Going All To The Web

After seeing so many SIS presentations now, I’m left with one question the ponder: what does it mean to go fully to the web for major services?

On the downside, you are dependent on your Internet connection for reliable operations, and speed could be an issue if the server or cluster running your system isn’t up to snuff. There will be interface limitations with everything done through a browser. There could be more security risks if usernames and passwords are lost or shared (since any browser will access the content, instead of needed a specific client). If fully hosted, mistakes with upgrades or services would be out of your hands.

On the plus side, the system could be fully cross-platform and fully mobile (accessible from any internet connection at home, other schools, other locations). Home-owned computers can more easily be used for school work, and the imaging process for school computers is simplified. If the system is fully hosted, then there’s one less server and storage solution to handle. In a disaster recovery situation, the system would be fully operational independent of the existence of the school building. A carefully designed system could improve the independence of offices and groups in their use of the system.

These are all issues to consider. Some issues may have answers (such as OBDC connections carrying a fair chuck of data to a local server so that a “degraded system” is operational if connections to the hosted service are severed). It may also be that the loss in some functionality may be worth the gain in other areas for a broader user base (both in terms of sharing informaiton via web portals, and contributing users of the system).

Lots to think about, again.

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