Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pros, Cons of Cloud Computing

In a June report, Educause ranked cloud computing third on its list of the top IT issues facing higher education. Yet, a Gartner report predicts that 30% of organizations using software as a service, such as for e-mail, will switch back from the cloud to on-premises systems in the next year.

In an article for Information Week, David Crain, assistant provost and chief information officer at Southern Illinois University, explained some of the reasons why his institution is headed back to on-premises service, at least for e-mail.

The university has been using cloud services for the last two years, but Crain found that discounts the institution receives on most technology made cloud services far more expensive than alternatives. He noted that the downtime in cloud service has been “consistently and significantly higher than we experienced with the on-premises solution.” Cloud security issues and the amount of bandwidth consumed are also concerns.

Crain said schools looking into cloud services should investigate private and community cloud offerings, costs, and the complexities of integrating services. He also advised against signing a long-term contract or using a cloud service without a strong service agreement.

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