Demystifying the Cloud: Implications for IT Funding in Higher Education

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.