Cloud is Calling – Or is it Zombies of Death?
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At Vancouver Island University, the Library and Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (CIEL) increasingly rely on cloud-based services to build capacity and manage costs. Institutional repositories, integrated library systems, digital preservation, learning management systems, media servers and e-portfolio platforms are essential academic enterprise systems, critical to the emerging academic landscape. Yet, at VIU we see a de facto move away from locally-managed to cloud-based infrastructure for these mission-critical systems, where systems are selected, licensed and managed by academic service departments such as VIU’s Library and CIEL, but the connection to the cloud is dependent on IT. Katz et al. (2009) warn that “if the institution does not create a cloud strategy, it may inherit an ‘accidental strategy’ formed around consumer choice.” But when infrastructure needs outpace the capacity of local IT, how to collaborate on strategic, appropriate policy, risk management, and governance models? Informed by Bill Klug’s research, reported at BCNET 2015, we present cloud adoption cases from VIU, followed by discussion. What are the implications of shifting computing infrastructure needs from local IT services to the cloud? How does it change our relationship with IT? Are IT departments happy when we go to the cloud, or concerned about loss of local control? How do IT decision-makers see the promise of the cloud differently than “consumers”? How can we leverage cloud computing environments, such as EduCloud, that require local IT dependencies? And how can we develop institutional strategy where cloud-based solutions have been adopted ad hoc?
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