More than 60 percent of CIOs agreed that cloud computing is a viable strategy for campus ERP applications and will play an important role in their campus IT strategy, according to the 2013
Cloud computing is moving so slowly in this area partly because key ERP system providers haven't really brought cloud services to higher education, said
"It's a costly process and kind of a cultural process for higher ed to say, 'We can do this,'" Green said.
The survey talks about three different types of clouds, classified by the nature of the barriers to their use in higher education: low, middle and high. Low-hanging clouds include email and calendar services, which higher education has largely adopted since
But the other two clouds are farther out of reach. Middle clouds contain customer relationship management and learning management systems, while high clouds include enterprise resource planning systems and high-performance computing.
"It's the middle- and the high-hanging fruit in the survey that's spot on, and it's where we are looking at going and trying to go," Vetter said.
Some CIOs Are Pulling Ahead in the Cloud Game
A CIO panel at
Instead of taking up his staff's time with nitty-gritty hardware and software work, he signed an agreement with Blackboard to host the campus learning management system in the cloud.
Some IT employees fear that they will lose their job as more key services move to the cloud, said
But that's not necessarily true, other CIOs said.
Instead of maintaining hardware and actual applications, universities will have to support integration between different sources and become more of a service brokerage, said
"The cloud really has enabled the consumerization of IT," Young said. "And while that represents huge oportunities, it also presents a challenge for IT in that people can go out and get their own storage."
Instead of running private clouds at the campus level, the
The learning management system is centrally hosted as software as a service and runs from the cloud. The virtual library system is also in the cloud. He likes to move "crown jewel" systems like these to the cloud.
"If there's truly no difference, let's drive it to the cloud or run it on our cloud if we want a different level of accountability with that," Carver said.
But after the panel, he said that while he would move a lot of systems to the cloud, he would not move tightly coupled systems that have different providers. For example, his HR and finance systems have two different providers that already blame each other when something goes wrong. If he were to move those to the cloud, he would get blamed as a CIO for any problems.
Of the seven colleges represented by their CIO on the panel, only
But as an organization, the university cannot support everything that could benefit the university with the resources it has. And at the moment, the university has been preoccupied with other things including construction projects and an upgrade to its ERP system.
After the panel discussion, audience member and CIO Andile Swartbooi from the
"The idea that they're promoting that says, 'Sell the concept, but don't talk about cost' is going to be very difficult for me," Swartbooi said. "How do you sell that if you don't have a cost savings attached to that?"
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