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CDW Report: Higher Ed Embracing Cloud Services, Security Main Concern

Higher education institutions have moved more IT services either completely or partially to the cloud, at 39.2 percent of services, than enterprise organizations in general, at about 35 percent, according to a new report on cloud computing from CDW. Among those services offered at least partially via the cloud in higher ed environments, 52.5 percent were migrated from traditional delivery and 47.5 percent are native.

The largest barriers to future adoption of cloud services, according to "CDW Cloud 401 Report," are concerns about security, at 49 percent, lack of trust for the available solutions, at 32.7 percent, and lack of budget for new approaches or solutions, at 22.9 percent. Security was also cited by respondents as the largest concern about current deployments at 27.5 percent.

Less than half of respondents said their financial models for cloud services were accurate within 10 percent of the actual cost, with 27 percent saying they were within 6-10 percent of final cost and only 17.6 percent saying they were within 5 percent accurate. More than a fifth, 21.6 percent, said they were accurate to within 11-25 percent and the same number, 13.5 percent, said that their models were within 26-50 percent accurate and 51-100 percent accurate. Two percent said their financial models were off by at least 100 percent.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Email and storage were the services most likely to be offered via the cloud at 58.2 percent and 54.9 percent, respectively;
  • Bare metal infrastructure was the least likely to be offered via the cloud at 9.2 percent, followed by enterprise resource planning at 18.3 percent;
  • The easiest services to move to the cloud, according to respondents, were email, at 41.8 percent, storage, at 34.6 percent, and Web hosting, at 24.8 percent;
  • The hardest services to migrate were ERP, at 3.9 percent, and bare metal infrastructure, at 4.6 percent;
  • The average time of implementations, from initial planning stages to deployment to the full target population, was 14 weeks;
  • IT was the most likely part of an organization to specifically request a cloud solution, at 61.4 percent, with human resources coming in a distant second at 28.1 percent;
  • Cloud services are divided fairly evenly between compute, storage and applications, at 32.8, 39.1 and 27.7 percent, respectively;
  • A majority of respondents, 62.1 percent, agreed that cloud services are cheap to buy, but expensive or difficult to implement or integrate with other services;
  • 55.6 percent of respondents said the difficulty of migration and integration holds their organization back from deploying more cloud services; and
  • Nearly three quarters — 73.9 percent — of those surveyed said their organization would spend more on servers for compute and storage over the next three years than over the last three.

The full report is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at

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