Cloud applications in education: 3 big issues it has with managing them

Nowadays, everyone is talking about the cloud but there is an aspect which tends to get overlooked; the management of these cloud applications. Parents, students and employees all need the correct access to their email, web portals and electronic learning environment, which are moving to the cloud. Ensuring that everyone has the correct access can be daunting and is only one of the major problems that IT deals with. Here are three more issues that schools who have many cloud applications may need to consider.

1. Manual Actions

Since cloud applications tend not to be Active Directory integrated, there is a need for multiple authentication sources, a directory service for internal applications and an authentication source for each application. This makes it very difficult to synchronize user accounts between the different sources, and often leads to many manual time consuming actions. Though some vendors offer support, it is often through a web browser or portal, which still requires many manual operations to manually create, upload, and verify files. When creating accounts for hundreds or thousands of users, any type of manual actions becomes time consuming.

2. Password and Naming Conventions

Standards for passwords and naming conventions for each systems and application tend to vary. Complex passwords are often required but may not be acceptable within a cloud application. In addition, there may be different expiration cycles. One password may expire every 90 days while another every 30 days. This makes it difficult to synchronize passwords between the network and cloud applications and requires the users to have different sets of credentials for each of their applications.

3. Bulk Actions

Often processing bulk actions in the cloud is restricted by the application. For example, creating accounts for hundreds of students at the beginning of the school semester. Many cloud applications restrict the number of actions you can perform at a time or may even require IT staff to work after hours to avoid overloading the network. This makes creating accounts very difficult and creates extra work.