Cloud computing has become a popular buzzword and atrend in the IT industry. With characteristic features of scalable computing resources on-demand,and accessibility on a pay-per-use basis, it has been promoted as the harbinger of good tidings to its subscribers, such as the minimization of in-house IT infrastructures, substantial cost savings,and diminished administrative hurdles, thereby appearing as an appealing outsourcing proposition for non-IT enterprises, such as universities. This paper presents a comparative case study of two universities, one in Australia (UniOz) and one in Sweden (UniSwed). The two universities illustrate examples of how contemporary organisations interpret cloud computing, of drivers behind moving services into the cloud, and of prevailing concerns. Similarities pertaining to drivers for cloud computing are identified at the two cases (seeking scalable computing resources, and the re-allocation of IT resources to focus on core enterprise operations, with an aim to trim costs). This is identified in spite of differences in the culture of respective IT departments. Differences were also identified in terms of student vs. staff driven sourcing of services (email), and early vs. late adoption. The case study also illustrates interesting patterns in terms of the organisational implications of cloud services over time that calls for longitudinal studies. The implication of this paper is three-fold; two cases are consistent with outsourcing theories, they point to a transformation of the status quo, rather than an erosion of the role and influence of the internal IT department, and also reveals gaps in outsourcing theories and a possible future research direction in strengthening the relevant theoretical framework.
Ulf, Melin; Pradip K., Sarkar; and Leslie W., Young, "Looking Through The Clouds: A Tale Of Two Universities" (2012). PACIS 2012 Proceedings. 120.