Schools Shift IT Budgets toward Cloud Technologies

K-12 Schools in the United States Shift their IT Budgets toward Cloud Technologies

According to the ‘CDW-G 2011 Cloud Computing Tracking Poll,’ conducted by O’Keeffe & Co on behalf of CDW-G, “K-12 schools in the United States will spend more than a quarter of their IT resources on the cloud within five years.” The study found “that the vast majority of K-12 institutions are using some form of cloud technology, though most don’t seem to know it.” Results showed that “only 27 percent of respondents to the survey identified their institutions as cloud adopters. But 87 percent reported that their institutions use one or more technologies that are based in the cloud including: Google Docs: 57 – percent, Gmail – 39 percent, and Microsoft Office Live Meeting – 9 percent.

CDW-G 2011 Cloud Computing Tracking Poll Study Parameters

The research is part of CDW-G’s ongoing series of tracking polls covering a range of topics in information technology including operating systems, unified communications, and cloud computing. The Cloud Computing Tracking Poll surveyed organizations in March 2011 across a range of sectors, including 150 in K-12 and 150 in higher education. All participants identified themselves as IT staffers or leaders, including CIOs (11 percent), CTOs (7 percent), directors (36 percent), supervisors (34 percent), and systems engineers (12 percent). For the K-12 survey, organizations with fewer than 2,500 students represented 37 percent of respondents; 2,500 to 9,999 students 38 percent; and 10,000 students or higher 25 percent. There is a margin of error of 8 percent for sector-specific statistics and 2.7 percent for cross-sector data.

CDW-G 2011 Cloud Computing Tracking Poll Results

“31 percent of K-12 institutions said they currently have a written plan in place for adopting cloud computing. 37 percent are currently in the “discovery phase” of cloud adoption, while 28 percent are in the planning stage. Only 8 percent indicated that they are not considering adopting some form of cloud computing technology. Within two years, 17 percent said their IT budgets will be spent on cloud-based technologies. That figure will increase to 27 percent in five years. As well, respondents said they expect to see a 15 percent savings from cloud adoption in two years, and as much as 25 percent in five years. Of those participants who reported adopting cloud technologies, 86 percent said that they have already successfully reduced costs by doing so. The average reported savings was 28 percent.”

Cloud Trends

David Cottingham, senior director, managed services at CDW, said in a statement, “Many organizations are carefully–and selectively–moving into cloud computing, as well they should, because it represents a significant shift in how computing resources are provided and managed. With thoughtful planning, organizations can realize benefits that align directly with their organizational goals: consolidated IT infrastructure, reduced IT energy and capital costs, and ‘anywhere’ access to documents and applications.”

According to the research, the most popular categories for cloud applications among adopters include: “E-mail: 50 percent; File storage: 39 percent; Web conferencing: 36 percent, Online learning: 34 percent; and Videoconferencing: 32 percent. Overall, respondents said 42 percent of their IT “services and applications” have even the potential to move to the cloud. As well, overall, 84 percent of cloud adopters reported realizing savings on application costs, with those savings averaging 21 percent annually.”