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Education in the cloud

Peter Nalika | July 12, 2013
Over 50 percent of Prof. Robert Gateru's Kenya Methodist University (KeMU) students always access the Internet during class sessions, they would rather look for content from Google and other online portals than attend physical lectures at the university.

Prof. Robert Gateru, Kenya Methodist University
Prof. Robert Gateru, Kenya Methodist University - Technology has created a huge demand in creating flexibility in learning among students

The tradition way of delivering knowledge to students has slowly changed; access to technology has lowered students' concentration time in class. "It has become a challenge to keep students in a two hour long lecture session without them fidgeting with their mobile devices", says Prof. Gateru.

Modern students expect to learn not be taught, over 20 percent of   KeMU evening students shifted to distance learning programme due to the flexibility in delivering the university curriculum on an online platform.  Speaking during the 3rd CIO100 Annual Awards Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, Prof. Gateru says there's increasing demand in flexible learning mode by students, and especially in Africa.

Technologies have created a huge demand in creating flexibility in learning among students' lives, but are CIOs ready to deliver efficient cloud platforms for the knowledge transfer program? Prof. Gateru says institutions will therefore need to come up with ways to deliver education in a flexible and hosted manner.

The cloud as a perfect storm
James Gicheru, Line of Business Manager, Data Centre Solutions, Dimension Data thinks of the cloud as a perfect storm. The ability to trace, meter and bill clients on how they utilize computing resources is a perfect storm in the world of computing and service infrastructure. Gicheru says enterprises save a lot of time and cost by utilizing a service oriented cloud infrastructure. 

"Before Dimension Data implemented a cloud solution for the Rwandan Government, It was expensive for every ministry to have its own IT platform, data centers, support structures, different security levels, and at the same time all of them looking to make each of these efficient", says Gicheru. 

It only made a lot of sense to put all these into a cloud infrastructure, so that the government of Rwanda can efficiently manage the life cycle of their applications. "It made a lot of sense to have one cloud solution that is fit enough to save different ministries from having to procure their own physical servers, having their own set of security controls or optimization infrastructure", says Gicheru.

All these can be held into one body, the cloud that will deliver the services efficiently, through the self-service pillar, which allows clients to select from a catalogue what service he/she wants from a portal.  Self-service delivery has the ability to integrate third party servers, hardware, applications and hide this complexity from the users.

The cloud platform enables enterprises to run their governance as a single model. This involves compliance to security systems.


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