Abstract: The use of cloud computing services has grown dramatically in post-secondary institutions in the last decade. In particular, universities have been attracted to the low-cost and flexibility of acquiring cloud software services from Google, Microsoft and others, to implement e-mail, calendar and document management and other basic office software. These products have helped universities migrate from in-house legacy software platforms to current generation products. This paper explores the Google and Microsoft cloud service offerings for educational institutions, and compares the implementation experiences of six Canadian universities. However, although acquisition costs are minimal or non-existent, the academic community of faculty, students and administration are often reluctant to entrust all of their emails, documents and calendar schedules to a complex, global, for-profit third party. The overwhelming tide is for cash-strapped university administrators to adopt third party cloud services, and cautiously manage privacy issues with alternate in-house services. Finally, the move from in-house to cloud services requires the universities to move to a cloud-aware governance model that is sensitive to information privacy and security issues. Result of this research may lead to a better understanding of benefits, advantages, risks and challenges of the cloud computing initiatives at universities and may serve as an objective source of information for other public sector institutions which are considering cloud services implementation.
Keywords: Cloud Computing, Google Apps for Education, Information Privacy and Security, IT governance, Microsoft Office 365, Software as a Service (SaaS)
Download this article: ISEDJ - V15 N1 Page 55.pdf
Recommended Citation: Babin, R., Halilovic, B. (2017). Cloud Computing e-Communication Services in the University Environment. Information Systems Education Journal, 15(1) pp 55-67. http://isedj.org/2017-15/ ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of EDSIG 2016)