What is the impact of IT on higher education and on how IT is provided in HE organizations in this era of ubiquitous access to high-speed networks?
I recently came across a thought-provoking volume – The Tower and The Cloud: Higher education in the Age of Cloud Computing – published as a free e-Book by EDUCAUSE. It examines the impact of IT on higher education and also on the IT organization in higher education. But it isn’t intended as a book just for IT specialists or for higher education senior administrators (though it should be compulsory reading for these groups of people) – it is intended for all those with an interest in higher education and more broadly in societal structures in the networked information economy.
The book’s description tells us that two forces are work: “On one hand, easy access to high-speed networks is empowering individuals. People can now discover and consume information resources and services globally from their homes. Further, new social computing approaches are inviting people to share in the creation and edification of information on the Internet. Empowerment of the individual — or consumerization — is reducing the individual’s reliance on traditional brick-and-mortar institutions in favor of new and emerging virtual ones. Second, ubiquitous access to high-speed networks along with network standards, open standards and content, and techniques for virtualizing hardware, software, and services is making it possible to leverage scale economies in unprecedented ways. What appears to be emerging is industrial-scale computing—standardized infrastructure for delivering computing power, network bandwidth, data storage and protection, and services.”
Download the PDF of The Tower and the Cloud.