Technical Roadblocks in Edtech: Strategies for Success

Knowing the benefits of cloud technology in education is one thing, but making it happen is a whole new ballgame.

A recent report predicts that the edtech industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.6% from 2023 to 2030.

That means — 

  • Increased interest to upskill in the comfort of your space and time. 
  • Higher demand for digital content with the benefit of a collaborative space for people of diverse educational backgrounds.

Interesting fact: Alone K-12 segment accounts for over 40% of global revenue. Gamified learning are being quite an incentive for this massive demand in the K-12 segment.

Healthy growth depends on higher learner engagement. So what does it take to bring an interactive and engaging learning experience? Let’s explore how cloud technology in education can help you retain your user base and help it to scale. 

To begin with — How do you associate the learner’s expectations with the technical requirements?

Some of the prime offerings learners look for in any edtech platform are:

  • Live-streaming of classes
  • Gamified learning experience
  • Offering different learning environments
    – Self-paced learning model
    – Blended learning model
    – Instructor-led training model
  • Support multiple regional languages for a wider reach

Just offering features is not enough, we should be able to scale them as per demand. For that edtech companies should have a solid understanding of what an adaptable and scalable infrastructure looks like. 

  • Should be able to accommodate fluctuating traffic patterns
  • Achieving scale on demand
  • Analytics and reports – real-time scorecards – robust grading system for delivering a proper gamified experience.
  • Most importantly good software for enhanced content creation i.e., better video resolution and sound quality.

Let’s understand the challenges faced by edtech companies while working on implementing the above points.

Technical Challenges Faced by Edtech Companies

  1. Increasing costs of high server capacity
  2. On-demand Scaling of Datacenter to Meet Demand
  3. Limited Cloud Expertise

Increasing Costs of High Server Capacity

On-Premises vs Cloud Technology

Many edtech companies, even in the cloud-first era, prefer on-premises servers as they provide greater control and security over data and applications, as well as the ability to customize the infrastructure to meet specific needs.

Scaling Challenges and the Solution

As the number of learners increases over time, edtech companies need to expand their server capacity to accommodate the growth. That includes adding more containers, storage, and databases, which can result in long processing backups and expensive server management.

This is why companies think of moving to cloud. To gain the flexibility, elasticity, and agility to scale on demand with reliable performance.

Broadly speaking there are two ways:
Rehosting / Lift and Shift Method
Refactoring / Rearchitecting for Cloud

Rehosting / Lift and Shift Method

Opting for a more conservative migration with little to no change to applications. This is why we refer to it as “rehosting” — it was hosted here (on-prem) and then it’ll be hosted there (cloud). It also reflects the fact that we are ‘lifting’ the application from a certain host and ‘shifting’ it to another host and running it.

One of the popular choices has been AWS Application Migration Service (MGN). It allows the lift-and-shift of a large number of physical, virtual, or cloud servers without compatibility issues, performance disruption, or long cutover windows.

Rearchitecting for Cloud

However, to realize significant cost reductions, and gain the reliability and flexibility of cloud scale, companies should consider rearchitecting for cloud.

While rearchitecting for cloud, if there is a lack of proper planning and foresight, it can result in technical debt that can be costly and time-consuming to rectify. Suppose the infrastructure is not designed and implemented with scalability and future changes in mind, it could lead to technical debt in the form of increased maintenance costs or the need to redo parts of the infrastructure later on.

The Role of Managed Service Providers

To prevent technical debt and ensure that infrastructure can adapt to changing business needs, managed service providers can be a good help. They hold distinguished experience in architecting and managing cloud-native solutions like containerization technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes, to deploy and scale applications quickly and efficiently. These solutions can also help reduce infrastructure costs and improve performance.

AWS Managed Services

AWS offers many managed services that enable us to adopt cutting-edge technologies without worrying about operational overhead and maintenance tasks. For example, by leveraging AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) we can focus on developing and deploying applications while AWS manages the underlying infrastructure, resulting in increased agility and reduced costs.

On-demand Scaling of Datacenter to Meet Demand

Unpredictable spikes in traffic can break your application. One of the biggest drivers for adopting cloud computing in edtech is its near-infinite scale to accommodate nearly every imaginable IT scenario.

Technical expertise is crucial to adopt cloud-native technologies. A lack of proper knowledge of cloud architecture, cloud deployment models, and cloud security can lead to poorly designed infrastructure. 

For instance,

  • Improper network design, routing, switching, and load balancing can make it difficult to distribute traffic across multiple servers. 
  • One of the most ignored aspects is security. Inefficient security measures lead to potential data breaches. Given that an edtech platform collects personal data from students, it is essential that appropriate security measures, such as access control, encryption, and intrusion detection, are put in place to safeguard the data.
  • Requires familiarity with different database management systems such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, Oracle, etc. Lacking expertise in database design, performance tuning, and data replication can lead to slow response times, reduced system throughput, and degraded user experience.
Certain managed AWS services like:
  • AWS Cloudformation: Cuts down the manual effort required to provision and manage AWS resources. Through templates and automation, edtech companies can scale their infrastructure up and down quickly and efficiently. 
  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): Provides a secure and isolated environment to control network configuration including IP addresses, subnets, and routing tables, which is critical to ensure systems are available and scalable.
  • AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB): it helps in distributing traffic across multiple servers, allowing the application to be available and scalable even under heavy traffic loads.
  • Amazon RDS: A fully managed service that makes it easier for you to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the AWS cloud. Considerably, reducing the time and cost of maintaining them. 

Limited Cloud Expertise

Cloud infrastructure might look like a logical choice with no ramifications but it’s not true. Cloud infrastructure promises to address numerous challenges, but it also introduces fresh concerns for the user. This is where businesses start facing issues if their engineering teams are not well-versed in cloud infrastructure.

Certain scenarios where you might feel trapped:

  • Underlying hardware failures: AWS has a Service Level Agreement policy for each service that guarantees us a certain percentage of uptime. This also implies that there can be a certain amount of downtime. If the underlying hardware begins to fail, it can cause instances to malfunction, potentially leading to application failure.
  • Replication or Scaling errors: If replication or scaling doesn’t happen across data centers, there’s a risk that new instances won’t be immediately available. Scaling policies may fail if instances are in a data center nearing maximum capacity, negating the purpose of having a scaling policy.

And there can be many more such scenarios. Here as a business owner, we need to be prepared with policies to handle those disruptions.

For lean tech teams, outsourcing these responsibilities to a managed service provider gives them the peace of mind to focus on what’s core to their business. MSPs hold a deeper understanding of every possible fallout in a situation. 

By following best practices like:

  • Template-based approach to Infrastructure provisioning
  • Optimizing costs by analyzing usage patterns and rightsizing resource allocation
  • Incorporating advanced cost-saving strategies like dynamic environments and effective management of spot instances. 
  • Comprehensive security strategy with round-the-clock monitoring of multi-cloud environments for ensuring data protection, access control, and compliance. 

MSPs stay ahead of the curve and ensure business continuity.


As the demand for online learning continues to grow, Edtech companies are exploring the tech landscape to imbibe scalability, seamless datacenter management, and cloud operability. By ensuring the right technical infrastructure in place they can deliver high-quality educational experiences to learners. 

Whether it’s leveraging managed services to scale on demand, adopting containerization technologies to improve infrastructure efficiency, or ensuring operability across multiple cloud providers, you can rely on us! 

Drop us your plan and we will work with you to develop a customized solution that meets your unique needs.

OpsTree is an End-to-End DevOps Solution Provider.

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