ITS Service Catalog

CIO Update - April/May 2016

Sending Technology To The Cloud . . .

Managing conventional technology resources may soon be a thing of the past as IT departments consider migrating to cloud computing.  Cloud Computing simply means moving data and software programs from local servers to the Internet.  This allows faculty, administrators, and students to access and share college applications and information across multiple sources.  Many institutions are moving toward more flexible and cost-effective methods of procuring infrastructure, applications, and platforms while minimizing financial obstacles for growth and innovation. Institutions have also found the IT flexibility and efficiency of cloud-managed applications particularly attractive since cloud providers offer the opportunity to replace traditional campus-based servers, data centers, and applications with remote worldwide data centers to give students, faculty, staff, and administrators an “on demand”, anytime, anywhere experience. 

  • Student benefits. Most students come with high technical needs and expectations when accessing data through multiple devices.  ITS provides reliable and flexible cloud networks between campuses that are secure and accessible 24/7.  Cloud platforms step up to the challenge by providing greater interoperability and scalability while efficiently serving student needs.
  • Faculty/Staff benefits.  College administrators continuously seek better cost-effective ways to rollout accessible resource tools while responding to new and timely learning opportunities.  Traditionally it would take long lead times to implement critical applications while keeping pace with student needs.  Cloud computing enables the College to quickly deliver applications while minimizing the cost of maintenance and upgrades.  Furthermore, ITS can easily control the management of cloud-based platforms during fluctuating low- and peak-performance times.

Despite considering some control and security challenges, cloud computing allows the IT staff to focus on overseeing integration between in-house and remotely-hosted services while developing innovative resources.  ITS has developed a strategy toward a cloud-platform that includes:

  • Research and feasibility of converting existing applications to the cloud as well as conducting extensive due diligence when considering new applications, and
  • Promoting cloud-based solutions whenever possible.

To date, Tri-C has entered the cloud computing arena by introducing a number of applications including MS 365 for Students and Faculty, Accuplacer, Blackboard Connect and Mobile Learn, Blackbaud Online Express Giving and Raisers Edge, WebEx, FAMIS, Ellucian Mobile, SciQuest, and more.