February 02, 2010
NextGen of IT at University of Michigan - Townhall Notes
We'll be up in the clouds, soon. The trend is towards effective costing, phasing out unnecessary redundancies and cutting 100 Million bucks by FY 2012 when the stimulus money runs out.
Focus will shift to low cost technologies which are employed by multiple units, but not necessarily cost shared by those units alone. A system similar perhaps to the Public education system, where everyone pays for public schools, but have the freedom to send their children to a private one, if they can afford it.
Leaders need to start thinking of IT as an enabler, rather than a cost. There has been damage to research funding because of the overall perception of funding agencies that IT infrastructure at UM is out-dated. This anecdotal evidence is driving the new shift to this "Rationalization", a component of the NextGen initiative. CoE has already stepped forward to set an example, offering up it's advanced computing resources for the entire campus.
Web-conferencing featured amonst the top shared resources that should be available. I feel that is justified because web-collaboration is (a) cheaper (b) enables inter-departmental or inter-University collaboration - something that funding agencies would appreciate more than localized research. So the future of web conferencing / web collaboration seems bright.
Further, the antiquated university services need to move to the cloud or atleast be competitive with the could. There is encouragement for hosting / storing / processing in the cloud. So the new age of university IT will compete with the likes of Amazon and other providers of cloud computing. Good for us, good for all.
Posted by rdivecha at February 2, 2010 10:42 AM