It’s not easy for an IT department to make the switch to cloud computing (services you access over the internet, rather than your hard drive or a nearby server). It takes staff expertise, software rewriting, managing change, and operating in a new way. The University of Arizona has not only accomplished this, but done it so well it’s garnering national attention.
The UA has been recognized for its efforts in moving to the cloud with an overall win in the inaugural Cloud Leadership Awards, shared with University of Notre Dame. The UA was also recognized as a winner in the Backup/Disaster Recovery category.
The awards were presented Thursday, November 2, during the EDUCAUSE 2017 Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA by E&I Cooperative Services, a member-owned, not-for-profit sourcing cooperative. Over 100 higher education institutions were nominated for six categories.
Three years ago, UA adopted a “cloud first” policy, which requires that University Information Technology Services (UITS) consider whether using a cloud service or hosting in the cloud would be preferable to on-site servers when initiating a new service. UITS leadership and staff have gone beyond this mandate to work on moving all enterprise services to the cloud. Currently, approximately one third of the university’s IT services are no longer housed on campus.
UA chief technology officer Derek Masseth accepted the award at Educause on behalf of the university. He shared, “Our enterprise applications and operations staff have worked very hard to successfully plan and execute a smooth migration to the cloud. I am very proud our team is being recognized for their effort on a national level, in addition to the appreciation that we feel for them at the University of Arizona.”
Tom Fitzgerald, CEO of E&I, said of the award winners, “Cloud solutions have become especially important on campuses across the country. We commend these higher education institutions for their innovative efforts in this area.” Fitzgerald cited the positive impacts, increased efficiencies, and cost-savings achievable with cloud solutions.
From left to right: Keith Fowlkes (VP, Technology Category, E&I), Ron Kraemer (CIO, University of Notre Dame), Derek Masseth (CTO, University of Arizona), Melissa Deets (BD Manager, Higher Education East, CDW-G), and Dorrian Porter (Organizer, Cloud Leadership Awards)