Project Horizon

Businesses can be represented by the size of ship they represent; A large business may be represented as a cruise ship – able, grand and powerful with capacity for thousands of guests. But when headed for an iceberg its turning circle may be its undoing. A small cruiser on the other hand may not have the capabilities of a cruise ship, but is far more agile, with the ability to promptly alter course when icy circumstances arise through the Atlantic mist.

This week I did my first Click & Collect at Australia’s favourite hardware store. The experience was woeful to say the least. It took them two days to prepare the simple order, and they ended up having to refund me for half of the items because they were not in stock, despite what their website had suggested. When I arrived to collect the order I had to wait 25 minutes for someone to serve me. I got home only to discover I had been charged for items that were not supplied.

These are all direct symptoms of a business whose systems prevent them from pivoting effectively in order to meet an unexpected change in circumstances.

In my blog about the retirement of the Boeing 747, I discussed achieving product longevity by designing for adaptability and avoiding built-in obsolescence. But how do we design in such a way that allows schools to pivot rather than product when circumstances change unexpectedly, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The answer lies in the cloud. The forced uptake in remote learning is likely to cause a sharp increase in the external traffic to and from a school’s management solution, as well as the storage requirements through an increase in the delivery and submission of multimedia resources. These all increase demand for system and network resources, and may also lead to a demand for functionality that was not previously required, such as tools to fully support remote learning.

By being built natively in the cloud, the Project Horizon platform is able to scale its storage and system resources in line with demand with no interruption or degradation to service. Being web-based, the traffic to and from the cloud has no impact on a school’s firewall, gateway, or network in general. The new platform has also been designed for on-demand availability of the entire feature set; If a school suddenly requires the ability to support remote learning or community engagement, this functionality can simply be activated without any delay or downtime. And because the Project Horizon platform handles all facets of school and learning management from a central interface, there is a significant reduction in the requirement for staff training usually associated with the implementation of new systems.

All of these factors allow even the largest of schools to remain agile, and able to pivot when faced with unexpected change.

More to follow next week!

Tom BeardsworthEducation Horizons Group, Product Marketing Lead