Page 10 - Campus Technology, August/September 2017
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Getting Comfortable With the Cloud
Cloud solutions can drive IT efficiency, improve security, save budget dollars and more. Here’s how four higher ed CIOs made the transition at their campuses.
DURING HIS CAREER, Russell Battista Jr., chief information officer for the University System of New Hampshire, has seen a dramatic shift in how universities approach cloud vendors and software-as-a-service.
While he was an IT executive at Yale University (CT) from 2008–2013, he recalled, people were still nervous about moving data off-premise. “During my tenure there, the cloud was not highly adopted and, in fact, kept at arm’s length,” he said.
But by the time Battista moved to Fairfield University (CT) in 2013, where he eventually served as interim CIO, people were getting more comfortable with the concept of student data in the cloud. “People also could see how it was driving efficiencies. We could buy a solution and go live within a month, instead of taking a year to define requirements.”
When Battista moved to New Hampshire in 2016 to head up IT for the state’s four-university system, he was determined
to lead a well-thought-out transition to software-as-a-service. “I tell campus IT leaders that it is inevitable. The good news is that it is not going to happen tomorrow. We can plan over the next few years, but the important thing is to take some action now to adapt to this new model.”
Moving ERP to the Cloud
Battista isn’t alone in having to do some proselytizing on campus to get both IT staff and other executives comfortable with the cloud. Different CIOs have different philosophies about moving to the cloud, and some tend to be bolder, said Ravi Ravishanker, CIO of Wellesley College (MA). “We want to make sure we are focusing on supporting the core academic mission of the college. Six years ago we began this process, and today we are in the cloud for almost everything.”
One of the common challenges CIOs face is that somehow the campus community thinks you can provide much better
CAMPUS TECHNOLOGY | August/September 2017
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