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ERIC Number: EJ864636
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1527-6619
Above-Campus Services: Shaping the Promise of Cloud Computing for Higher Education
Wheeler, Brad; Waggener, Shelton
EDUCAUSE Review, v44 n6 p52-54, 56, 58, 60, 62, 64-66 Nov-Dec 2009
The concept of today's cloud computing may date back to 1961, when John McCarthy, retired Stanford professor and Turing Award winner, delivered a speech at MIT's Centennial. In that speech, he predicted that in the future, computing would become a "public utility." Yet for colleges and universities, the recent growth of pervasive, very high speed digital networks offers not simply access to more efficient computing but rather a new capability and an opportunity to rethink approaches for delivering IT services. These networks are catalysts that point toward an evolving discontinuity in the point of origin for essential IT services. Many institutions are particularly well positioned to garner the anticipated economic benefits of cloud computing models, and such efficiencies are especially welcome in these extremely difficult economic times. Beyond cost-per-IT-unit benefits, however, these networks and cloud computing models renew important questions regarding the role of a particular institution among the community of scholars and students that compose higher education. When colleges and universities consider the next era of IT services in a larger strategic context, the term "above-campus services" may frame institutional objectives for IT service aggregation better than the common, all-industries notion of clouds. Above-campus means that for a particular IT service, a sufficient level of aggregation for efficiency cannot be achieved within one campus but, rather, must be achieved at a higher level of aggregation, beyond a single institution. In this article, the authors discuss the role of above-campus IT services in shaping the promise of cloud computing for higher education. As institutions look to a future of above-campus IT services, institutional leaders need an immediate agenda. The authors propose the following actions for 2010: (1) federal identity; (2) consortium maker; (3) staff development; and (4) policy evolution. Here, the authors stress that assertive leadership today can shape the promise of cloud computing using the above-campus service models that will serve higher education now and into the future. (Contains 13 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A