technologies and practices. (VETtrak’s cloud software is certified to the global ISO 27001 security management standard.)

 

  • Cost

SaaS models are primarily subscription-based. This reduces upfront expenditure on new software and hardware, and locks in predictable ongoing costs for premium software and service.

 

  • Agility

Cloud software allows education providers to stay on top of change thanks to ongoing agile development and regular automatic software releases that support education best practice.

 

Flexibility and freedom

There is more than one way to be a good host for your data. Whether it’s on-premise hosting, managed hosting or cloud hosting, each has inherent advantages. In the end, it’s up to each education business to decide which will provide the most freedom and control in the future.

VETtrak offers all three hosting options - including our new cloud offering VETtrak+. Rather than pushing providers towards a particular option, through flexible hosting we seek to support education businesses with their hosting needs, whatever their technology preferences may be today.

Because there is no ‘right’ choice for a modern education business. Though the future is clearly moving towards embracing the advantages that true cloud SaaS can bring a more mobile world, it really comes down to the requirements, preferences and aspirations of a particular business.

 

Explore the cloud with VETtrak Cloud.