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Division of IT presents new cloud computing strategy

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Cloud computing holds promise for Virginia Tech, but as with all technological shifts, forethought is warranted. This new strategy is intended to provide a framework that will guide implementation of cloud services into the future. Photo by Meghan Marsh for Virginia Tech.

Over the course of the past decade, cloud computing has transformed the way information technology solutions are developed and delivered. Starting in 2015 with the Canvas learning management system, Virginia Tech has increasingly looked to cloud-based technology solutions to satisfy mission-critical university needs in domains as varied as admissions, human resources, research compliance, and purchasing. University faculty have employed cloud computing as an enabling technology in research and instruction, while the Division of IT and the university’s broader IT community have turned to the cloud to deliver solutions for streamlining operational processes.

The strategy document, Strategic Recommendations for Cloud Computing, was informed by interviews with faculty and IT professionals across the university. Working group members learned about faculty experiences with cloud computing as well as their perceptions of benefits, challenges, and opportunities for improvement. Interviews with university IT professionals led to insights regarding the need for agreement on standards and practices, and for professional development to ensure that our people have the right knowledge, skills, and abilities to take advantage of cloud computing.

Cloud computing holds great promise; however, the path towards implementing these new technologies can be challenging. This strategy is intended as a thoughtful framework to guide implementation of cloud computing services at Virginia Tech, ensuring that the technology needs of students, faculty, staff, and business functions are met in the most efficient, effective, and intentional way.

This effort is just beginning; we need your involvement

We need your involvement to help shape our future in the cloud, and to continue and expand the discussion with more university stakeholders. Our goal is to build a robust community of interested individuals to help guide and inform the implementation of our cloud computing strategy on an ongoing basis. To begin, we invite you to read and consider the resources provided at it.vt.edu/cloud-strategy. If you have feedback or are interested in staying informed about these issues, use the contact form provided on the page to let us know.

Later in the year, the Division of IT will host one or more open sessions to enable discussion of what we envision as a community-driven planning and implementation effort. Collectively, we can arrive at responsible, sustainable practices that enable innovation in research, enriched learning experiences for students, and efficient technology support for university administration and operations.

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