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Demystifying the Cloud: Implications for IT Funding in Higher Education

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Key Takeaways

  • Cloud computing both alleviates -- and exacerbates -- several of the historical funding challenges for higher education IT organizations.
  • This ECAR bulletin, reprinted with permission, extends the discussion introduced in a 2009 bulletin by looking more deeply at the economic model underlying cloud computing and its implications for institutional IT funding practices.
  • IT leaders must (1) know their costs before going to the cloud, (2) control flexible spending streams to retain the flexibility of the cloud, (3) be wary of internal chargebacks that stifle adoption, and (4) maintain or enhance financial flexibility within the IT budget.
  • If the promised economics of the cloud materialize, they represent an essential opportunity to reduce the costs of commodity IT services and divert funds to research, development, and innovation through technology.

Sheard Figure 1

© 2010 EDUCAUSE and Philip J. Goldstein. All rights reserved.

Philip J. Goldstein

Phil Goldstein is the President of higher education management consultancy Goldstein & Associates. He is also the the co-founder with Mary Beth Baker of Next Generation, LLC, an IT leadership executive search consultancy. He has served higher education as a consultant and administrator for over 20 years. He held leadership positions in the education consulting practices of Coopers & Lybrand, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, where his work blended the fields of operations and information technology. Goldstein also served in an administrative capacity at the University of Pennsylvania, where he focused on new revenue generation and industry relations. Goldstein is a former ECAR research fellow. He has served as principal investigator and author of multiple ECAR research studies and has been a frequent speaker and author on topics including outsourcing, process reengineering, and the changing competitive landscape in higher education.

 

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