#EUNIS 2011 – 15th June – Morning

First session of the conference for me after 5am start for journey to Dublin.

Sustainable IT – essentially a bunch of ‘cloudy’ stuff. Which is how the weather’s looking, which is a shame – not that clouds are always a bad thing!

First, a presentation from Portugal on ‘A student registration system in the Azure cloud’. Chose Microsoft – lot of background knowledge & expertise, SLAs, easy administration. Use services to manage IDM. International registration – relationship with homeland security managed by services in the cloud.

Next: Nikolaj Lazic, University of Zagreb, Croatia. ‘Cloud computing at HE institution?’. Some interesting points: students using Facebook paradigm to explain the cloud to each other. Doesn’t like moodle – students don’t study books in library, just memorise .pdfs in moodle. Academic staff acceptance – dependent on age/IT literacy/motivation to change; concept of not knowing where docs are/how they are stored difficult to accept. ‘The use of the cloud depends on the people using it’ – probably goes without saying. People over 50 will never get it – ain’t necessarily so, shoudn’t be so, & if it is so, given the demographics, will be a problem.

Last: Paul Hopkins, UK: ‘A study of early adopters of shared services and cloud computing with the HE community’. UK government belief that universities wasting money by not sharing services. FEAST study aimed at senior managers. Institutions not ready for or aware of the agility required to support new service cultures. University of Canberra outsourced all admin processes – had to reduce admin costs whilst improving services. Worked with Wipro, major improvements. STEP-F – practical demo of ESB retrieving info from agnostic student record systems – SITS, Banner, Agresso. Demo’d SOA design to make ESB & connectors independent – very rapid roll-out possibilities. Demo presents a degree verification service. Inherent agility depends on changes in the way of thinking of the traditional IT dept (& university) – systems to services!

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