Cloud Computing Could Save Hawaii Schools Big Bucks

A news report in the Hawaii Star Bulletin reports that if the state converted to cloud computing, it could cut its capital investment by about 60% to 70% through eliminating the need for costly information technology (IT) purchase, maintenance and upgrades.

Take the Aloha state’s Department of Education, and theorize that it spends $25 million on IT and $40 million on electricity (I don’t know if those are really the numbers.)

“Assume half (nighttime/weekend usage) of that electricity is for servers, air conditioners for servers, computers, printers, copiers and electronic devices that schools don’t shut off when they go home,” says the Star Bulletin. “Power-management software will turn those off, cutting electricity use.” One vendor, GreenIt, estimates that among the 30,000 PCs in Hawaii’s 170 schools, DOE’s program could save it up to $2.5 million every year. Cloud computing provides further savings, as servers aren’t there to use energy. And that should generate another $20 million in savings, says the article.

The article cites further benefits by switching to cloud computing. “Suppose the DOE switches to cloud computing before the next school year starts and the governor uses her emergency powers to cancel IT contracts, saving $20 million. Together with electricity savings, there’s $40 million to send teachers back in the classrooms without raising taxes.”

Sounds like a plan to me. And if the state does migrate to cloud technology from its internally housed school servers, it would be well advised to invest in reliable monitoring systems, such as those offered by Monitis, to safeguard its investment and increase its ROI.