Cloud computing is part of the IT field that had a rapid development, with Web 3.0 supporting a brand new trend of software applications able to operate on a number of hardware products, while data is stored within the cloud. With regards to e-learning, many major brands are already providing assistance for educational platforms, like Yahoo, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

Now: is cloud-based technology good or bad for the e-learning business? Here are the pro’s and cons of cloud-based technology.

Pro’s

One significant benefit of cloud-based technology for e-learning businesses is the decrease in operating expenses. Many companies and training providers cannot afford the cost of hardware and software resources required for e-learning. Cloud technology provides a solution by enabling customers to rent the necessary processing capacity from data centers. For others the problem is merely the lack of access to the necessary infrastructure to provide top quality e-learning. As a solution, Blackboard, Moodle and other key players have made cloud-based versions of the applications available.

Here’s a list of the advantages of cloud-based technology:

It enables users to use applications requiring internet connection with minimal software requirements.

It removes the necessity to download and install any specific software in order to use cloud-based technology.

The cost for software and hardware licensing and upgrade is shouldered by the cloud data centre instead of the local system user.

It reduces the requirement for crash recovery since data is kept in the cloud; however, the security of the cloud service provider becomes a strict requirement.

It allows e-learning to be up-to-date with technology trends.

Cons

As mentioned, there are several advantages to having access to cloud-based technology, but there are a few things that require clarification. One important factor that determines the success of cloud-based technology for e-learning is the quality and security of the service provided by companies.

With the remote storage of data and software in cloud servers, a significant concern is the possible sudden system crash which renders users powerless to rectify the situation.

Web connection speed becomes crucial in the efficient performance of e-learning products. There can be an access problem for learners who have internet connection that is not stable.

Price is dictated by data center subscriptions. Over time, it’s possible that it will be more expensive than purchasing the computer software and hardware.

Data security is at risk, thus requiring local backups.

It appears that cloud-based technology will perform a significant part in the use of e-learning by several businesses. It is necessary to look at the benefits and drawbacks of this technology before making a decision. Just like any emerging technology, we have to keep a close watch on how it affects business success.

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