September 27, 2011

Higher Education and the Cloud

Ironically, the definition of cloud computing and the IT goal of a university are the same, ”to provide convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.” Therefore, it makes sense for today’s universities to consider cloud computing to meet the needs of administrators, operations staff, faculty and students. Here are just a few of the benefits that a cloud computing solution can bring to a university…
Reduced IT Costs: Every year universities need to purchase bigger and better computers to support newer and faster applications. Cloud computing can eliminate this need and extend the life of PC’s, since applications run in the cloud, and not on the PC. In a cloud computing environment fewer servers are needed and data centers can be smaller. This paves the way for a greener university as less energy is consumed and cooling costs are reduced and shifts IT expenses from capital to operational budgets, giving the university greater operational flexibility.
Educational Gains: Cloud computing allows universities to offer ubiquitous access to educational programs whether private (classroom) or public (web-based), deploy the latest advancements in distance and e-learning technologies and rollout new educational programs quicker. Another bonus is that many apps are free, providing faculty with a wider variety of teaching tools to reach students.
Address the BYOD Phenomenon: Cloud computing is the perfect solution to address the challenges brought on by the mass array of end systems that students, faculty and staff are bringing to campus. Applications in the cloud are able to facilitate the use of these personal devices wherever they are and allow them to gain access to network applications and services without compromising security.
Visit us at Educause, booth # 637, to learn more about cloud computing and how cloud-based services can benefit your university.
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