Many college IT chiefs, especially those who have managed a campus network since the technological dark ages, will worry about the security of their chosen cloud-computing network the same way they would about their own IT infrastructure, Cottingham said.

“They have very valid concerns, but those concerns aren’t all that different from the same concerns when they’re running their own dedicated servers,” he said, adding: “The idea of control is a big factor.”

University IT decision makers often weren’t willing to commit their entire institution to cloud computing.

Seven in 10 cloud users who responded to the CDW-G survey said they started their migration to the cloud with a single application, such as eMail in higher education—a service that has been farmed out by many of the most prominent campuses, such as Yale and Brown University.

Lingering security concerns could slow higher education’s shift to the cloud, experts said, but only 5 percent of college respondents to the CDW-G survey said they were “not considering” moving campus information to the cloud. Three in 10 said they were planning a move to a cloud-computing network.

Melissa Woo, director of cyber infrastructure at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, has argued against unquestioned acceptance of cloud computing in higher education, pointing out glaring weaknesses in the cloud system and recent high-profile security breaches.


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