Education — 12 April 2017

The cloud: Helping universities achieve their objectives, faster

“I’m a great believer in moving as much to the cloud as you can. Why would I as an IT Director run a service when someone else can do it for me, often better and often cheaper.” Christine Sexton, Former IT Director at the University of Sheffield

Globalisation is not what it once was; it’s gone digital.

As Futurist Stefan Hyttfors explained at this year’s UCISA17 event: “What’s happening right now as we move from villages to cities, is we have become one globe of 7.5 billion people connected to the same cloud so we can collaborate across waters, in new ways that we never thought possible before.”

And, as we learnt during the keynote sessions, this has created huge opportunities for Universities.

According to Christine Sexton, Former IT Director at the University of Sheffield, cloud technology gives time back to University lecturers so they can focus on the jobs they are there to do. “It gives us the ability to move our employees to supporting the university’s objectives – which are teaching, learning and research – not supporting core services such as email.”

She’s not alone in her views either. Jon Faulkner, CIO at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine agrees, saying: “Every time we look at any new technology we’re thinking cloud first… over time we are moving away from data centres being in-house, to having our content in the cloud.”

Following their keynote sessions at UCISA17 we caught up with Stefan, Christine and Jon to discuss how globalisation is helping Universities think ‘cloud-first’, and the role it plays in supporting lecturers in teaching roles.

To find out more about the key themes at this year’s UCISA17 event, watch our ‘role of IT in helping improve University research’ videos here.

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