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Cloud Computing | Feature

Diving Into the Cloud

In a two-part series, CT provides IT administrators with an easy-to-understand primer to help them educate campus constituents about the cloud and what it can do for their institutions.

Is it any wonder that the forecast is calling for cloud? It's a perfect storm out there, with powerful forces remaking the IT landscape in higher education. On one side, devastating budget cuts are pushing IT departments to identify ever-greater cost savings. On the other, the explosion in mobile devices is pressuring IT to provide anytime, anywhere computing with no downtime. And finally there's data--a flood of never-ending data--that need to be stored and analyzed.

Implemented strategically, the cloud can help colleges and universities tackle all of these issues. Indeed, it promises to allow IT departments to support their institutions faster and more cheaply. But the term itself has become so abused that many people on campus have no idea what "the cloud" means anymore. Right now, it's more like a thick fog.

In this two-part series, CT hopes to cut through some of that confusion and help IT administrators explain cloud-based services to their constituents in plain English.

Table of Contents

What Is the Cloud?
Know Your Clouds
How the Cloud Can Improve Campus Operations: 
   Increasing Agility and Speed
   Improving System Reliability
   Providing Anywhere Access
   Data Analysis

In the second installment of our two-part series, appearing in December, CT takes a look at the critical issues facing every institution considering a move to the cloud, including:

  • Does it make business sense?
  • Security
  • Contracts
  • Exit strategies
  • Vendor lock-in
  • Implementation planning

About the Authors

Rama Ramaswami is a business and technology writer based in New York City.

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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